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  • Lance Mannion
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As a child, I used to love to sit outside and howl back and forth with the coyotes. Was pretty good at it, too. Or so I imagined as they'd talk back to me.

I used to subscribe to a small town newspaper because it was a classic I-don't-intend-to-be-as-entertaining-as-you-find-me read. One week there was a pic of a man proudly displaying his latest kill. In the pic the kill was identified as an albino coyote. I said, "That's no coyote, that's someone's pet samoyed." The next week's paper arrived with a long few paragraphs on how it was "consistent" with reports of coyotes to have identified the catch as a coyote but that the owner of the animal had called, after seeing the pic, and informed that it was his samoyed.

Then they progressed into a bit on crop circles.

You can see the articles here as I saved them, of course, and had them on my wall for a long time. I saved them because I don't think I've ever laughed harder in my life. But then I wasn't the one with the missing samoyed.

Don't go take a look if a photo showing a dead misidentified dog will bother you.


Maybe you and Uncle Merlin could score some big dog costumes off of Ebay, go sit outside and wait for the coyote to come and play. It could be the follow up post. Accompanying photos would be nice.

Kevin Wolf

Just this morning one of our coffee group happened to mention coyotes near his house and he produced a mini digital recorder with their howling preserved from just last night.

This led to the story of a time when he was out on the water off the Mass. coast, sitting in his boat in a cove about a mile wide and seven miles long. He heard some coyotes howling deep in the cove then another pack answered, then another and another, in a line down the cove.

Like coyotes doing an aural "wave."


Could it have been a fox?

Sounds of the Fox



That's exactly what it was. The distress cry! Thanks for the links. I'm glad it was a fox. Now I really wish I had seen it though. I have been on the lookout for foxes down here for years and I've only ever seen one, and that was just a quick glimpse as it dashed across the road.

velvet goldmine

Lance, I was once staying with my in-laws on the Cape (I think it was kind of Chatam-ish, but it was kind of in a subdivision neighborhood), and as we started out the door to pack up the car, we noticed a fox standing guard by the station wagon. It delayed the pack-up, but it was wonderful to see it, so unexpected in a vista of hardtop and lawn.


I lived in Big Bear for a year, in a house right at the edge of the forest. Coyotes are all over the San Bernardino Mountains, so I'd hear them every now and then. The night of my 25th birthday, though, they came out in force: two different packs went at it, fighting and howling all night.

I miss them.


I had been asleep about an hour one night when I heard this screaming sound outside my bedroom window. Thinking Cheney had been shooting someone in the face again and I had slept through the shotgun blast I looked out the window only to see my cat streaking up the steps of the deck. I went downstairs to let the cat in, but in the morning did a little search on google because I had been seeing foxes in the neighborhood for awhile. The links to the "cry" sound of the fox was dead on.

My cat is pretty big and fat so I think the fox wouldn't tackle him but a coyote is another matter.

Adorable Girlfriend

Geesh, I didn't want to be all AG over here, but since nobody is saying it -- what was so important on eBay that Uncle Merlin was monitoring?


I'm betting it was a screech owl. I've heard a similar horrifying noise at night many times here in southern maine. At first I too assumed it was some creature who had been caught. But then I had the same experience of realizing it was circling my house. What I don't get is, why does it screech? Can't imagine it's hunting. Maybe trying to attract a lady screech owl?


About 13 years ago an exgirlfriend and I were camping out of a pickup-bed camper in northern MI. We had a trailer with our kithen in it (our kitchen was cooking for a total of twenty-three, though we were alone in the camper)that included a huge, free standing pantry. In the middle of the night we heard something knock it over. I was just about to step out and yell at whatever drunk knocked it over when I heard a deep throated growl and some grunting. My girlfriend at the time decided she would go check so I thought fast and convinced her that there were much better things we could do inside the camper. The following morning we went to see what we could see and found tracks that looked like raccoon tracks but they were about 30% bigger than any I had seen before and were about sunk about 1/2 an inch into the ground while my own prints were sinking a little more than 3/4 of an inch. Whether it was a badger, wolverine or huge honkin 'coon - I was glad I decided to "distract" my girlfriend rather than let her venture forth out of the camper to investigate. We figured it probably had to weigh at least 85#. . .More after it's adventure in our larder. It made off with most of 20oz of deer jerky, two flank steaks (again venison) and half a box of Captain Crunch.


I'm remembering my Tony Hillerman here. Coyote is the Trickster in Navajo folklore; clever, Lance. ;)

Uncle Merlin

AG- I am an ebay addict but thats a good thing, I just saved $1,000 on a bathroom sink!! But that night I had my eyes on a 1976 Sansui receiver. Boy I can't get my hands on one of them!! I have always been a stauch Marantz guy,my personal college unit is now 30 years young and I have never heard better.....BUT I am very curious about these Sansui's. I have had a few friends in the military who had them and raved about them. And it seems everyone on ebay was originally in a branch of the service and bought theirs at the PX or BX depending. So its got my curiosity up.
Are you an ebay shopper, what was your best buy?? And don't you hate all those ZERO rated bidders who come in at the last second to outbid you and to pay ridiculous prices for everything?? Stay home ZERO people stay home!!


Uncle Merlin

Linkmeister-- Those are great books Coyote Waits , I love reading Hillerman. Did you ever see the series?


OMIGOSH!!! THANK you SO MUCH for this post!! We first heard that sound in the dead of night a week or so ago and it is a bone chilling ...blair witch sound!!! It started up again tonight so I googled and found this with the link to the fox call in the comments and thats it exactly- (well...except ours is a louder and very echoey thanks to the gravel pit nearby!!}

So anyway...not freaked out anymore... thank you again!!

Adorable Girlfriend

UM, sorry for the delay in my response. I've actually never bid on anything at ebay. I've heard it's too competitive and not sure I need anything.

I do love your passion for Sansui and ebay. What do you recommend for a first time buyer like me? I promise not to be a zero hero.


MB Williams

This was great. Thanks, Lance. We spent much of our four years on the road both loving and fearing (for our cats) coyotes... Ironically, it was a mountain lion, not a coyote, that got our Maya kitty.

I've been wondering if we have them here in Ithaca, especially with the deer population. Then I saw one as road kill the other day, a few miles up the hill. I'll keep a closer eye on our kitties now, but it also makes me feel happier. A place with coyotes is a good place -- a place with balance. Not a great place for pets, but we should always be reminded that nature is always there... never fully tamed...

Kevin Hayden

Grew up on Cape Cod in the 50s and 60s. Lived there again in 83-84 then a few months last year (Brewster). That's when I was shocked to find there were coyotes on Cape Cod. I was warned I might see them on the beach at night.

Foxes have always been there, though most rarely see them. You can usually see them on Independence Day, blowing raspberries at the British royals.

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