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No, I doubt that coyotes are a problem on Topsail

I'm sure a few visit every now and then, but there's not enough prey on the island to keep them around. However, they're incredibly intelligent, and if they have learned that the turtles nest at this time of year they might swim over to the island at dusk to raid nests all night, then swim back at dawn.

I know they visit the larger spoil islands because I've seen canid tracks unaccompanied by human tracks (so they're likely not dogs). A lot of the larger spoil islands have small groups of deer. I know one island that has a large buck, an eight pointer the last time I saw him, probably closing in on 250. He has a harem of about four does. I have no idea how he could be so healthy out there. You'd think their diet would be very poor.

The coyote problem down here in Northeast New Hanover is getting very bad. At night you can hear them running the deer on the golf courses, and occasionally a solitary individual will roam the streets. A friend saw one crossing Porters Neck Road and entering Bluepoint. Another friend was running at dawn and saw one on the road in front of her that didn't seem the least bit intimidated by her approaching. She said that it was as tall at the ears as any German Shepherd she's seen.

It's only a matter of time before pets start disappearing. When I'm home I keep a rifle handy at all times and coyotes have joined pit vipers as the only animals I will kill on sight for the safety of my dog and cats.

It's ironic that you mention those mainland foxes. Guess what species is sufferring the most because of the coyote proliferation? Foxes, red and gray, are under tremendous pressure from a more capable predator...who will not hesitate to prey on them, given a chance.

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