Weird question: How big is a BIG coyote (NY)


March 24, 2007, 10:35 AM
We are starting to see LOTS of coyote in my area, whereas we never had them a few years ago. Seen then a couple times, skirting through my (large) backyard, along my woods. I plan on hunting them some next season. Anyway....

A week ago I let one of my dogs out (a female GSD in season), first thing in the morning. As went down the basement stairs to let her back in, I looked out the window and there was a large dog standing right in the driveway, a few feet from my car (and about 40 ft from me).

***...Thats not a dog, its a coyote! Now if he'd been in the back of my yard (about 100 yrds to the woods)I would've thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. This thing was BIG. But because I could compare it to the heights of the cars, I wanna say it was easily as big as my male GSD, who goes 115 lbs.

He'd heard me and was looking in my direction, stood there for a few seconds then trotted off, no time to get and load a gun. I figure he came out so far out of the woods, because he smelled the female in heat. (But I have a 6 ft stockade fence.)


Was it a REALLY big coyote?
Was it a Coy-dog?
No wolves around here that I know of, and it was colored brown like a coyote.

We were having a heavy snowfall, and by the time I got the other dogs situated, got suited up, and went out to plow snow, his tracks were gone, so I couldn't get a read from pawprints.

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Larry Ashcraft
March 24, 2007, 11:05 AM
Wow. I guess it depends on the area. The last one I shot was a very healthy female that was trying to lure my dogs out. She had gotten way too bold and wouldn't even run when we yelled at the dogs. She might have weighed 35 lbs.

There was a very large (for this area) coyote here about three years ago. It was also very bold, and was seen in various yards in broad daylight. The neighbors were reporting it was "the size of a German Shepherd".

It made the mistake of getting within 300 yards of my 25-06 one day. Turned out to be an abnormally large female, but I don't think she would have been 50 lbs.

March 24, 2007, 11:13 AM
P.S. I should've mentioned, I was talking more about size than weight. They're generally pretty lean (although this one looked pretty "muscular"). So while he (?) may have been a tall and long as a big GSD, may not have weighed quite that much.

But he was definitely much bigger that my female GSDs (ones 60 lbs. ones 70 lbs). The ones I'm used to seeing around here, appear to be about the size of my smaller female GSDs.

March 24, 2007, 12:01 PM
Where do you live? If in the western states, it could have been a wolf. In WA, a big coyote is in the 40# range & I've seen very few of these in 26 years. Have seen pics of NE 'yotes in the 50 - 55# range & bagged several that compare in Montana before I had to move. Also called in a wolf in Montana long before re-introduction was in vogue.

March 24, 2007, 01:29 PM
Might be a cross breed, I believe that cross breeds get bigger than full blooded coyotes.

March 24, 2007, 07:29 PM
The ones I've seen and several I've shot here in Idaho, would go around 30 to 40 pounds. When I lived in Calif., I'd guess the ones I saw generally would weigh between 30 to 35 pounds on a wet day.


March 24, 2007, 11:38 PM
I have seen some very large canine tracks around my place. Since I've only rarely seen dogs and since the tracks are always made at night, I presume they are of coyotes. Judging by the size of one of the tracks, I would say at least one of the animals goes 60 to 80 lbs. One of these nights I'm going to get him.

March 25, 2007, 01:56 AM
While I am unable to comment on size, one of my friends recently reported that a pack of 8 - 11 coyotes went after his dog (I'm guessing a 50-75 lb or so dog, not sure of the breed) the one night he left him out when the weather recently warmed up. I'm in Central NY, so you're probably right to be concerned.

Thankfully the dog was able to hide in its doghouse and keep the coyotes at bay until my friend was able to run out with a shovel (since becoming a father recently he's been keeping his firearms and ammunition locked separately). The dogs been coming inside at night since then.

Good luck and be safe!

March 25, 2007, 09:01 AM
Here in Kansas, coyotes run around 30 to 40 lbs. I have killed a few that were in the 50 lb range, but that all seemed to be part dog. For some reason, coyotes allways look bigger than they are, probably because they have alot of leg & length, but they don't have much width in the chest.

