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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
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    5,151

    Default Coyotes and the snow

    We have about 2 feet of snow piled up everywhere, and there is a hard crust on top of it. Very hard going for people and dogs.

    After the last storm, DH used the snowblower to blow some paths around the yard for the dogs. We're on 3.5, mostly open, acres, so there some long paths going all the way around the house. Yesterday, he blew a long, windy path down the sloped front yard to make a "luge" run for our son. Lots of walking area now.

    The coyotes are soooo happy! It never occurred to me to wonder what wildlife does to get around in this kind of snow. Now that I think of it, the small animals can just walk on top, but our coyotes are big, they'd fall through the crust like our dogs do. When I look out the window at night and early in the morning, coyotes are trotting along the blown paths and there are footprints all over them. I have not seen deer or deer tracks on the paths, I wonder if they can get through deep snow more easily than canines, because they are taller with longer legs?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    4,359

    Default

    I think it depends on the type of snow. A hard crust might allow coyotes to run along the top when a deer would sink, but I would guess a deer can go bounding through fluffier stuff easier than a coyote.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    25,020

    Default

    Coyote do enjoy the snow walks we make. The ones I have around my property have all sorts of new prints in them every morning. And once when coming around a building I ended up face-to-face with one coming from the other direction, LOL!
    They do okay on crust, they will spread their toes out as far as possible for the snowshoe effect but that doesn't work 100%. They get tired cracking through it just like we do.
    Deer do better, their very small, pointy and sharp hooves punch right through without much resistance (our flatter feet hit, crush, break through and pack a lot of snow under that flat surface as they try to sink, phew!) and their longer legs do fine with deeper snow. Deer in a lope or run naturally lift their legs high anyway, so in deep snow they just don't walk or trot. They lope most places. But it can get too deep for them too and tire them out. And in some places it can get way too deep and mire them down. That's why they'll stop loping in areas they don't know and do that slow, picky high stepping walk...testing the footing. A stuck deer is a dead deer.

    For fun, the last time you walk your trails at night take a broom with you and drag it over the trail as you head back to the house to smooth the snow a bit. Next morning walk the trail slowly and really look at the snow. Betcha find all sorts of new and different prints in it...especially raccoon, fisher or other weasels, deer, etc.

    When we get a decent amount of snow on the ground there's a raccoon who moves in under my front porch every winter. That was his first "away from mom" home with a brother of his a few years ago, young juveniles first out on their own and nervous. Only one brother comes back when the snow gets deep, he uses the front shoveled walk and thousand+ feet of plowed driveway as a highway for getting around when my porch is his home base. The rest of the year he's usually up in the oak tree in my front yard. And he doesn't like that one squirrel who comes up on that porch every morning and bangs on my front door, comes out and hisses at him, LOL!
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    4 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    5,143

    Default

    Hmm, after putting out fruit, nuts nd bred out for Mr. Bunny, I have noticed other tracks, squirrel and raccoon (such long nails on them), but I saw tracks I cant figure out (like a cat but rounder and slightly bigger. Then something made the strangest howl at me tonight. I never thought Fischer, but I will have to google it.

    I hope I haven't made life harder for Mr. Bunny - i should have thought this through
    (i don't have access to timothy or hay, my horses are retired in another state)



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
    Posts
    7,964

    Default

    And I thought I was nuts snowblowing paths for my dog to do her business. She won't go in the barn aisle, indoor, or on the asphalted driveway but has on rare occasion left a pile on the gravel parking lot at the barn. I did 2 paths that paralleled the driveway going back to the barn and one from the back door around the side of the house. I had to put a leash on her the first time to make sure she knew the paths were there. Now she does use them. Makes me really glad I did that. The snow is over a foot deep and she's not quite knee high so I'm sure it's no fun trying to squat down in the all the snow. I know come spring when it melts I'll need to take the muck basket and pitchfork out to clean up.
    Sue
    Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
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    Default

    Not nuts at all, MSJ.
    I used to shovel out paths for my dogs too. And I did it for a Malamute and a GSD, so quite a bit bigger than knee-height.

    Even tall dogs don't like to circle and squat when their butts are already under snow. And Malamutes are made for snow.

    What I used to do is start a shoveled path off the porch and then curve it around one side and at the end I'd shovel out or stomp down a bigger cleared circle. Probably about 10' across. My dogs would trot out and have a "hidden" spot around a corner to poop. I'd just go out once a week and bag the poop in that one area, fast and easy.
    The GSD I'd have to pile the snow around the circle higher because he was a "in the woods only" pooper. He wouldn't poop if anyone could see him, LOL! So I'd make a taller snow wall around his Poop Spot.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
    Posts
    4,402

    Default

    I used to shovel a path for my long legged, agile std poodle too. Some winters, the snow crust was so thick that she (only 45 pounds or so) could walk ON it.

    The horses hate this stuff. I noticed that my mare sticks to the beaten area by the paddock gate, water trough and hay pile. She doesn't want to go anywhere else in that deep crusty stuff.
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
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    I'd definitely shovel for a Spoo! Getting those million snowballs off their legs when they come in is a pain in the butt, LOL!
    It is funny when the ice on top of the snow is strong enough to support dogs and they try to poop and slide all over.

    My horses aren't thrilled with the hard crust on top of the snow from a few snowstorms ago. It's still there under the last 2-3 snowfalls, the snow on top of the crust now is powdery. But from the crust down is wet, grainy and heavy snow. My horses have beaten down a few paths and small open area and stick mostly to that. But their hooves have never looked better! Nothing like some crunchy snow to scrub feets shiny-clean!

    I will admit to using my horses to clear paths too. After it first snows, instead of hanging hay nets outside, I break up and scatter a few flakes of hay thinly over the top of the snow in a long line from the barn to the gate out to the manure pile. The horses trample a nice wide path all flat and smooth for me between breakfast and lunch.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
    Posts
    4,402

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    LOL!
    Yes she was like a sponge, "giving back" water all over the house for hours after her romp in the snow.
    I miss her so much...
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Center of the Universe
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    7,806

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    no, the deer fall right through- our "crust" is strong enough to support large canines right now, but not deer or people. I went out without boots in my thin PJ's (do not recommend) and after falling through the crust repeatedly while trying to walk to the mailbox (only a few feet) my legs were actually bleeding from scraping against the ice crust. I wonder if this happens to the deer/horses? the deer seem to be trying to not move if at all possible right now.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
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    NorthEast
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sophie View Post
    LOL!
    Yes she was like a sponge, "giving back" water all over the house for hours after her romp in the snow.
    I miss her so much...
    Hahaha! I've had Poodles and the winter snowballs are notorious. They might be a pain in the butt as they slowly melt all over the house, but you've just gotta laugh when they come bouncing in with those things all over them!
    My sister had an Old English Sheepdog ages ago...he was even worse!
    I kept a blowdryer near the door to loosen the snowballs as much as possible to slide them off. Doesn't always work, but often helps.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



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