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  1. #1

    Default OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn


    Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
    John Hardzog, a cattle rancher in Oklahoma, releasing some of his greyhounds from his 1977 Ford pickup to hunt coyotes.


    ELGIN, Okla. — One morning in an otherwise quiet corner of the Great Plains, high-pitched yips and deep growls sprang from a cluster of trees. Two greyhounds were fighting a pack of coyotes.

    One greyhound was bitten on a front paw and a back leg. The other was bitten in the jaw, and blood soaked its muzzle. But two of the seven coyotes died. The greyhounds, wild-eyed and wet with slobber, trotted to their owner, John Hardzog, a cattle rancher who was waiting nearby.

    “Greyhounds are calm, gentle dogs, but they’re also pretty efficient killers,” Hardzog said as he picked a clump of tawny coyote hair from one dog’s teeth. “This is exactly what they’re born and bred to do. Yep, this is what they live for.”

    Unlike the greyhounds familiar to most Americans as racers and pets, Hardzog’s are trained only to chase and kill coyotes for sport.

    Hunting coyotes with greyhounds goes back generations. President Theodore Roosevelt did so on this land, about 70 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, in the early 1900s. It remains largely a regional pursuit that is part of the area’s lore, like the cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail.

    Ranchers and farmers have long viewed coyotes as pests because they kill livestock. Yet hunting coyotes with greyhounds — all members of the Canidae family — is banned in some states, including Washington and Colorado. Some animal-rights groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, say it is inhumane, for coyotes and for greyhounds.

    “It was not thought of as sporting by a majority of citizens in our state because the coyotes were getting killed by dogs, not by people,” Miranda Wecker, the chairwoman of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, said of last year’s decision to ban the sport. “This was dogs ripping apart other dogs. Thinking about it that way, it became very close to dogfighting.”

    Dogfighting became a felony in all 50 states in 2008, in no small part because of Michael Vick, the N.F.L. star who went to prison a year earlier for his involvement in a dogfighting ring.

    But Hardzog, a 65-year-old lifelong Oklahoman who wears pressed Wrangler jeans and a rodeo belt buckle the size of a bread plate, called his favorite form of hunting “one of the cleanest sports out there.”

    Using greyhounds to hunt is natural, Hardzog said.

    “When you get the dogs running in a dead run after a coyote, now that’s a sport,” Hardzog said before spitting snuff into a tiny gold spittoon. “The coyote is just about the smartest wild animal alive because they always have an escape route. I respect them. They can outsmart you. But greyhounds are smart, too. I think they’re the neatest dog ever made.”

    Hardzog, who eschews seat belts and scoffs at “too many laws,” was 7 when he first hunted coyotes with his father. Now he has 40 greyhounds and greyhound mixes, some with scarred legs and faces, that he bred on his 318-acre ranch. Sometimes, they gnaw on stillborn calves and clean their teeth on the bones. He said he spent $600 on their monthly upkeep.

    They have names like Matthew, Luke, Venus and Little Bit. Some are part Irish wolfhound, others part Saluki. All have a strong prey drive and hunt by sight. Only a handful have failed as coyote hunters, Hardzog said.

    Electric-shock collars help train the dogs not to chase anything but coyotes. Otherwise, Hardzog’s dogs are collar free, for good reason. Several broke their necks when their collars snagged while scooting under barbed-wire fences, which can also rip their paper-thin skin.

    “Every time you turn ’em loose, you don’t know whether it’s going to come back sound or not,” Hardzog said. “There’s just a lot of obstacles out there. Every once in a while, you had one run off in a ditch and either break their back or a shoulder or dislocate a hip. But it’s the risk you take. If you didn’t let them run, you would be denying what they were bred to do.”

    Once, Hardzog lost four dogs when they ran over a cliff while pursuing a coyote, his wife, Charlette, said.

    “He has such a bond with his dogs,” she said. “He could barely get over that.”

    In his truck, Hardzog often keeps a blood-clotting agent, wound wrap, a staple gun and an array of medications, but no water. If a dog is seriously injured, he said, he takes it to a veterinarian. Other hunters might not be as caring, he said, because “they got no common sense.”

    To subdue a coyote, the greyhounds often nip its back leg to sever a hamstring. Then they go for the kill by biting the neck. Hunters often leave coyote carc$#@! behind.

    Judy Paulsen, the director of Greyhound Companions of New Mexico, said she had seen the damage coyote hunting could do.

    “If the dogs don’t return from the hunt,” she said, some hunters “just leave them for dead because, to them, they are expendable.”

    Coyotes help control rodent populations and are an important part of the ecosystem, wildlife experts say. To protect livestock, however, the federal Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services killed nearly 90,000 coyotes in 2008.

    Catching them is tricky because they are cunning, skittish animals wary of anything unusual in their habitat, said Paul Curtis, a wildlife specialist at Cornell University.

    The Agriculture Department uses foot and neck traps, aerial gunning and bait containing poisonous gas.

    Yet the coyotes endure, even when ranchland turns into housing developments, as it has here. They learn to snack on garbage, roadkill and pets.

    In Oklahoma, coyote-hunting season never ends. But to avoid having his dogs overheat, Hardzog hunts from Thanksgiving through March, killing 270 to 350 coyotes a season.

    “The government spends thousands of dollars trying to kill coyotes every year,” he said, grinning. “I do it for free.”

    On hunting days, Hardzog loads 16 dogs into four specially made pens and into his 1977 Ford pickup. These days, he estimated, one in six farmers do not want him on their land.

    “These people, they just live in a different world now,” he said. “They don’t have no cattle. Don’t have no chickens. They just got little yippy poodles. Nobody hardly even knows what it is to hunt coyote with greyhounds. But they ought to. Coyotes love to kill little poodles and cats.”

