Some would consider the coyote a nuisance. Others would call it a menace. I must beg to disagree. When you look at its range, inhabiting the majority of North America, its ability not only to survive, but to thrive alongside humans, and its sheer adaptability to just about whatever situation is thrown its way, the coyote is a huge success.

From its humble beginnings in the southwest and plains, the American jackal has taken full advantage of man’s environmental alterations and expanded its range to cover the greater part of the continent. Much of what was once strictly wolf territory now belongs either to hybrids or coyotes solely. It’s no wonder their conservation status is least concern, in spite of heavy trapping and even poisoning, the prairie wolf manages to keep its numbers up. Not being a very picky eater helps too.

In much the same way people are finding that the coyote is not a completely solitary creature, I also pick and chose my associations. The coyote sometimes forms a symbiotic relationship with the badger. While one covers the escape routes, the other digs out the pray cowering in a burrow. They then split the prize. In much the same way, I’ll not always stick with the same “species” in order to attain better results in the long run. A variety of groups allows me the opportunity to float between and see the big picture rather than one specific perspective.

Nicknamed “Canis Soupus” coyotes are considered a genetic soup of canine species. As a veritable mutt myself, I can relate to that. I may not have the large ears characteristic of these canines, but they are put to use more frequently than most humans.

Coyotes are also known as persistent hunters. While they will pursue prey for over two miles before giving up, I’ve helped drag a deer roughly that far. And even after a few years of unsuccessful hunting, the call of the woods remains strong.  (We also both like squirrel. Yum.)

While the coyote makes a frequent appearance in the lore of different cultures, I like to dig through that history and tradition. Farmers of today may not appreciate the buffet their livestock serves for out west, but when it comes to a success story, the coyote is the one to look to. This makes me a little less wary of the future. After all, if they can not only survive, but thrive, then why not I?