(VA) New Kent man battles coyote 'tooth and nail' (and 12-gauge and .40-cal)


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Drizzt
January 29, 2003, 05:29 PM
New Kent man battles coyote 'tooth and nail'

BY REX SPRINGSTON
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Jan 28, 2003



Jimmy Hawthorne was riding his lawn mower outside his eastern New Kent County home when an animal that looked like a giant fox ran out of the woods and attacked him.

Hawthorne, 50, recognized the animal as a coyote, a stealthy predator that is becoming increasingly common in Virginia.

Using his mower and later a big stick, Hawthorne fought off the animal for more than 20 minutes Sunday before killing it with a shotgun. "It was like a pit bull or something that wanted to bite me," said Hawthorne, who was not injured. "He wouldn't leave me alone."


Tests yesterday proved the coyote was rabid.

For Virginia, the incident represents the first confirmed case of a rabid coyote and the first report of a coyote attacking a person, state officials said. The big male weighed nearly 50 pounds.

Coyotes have been migrating across Virginia from the west and north for years. They are established across the state now.

"I'm not surprised we had [a rabid coyote] now because the population is increasing," said Dr. Suzanne R. Jenkins, assistant epidemiologist with the Virginia Department of Health.

The encounter was serious for Hawthorne but probably does not portend new trouble for other Virginians, Jenkins said.

The predominant strain of rabies in the state tends to spread through raccoon and skunk populations but does not spread far in other mammals, she said.

A coyote resembles a small German shepherd. It is sleek, with a pointed muzzle and a variable coat that runs in shades of gray, yellow, brown, red or black. Coyotes will eat just about anything, including small deer, suburban trash, dog food, rabbits and cats.

Ordinarily, coyotes are shy and reclusive, and not aggressive toward humans.

"We have never had a report like this," said Robert W. Duncan, wildlife director for the state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. "This is unique."

Hawthorne, the owner of Hawthorne Laundries and Dry Cleaners Inc., lives in eastern New Kent on a wooded, 300-acre site.

He described the incident this way:

Hawthorne was riding his mower to blow away leaves about 3:30 p.m. when the coyote ran out of a thicket and tried to bite his leg. Riding about 400 yards from his house, Hawthorne kicked the animal, and it ran off.

Hawthorne tried to ride back to his house, but about 300 yards from home, the mower ran out of gas. The coyote ran up and tried again to bite Hawthorne.

"I kicked him good," and the animal ran back in the woods.

Hawthorne grabbed a stick about 12 feet long, and the coyote came back at him. He whacked and jabbed at the animal while trying to keep the mower between him and the coyote, which was baring its teeth.

"An Olympic gymnast couldn't run around the lawn mower any faster than my fat butt ran," said Hawthorne, who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 240 pounds.

"I would hit him with the stick, and he would retreat. This went on for probably 20 minutes. . . . I was fighting this animal tooth and nail."

After "I hit him really good and I thought I had hurt him," Hawthorne made a break on foot for the house.

As Hawthorne reached his yard, he looked over his shoulder and saw the coyote trotting after him. "We had another round in the yard, and he went back in the woods."

Hawthorne dashed inside, and the coyote ran up on his steps. Hawthorne grabbed a .40-caliber pistol. When he opened the door, the coyote started moving away. "I shot at him and missed," and the coyote ran off again.

This time, Hawthorne armed himself with a 12-gauge shotgun and rode in his truck to the lawn mower.

"Here he comes back out of the woods. I shot him with the shotgun and killed him."

Nationally, more than 20,000 people get vaccinated each year after being exposed to possibly rabid animals. The disease, if untreated, can be deadly.

Hawthorne could joke a little yesterday, but he knows he survived a dangerous encounter. "It's funny now, but it wasn't funny then."


http://richmondtimesdispatch.com/frontpage/MGBAUOB9HBD.html

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Azrael256
January 29, 2003, 05:43 PM
Might be wise to slap that pistol on the hip next time he goes mowing, just in case.

El Tejon
January 29, 2003, 07:13 PM
I say, I say, y'all best armour up!

nsf003
January 29, 2003, 08:35 PM
This is why I carry my 357 while mowing the lawn. I caught some BS for it from someone on TFL a while ago. Let this be a lesson to that person.

nsf

Dave R
January 29, 2003, 08:40 PM
Can a shotgun boot for a 4-wheeler be adapted for use on a lawn mower? I think so...

HABU
January 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Just goes to show you, one never knows when "it" is going to happen!

This is why I carry my 357 while mowing the lawn. I caught some BS for it from someone on TFL a while ago. Let this be a lesson to that person.
:neener: :neener: :neener:
ROFLMAO!!

