Coyotes are overpopulating in the Shenandoah Valley and Congressman Bob Goodlatte has heard the concerns of farmers and citizens and has taken action. Federal funds in the amount of $150,000 have been allocated to help rid the Valley and other Western Virginia localities of a pest that kills sheep, cattle, goats ... and even deer and domestic animals.
We had plenty of coyotes in my western Augusta area until a nearby neighbor took it upon himself to rid us of the nuisance animals two years ago. The critters had been breeding on the ridge behind the house so we checked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on ways to remove/kill coyotes.
There had been a cat killed and gutted in my backyard, and a full-grown deer was killed and gutted nearby. Coyotes will often kill their prey and then eat the internal organs, leaving the rest of the carcass. After receiving extremely helpful tips from the USDA representative, we printed up flyers and distributed them to all the neighbors with suggestions on how to protect their pets from a roaming coyote.
At my house we fenced in the immediate backyard area around the back door several years ago, partially as a desire to not open the back door and find a coyote facing us, and partly to help keep them from our garbage cans. It worked.
However, coyotes continue to be a major problem for many areas of the county. Our thanks to Congressman Goodlatte for his help in advocating funding to deal with the coyote problem.