Couple catches rare black coyote

Published 2:26 am Sunday, February 6, 2011

A black coyote was caught recently by a local couple who have been having trouble with something raiding their chickens and turkeys.

Eric and Rachel Berry began setting traps around their home a year ago when some of their chickens and turkeys were found eaten and strewn across their property by the perpetrators. Their chief suspects were various predatory wildlife that roamed the area, and in the past year, Rachel Berry said they have caught a number of coyotes and one bobcat. On Thursday, the couple caught their first black coyote.

Eric Berry said in the past six months his traps have captured 10 coyotes around his  home. He attributes the rise in coyote activity near his home to his recent purchase of turkeys and their laying eggs.

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Prior to capturing the wild animals around his home Eric Berry said he used to shoot them, but recently he discovered if he captures them, he can sell them to a nearby fox run business that uses them in runs where dogs track and chase the animals.

Most of the coyotes Eric Berry catches are brown or gray. Black coyotes are unique, he said.

After conducting some research on the Internet on how to trap wild animals, Eric Berry bought some small metal traps that when tripped, capture the animal by the foot. The traps are similar to a classic bear trap, but lack teeth on the jaws. However, coyotes can smell metal so Eric said he dips the traps in wax before hiding them under grass and dirt and baiting them.

Coyotes and bobcats are not the only wild animals that frequent the Berry’s land. Rachel Berry said at times, deer and wild pigs can be seen passing through.