What Do Coyotes Eat?

There's an old hunting truth that says if you want to find any particular animal, you need to hunt their food source. It's completely true, and it applies to predators as well as any other species. However, it gets a little more complicated when our prey, such as coyotes, is capable of and willing to eat just about anything.

I label coyotes as omnivores, simply because they'll eat anything I do—and a lot more besides. While I haven't seen a coyote around my favorite ice cream parlor lately, I have no doubt one would welcome the chance to devour a triple scoop banana split with a cherry on top. I'm sure if we could figure out what a screaming banana split sounds like, we could use that sound to call coyotes.

I've seen coyotes eat some bizarre stuff, and I thought it might be fun to canvas you readers to find out what the rest of you have seen coyotes eating. It'll help all of us, as North America is a big place with a lot of different food sources, and coyotes occupy most of it.

We all know coyotes eat pets, deer, rodents and all those traditional coyote foods. What I'm looking for is unusual food sources. Here are two of my observations to get things started.

During winter, whenever I see a farmer spreading manure on a snow-covered field, I always look for coyotes. At dusk it's not uncommon to see coyotes working the field looking for delicious tidbits in the manure. I think they're eating seeds, blood-soaked waste and who knows what else. It's a pretty gross way to eat, but cow manure contains all kinds of goodies for coyotes. When food is scarce during winter, manure is always a good bet. However, to consider manure a hot place to hunt, it needs to be freshly disturbed in some way. I find coyotes like it if it's being dumped in piles in a field for later spreading or being actively broadcast as fertilizer. In either case, stuff coyotes will eat is getting exposed and that makes it a good place to hunt.

Last January I came across another food source that surprised me, although in hindsight it really shouldn't have. It happened when I tracked a wounded coyote into a small field of standing corn. This field hadn't been harvested, and the farmer was planning on letting the cattle graze the standing and frozen crop. Corn is a very unusual crop in my area, and what I saw once inside the field was evidence of coyotes stripping the ears off the stalks and chewing them as clean as Bubba would at a corn roast. Apparently, coyotes will eat frozen corn. I should have anticipated that.

What weird or unusual food sources have you seen coyotes eat?

Click below to help us start a list of food sources to target while coyote hunting and see what other's have added to the discussion. You never know you might learn something.


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