PATH
January 30, 2003, 01:05 AM
Seen pawprints in some pretty well developed areas around me. They especially love cats. A pistol strapped to the hip is wonderful for most all occasions. The fella was very lucky.

Justin
January 30, 2003, 01:34 AM
Not to drag this too far off topic, but I live in a suburban area with a huge population of deer that aren't afraid of humans. (Last night my dog and I got within 10 feet of about 6 does.)

If the deer have migrated out of the woods because chewing on Flo's Petunias is easier than foraging in the woods, what are the odds that some predators might also do the same, following their food source?:confused:

MP-44
January 30, 2003, 08:58 AM
I only live 10 minutes from the New Kent County line. I keep hearing we have coyotes around but haven't seen any yet. Can anyone recommend a good book on coyote hunting?

Teufelhunden
January 30, 2003, 11:05 AM
When I first heard this story, all the radio said was that a man was attacked by a coyote while riding his lawnmower and he shot it with a shotgun.

My first impression until I got further details on the story was to wonder why the hell someone was riding around on his lawnmower with a shotgun. New class of rural assault vehicle I suppose... ;)

-Teuf

TheeBadOne
January 30, 2003, 11:16 AM
If the deer have migrated out of the woods because chewing on Flo's Petunias is easier than foraging in the woods, what are the odds that some predators might also do the same, following their food source

Where I'm from wolves are very common, always have been. When I was a kid with a paper route I would often find deer on the fringe of the city standing around. The wolves would not come into the town and stood around approx 1/4 mile away as seen by their tracks and once by my eyes. These were during very lean hungry times and the wolves were starving. If not sick it seems they really don't care for city/town areas. Over the years a few dogs have been eaten by very hungry wolves, but these have always been in rural areas, the outskirts. If you have what is traditionaly thought of as a city with with close houses and lots of streets/alleys, it seems the wolf/coyotte will not come in. If you have a more rural setting the coyotte and fox may roam. The wolf is the least of the three, never seen in any traditional town I've lived in nor even in the rural areas I've been. The only times I've seen them are across a frozen lake. They don't like us/fear us and keep their distance. Of course, any sick animal can be a threat. Even a buck in rut can be a problem and they have attacked and even killed people.

Dogsoldier
January 30, 2003, 11:51 AM
If you have what is traditionaly thought of as a city with with close houses and lots of streets/alleys, it seems the wolf/coyotte will not come in.

I beg to differ. here in Tucson we have coyotes running around inside the city. I see one go by my house just about every morning. City coyotes tend to be night dwellers and shy away from humans, but many a kitty cat and small dog have ended up missing. Inside the city, coyotes are like rats. You never really see them, but they are there. Right now, the city will not let anyone mess with them. Sooner or later, a small kid or an elderly person is going to get attacked. Hopefully THEN we can do the right thing.

Poodleshooter
January 30, 2003, 12:21 PM
Ok, my irritation is this: They keep plastering this story on the local radio and TV news. They never ONCE mention the part that controlled hunting can play in this scenario. The VA farm bureau is apparently lobbying the VA general assembly to do something about coyotes-using tax dollars! HELLO VA FARM BUREAU-I WILL SHOOT COYOTES FOR FREE!!! Please don't waste my tax dollars doing something that I would do not only for free, but for fun.

XLMiguel
January 30, 2003, 01:43 PM
I live inside the DC beltway and have seen deer, fox, racoon, opossum in my yard fairly regularly. We have had reports of coyotes in Fairfax, and two sumnmers agoe ther were moutain lion track found about 10 miles west of here near the Wolftrappe performing arts park.

Critters adapt. I always have a stout folder or fixed blade (as I wouldn't admit publically to carrying) when my wife and I go walking in the varoious parks around here. There are plenty of dangerous two-legged critters out there, too. AS a former Boy Scout, I believe in the motto.

mtnbkr
January 30, 2003, 02:24 PM
two sumnmers agoe ther were moutain lion track found about 10 miles west of here near the Wolftrappe performing arts park.

:what: :what: :what:

I didn't know there were any mtn lions in Va at all.

BTW, last year, there were mutiple sightings of a black bear in Manassas near the intersection of Wellington and Godwin Dr. That's just a couple miles from my house.

Chris

larry_minn
January 30, 2003, 02:31 PM
Well they released some wolves not to far from where I live. They tried this back in early 80s as well and I had to carry a baseball bat when out in wild otherwise folks wouldn't let me go.
This last group took down a batch of some farmers calves and DNR/wildlife wouldn't reimburse him and suggested he contact his insurance company.
Well seems a group of neighbors went for a drive one evening and wound up doing some target shooting. Don't see many wolves anymore.