Art Eatman
March 25, 2007, 11:31 AM
From various articles over the years, coyotes in the northeastern quadrant of the US seem generally to be noticeably larger than western or southern. Taller, and some 10 to 15 pounds heavier.


Double Naught Spy
March 25, 2007, 01:43 PM
Art, you are correct and this is a pattern seen with a variety of animals. There is a fairly solid size/temperature cline gradient with coyotes. They do tend to be bigger (size and weight) in the colder regions. Skinny coyotes with no fat don't do well in the long winters up north. Big, fat coyotes don't do so well in the long southern summers.

March 25, 2007, 02:51 PM
I did a Google search of "Average Coyote Weight" and located this site:

It maintains that they weigh-in at about 31 pounds. I have to be VERY careful not to hunt coyotes in my back yard...see, most poodles look like coyotes to me...except for the neighbor's very yappy, very evil and loathsome poodle. :evil:

Edit to add Google search using "Average New York Coyote Weight":

This site maintains that, "...Adults may range from 35-45 pounds and some large males may exceed 50 or 60 pounds in body weight." (copied from above weblink at 3:06 p.m., 03/24/07).


Art Eatman
March 25, 2007, 07:36 PM
All sorts of critters are larger, as you go north. Our desert mule deer, down here in SW Texas, aren't as big as up in the Panhandle. SFAIK, they're even larger in Colorado and on up in Montana. Same for whitetails, with Maine logging some at 300 pounds.

Northern wolves are bigger than the Mexican wolf. Same for the black bear; the ones we have around here seem rarely to be much above 200 pounds or thereabouts.

Our coyotes, here, probably range 25 to 35 pounds.


March 25, 2007, 08:14 PM
Biggest one I ever saw was in the Utah badlands, and at first I thought it was a German Shepard, it was crossing the highway and I slowed so as not to hit it, thing looked at me like HEY I'm walkin here!

They do get big, not 'muscular' like a wolf, but in winter coat they look bulkier.

Biggest black bear are supposed to be in Penn/Wva. The food they eat makes a big difference.

March 26, 2007, 08:13 AM
Here's one: 59 pounds, shot in the Adirondack's of NY.

March 26, 2007, 08:21 AM
I've read of a 750 pounder killed in NY. Here's the story of a Virginia hunter who survived a run-in with an estimated 600 pounder.

"According to VDGIF spokesperson Julia Dixon, the largest black bear on record was 720 pounds and was shot in the Suffolk area. Jennifer believes Hensley's bear might have been closer to that size, but it was never weighed. And while a typical black bear carries an inch of fat under its skin, this bear had a full five inches of fat that absorbed much of the bullets' impact, say the hunters."

March 26, 2007, 06:29 PM
The pic looks photoshopped, comparing the shadow to tractor and bear.

March 26, 2007, 09:23 PM
I'm no expert on faking photos, so I'll defer to you.

I will say that the folks who saw it in person all said 600 to 700. They saved the hide too, after the skull was sent to Richmond for rabies testing.

He was lucky he ran into those other hunters and they decided to help him track the wounded bear. It chewed him up after it had been shot three times. I think his daughter said he'd killed 17 bears in his life just with a bow, so he knew what he was doing, but a 5-inch layer of bear fat will stop some bullets obviously. I wonder if everybody in the family likes bear meat as much as he does? :)

Now where's that photo of my great-uncle Andy with the momma bear and two cubs he shot in that same area about 90 years ago? Bears were varmints back then.


March 27, 2007, 08:09 AM
JohnBT, thanks for the coyote picture, that pretty much answers my question.

I'd say the one I saw (I'm in Western NY) was about that size...In fact looked very much the same as far as color and "bushiness" as well. So it was probably in the 60 lb. range, even though it seemed so big when comparing it to my dogs.

March 27, 2007, 03:50 PM
Oh, 600 is very believable, just that photo looks like a photoshop. I have seen 600 lb black bears, and they are not quite as physically impressive as that. They're very dense and stocky, so can put on a lot of weight without physically looking as large as that photo.

edit- for example, here's what a confirmed 564 lb black bear looks like, from the pennsylvania fish and game website:

It's not too rare for large brown bears and polar bears hit more than twice that size 1500 lbs, and as far as I found, the largest brown on record weighed in at 2500 lbs.

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