    Hardzog drives along dirt roads and through ranches, using binoculars to spot coyotes. He yells “Ara-hoo!” with the might of his lungs to stir them.

    Sometimes, his dogs see the prey first. One day last month, they barked and whined at a coyote in the distance. Hardzog maneuvered his truck closer, then he yanked a pulley to open a pen. Four dogs leapt out.

    They raced about a quarter-mile until they spotted the coyote. They homed in for the kill out of Hardzog’s sight.

    Several hours of hunting took a toll on his dogs. Four were bitten by coyotes. Barbed wire opened a five-inch wound on one dog’s left foreleg, exposing muscle. Another had split its nose.

    Hardzog injected the injured dogs with penicillin, B12 and a steroid to reduce swelling and fight infection. As he sprayed wound treatment, the dogs trembled.

    His way of killing coyotes, he insisted, is the most humane, but he worries that his favorite sport will be banned.

    “Probably 99.9 percent of the people that’s going to protest it never been, don’t have an idea of what a coyote is or what a greyhound is,” Hardzog said. “To me, they don’t even have a right to draw an opinion. They can pass all the laws they want to, but the good Lord is going to do all the judging.”

    Coyote vs. Greyhound - The Battle Lines Are Drawn - NYTimes.com


    T.D. Carlisle
    Two Oklahoma hunters pose with their dogs and coyote remains in the winter of 1928.



    Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
    John Hardzog with his dogs and a recent kill in the 1960’s.

  2. #2

    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    A good read. Thanks for posting

  3. #3

    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    That is vary interesting. The gray hound is an elagent athletic breed.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    So is it legal to do this with our breed or do they have to be greyhounds? Although it probably wouldn't be fair to the coyote.
    Last edited by ShakaZ; 04-26-2010 at 05:21 PM. Reason: to add

  5. #5

    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn


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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    ...we call them LURCHERS were im from ....but interesting not the less....

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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by ShakaZ View Post
    So is it legal to do this with our breed or do they have to be greyhounds? Although it probably wouldn't be fair to the coyote.
    Not sure but as stated above "Two greyhounds were fighting a pack of coyotes" so if you could train a male and female game bred dogs that wont fight each other to go after a pack of coyotes yea, not taking anything away from our dogs, but will they catch them? The greyhound really moves.

    However if it s legal and you could and they did catch a pack

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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    theres some members on this forum that use Gamedogs as coyote catchdogs..lol

  9. #9

    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerlines View Post
    ...we call them LURCHERS were im from ....but interesting not the less....
    Aren't lurchers some kind of cross-bred sighthound?

    These appear to be purebred Greyhounds...

    Dreamer

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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    the op states "grey hounds and grey hound mixes" a lurcher is a type of dog ,not a breedof dog, it is general used in relation to a type of hunting dog created by mixing grey hound blood with any other breed possesing qualities needed in the type of dog being created.

  11. #11

    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerlines View Post
    the op states "grey hounds and grey hound mixes" a lurcher is a type of dog ,not a breedof dog, it is general used in relation to a type of hunting dog created by mixing grey hound blood with any other breed possesing qualities needed in the type of dog being created.
    Oh okay, I see it....crossed with Salukis and Wolfhounds....I was looking at the ones in the pic....those look to be some of his Greyhounds...some maybe with Saluki...

    You probably get more distance ability with the Saluki...

    Dreamer

  12. #12

    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    I don't know if you caught the video I posted, but you can see more of his dogs in there.

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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    I have a question for those who have used gamedogs on coyotes:

    How did you get close enough to spring your dogs and catch them? Predator calling? Coyotes can move along pretty well at around 35mph! With the yote having a 50 yard head start I wouldn't think an apbt would be fast enough to close the distance on him.

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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    woody d does it a fair bit. pretty sure they hide out and call them in with bunny whistles, and when it gets cose he lets the dogs go. but he can explain it better.

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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by junkyard View Post
    woody d does it a fair bit. pretty sure they hide out and call them in with bunny whistles, and when it gets close he lets the dogs go. but he can explain it better.
    Ya thats how predator calling is usually done, except you shoot them with a rifle as they come in to investigate your call. But in my experience a coyote will circle downwind to catch your scent and you'll be made before he ever gets that close. Coyotes are pretty smart and they usually figure its a setup long before they get to be close enough to run with a dog. Maybe they keep coming in hope of making your dog his next meal? I'm interested now to give it a try

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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    ive done it for a few things but we dont have coyotes in australia.

    keep checking back, no doubt he will see it and comment.

  17. #17

    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    I thought this was an interesting pic I think it's a Suluki type dog and a wolf on a chain not a coyote.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    photoshopped?

  19. #19

    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullnuts View Post
    I thought this was an interesting pic I think it's a Suluki type dog and a wolf on a chain not a coyote.
    Definitely a Saluki in a situation where the wolf is chained and maybe "controlled" with that pitchfork-looking thing in the background...



    Yuck.

    Dreamer

  20. #20

    Default Re: OK: Coyote vs. Greyhound: The Battle Lines Are Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullnuts View Post
    I thought this was an interesting pic I think it's a Suluki type dog and a wolf on a chain not a coyote.
    these dogs are called (kazakh) tazi. people in kazakhstan use them together with birds of prey for hunting deer, wolves etc.


    http://home.swipnet.se/starcastle/st.../taz/tazi.html

    a video (just pictures, but there are more vids listed on the right)
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow8_KK5dMrQ[/ame]

    a few pictures (site is in german only)
    Bilder - www.jagdwindhund.com

    taigan-dogs hunting together with an eagle in kirgistan
    Album durchstöbern :: Jagd

    TULPAR
    Last edited by BA08/15; 04-29-2010 at 07:20 PM.

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