Leatherneck
January 30, 2003, 03:04 PM
mutiple sightings of a black bear in Manassas I think that one, or another one, was spotted at Manassas Mall as well. Wait 'til we have the first mauling (malling?); the outcry to "Do Something!" will be deafening.

TC
TFL Survivor

Watch-Six
January 30, 2003, 04:38 PM
I have never seen a coyote in town here in semi urban Utah, but I certainly have in towns in other western states and in western Canada. They are survivors in the extreme. The ones that I have seen have usually been pretty scroungy creatures and not likely to take on a grown man. A rabid coyote is another matter. Glad this guy didn't get hurt. Watch-Six

Art Eatman
January 30, 2003, 05:52 PM
"The coyote is a survivor,
I reckon he's got to be;
Lives in the snow at 40 below,
Or in Malibu-by-the-sea..." -- Ian Tyson

The coyote's adaptability is crating--or has created--a spreading problem, nationwide. They do cut down on the numbers of feral cats, though, which benefits songbirds.

Art

sw442642
January 30, 2003, 05:56 PM
I see plenty of coyote where we live. One or two are run over a month and they scamper across the road quite a bit.

They are coming out of a wild area and eating the pets. What a shame.

WonderNine
January 30, 2003, 06:11 PM
This is why I carry my 357 while mowing the lawn. I caught some BS for it from someone on TFL a while ago. Let this be a lesson to that person.

Hey, I got a .357 in my front pocket right now and I'm at work. :p

Jim March
January 30, 2003, 07:59 PM
But everybody knows the proper way to control Coyote populations:

Unlimited charge cards at the Acme Hardware & Demolitions Corporation.

:neener:

4v50 Gary
January 30, 2003, 08:49 PM
and Jimmy Hawthorne fighter and winning it proves it. I give him a lot of credit for fighting it off from his lawnmower, beating it with a stick and finally, hunting down & killing the critter before it hurt someone. He's a common, everyday man who's a hero.

Kharn
January 31, 2003, 09:42 AM
Should I use a Giles-type sling, or African carry for lugging my Ar15 when I ride my lawn mower? I cant decide, and I dont want to be un-tactical. :uhoh:

Kharn

agtman
January 31, 2003, 10:37 AM
:what: Wow. What a story.

I'm glad to read the guy's alright. Having to take 3-months worth of rabies shots in the keister from a square needle wouldn't have been fun at all. :scrutiny:

Seems the real lesson here is, he shoulda grabbed the 12-gauge first.

It appears to have been more accurate than his minute-of-barn-door .40S&W pistol. :D *














* Okay, just kiddin'. :D

Hardtarget
January 31, 2003, 11:08 PM
I saw my first coyote this year while deer hunting. Could have(should have?) shot him, but...I was deer hunting. There was a spot on the news tonight about the increasing population here in Mid. Tenn. I remember a photo of a coyote in the flood drainage system of L.A. and you could see downtown in the background. They seem to live almost anywhere!
Mark.

TexasVet
February 1, 2003, 01:26 AM
And around big cities, you end up with a more serious problem eventually. They interbreed with dog variaties about the same size and litter the area with Coydogs. Who are NOT nearly as shy as the coyotes are.

Dogsoldier
February 1, 2003, 11:22 AM
Who are NOT nearly as shy as the coyotes are.

There is indications that coyotes living in or near cities are actually losing their fear of people. I can't give the exact citation, but a year or so ago, I read where a small boy in ********** was attacked by a coyote while on the street of his subdivision. The coyote was scared off by neighbors before the kid was hurt.

Naturally the blissninnies declaired that it wasn't the coyote's fault for attacking the child. It is OUR fault for building houses and subdivisions crowding out the coyotes. And that coyote was only doing what it had to.

This usually confuses me...

A wild animal attacks a child. So the wild animal should not be held accountable for the safety of the rest of the people...:banghead:

Dogsoldier
February 1, 2003, 11:24 AM
Just on more thing. As I said earlier, there is acoyote that runs by my house just about every morning. If a kid in my neighborhood is attacked by this animal, it will be made to go away. No matter what the city ordinance's or bliss-ninnies say. :fire:

12.7x99mm
February 2, 2003, 05:49 AM
The way I see it is 99.9% of the time nothing bad will happen. Being a victim of random violence two times in my young life of 35. That .02% or so, something will happen.

It will be so random its kinda freaky.

Being prepared is the only thing you can do.

There for..I have made up my mind that I will never leave my house with out some sort of protection. I might never need it but if I do. Ill have it.

Kahr carrier
February 2, 2003, 05:57 AM
Yikes:what:

joeislove
February 2, 2003, 06:04 AM
Coyotes shouldn't be a problem unless they're sick or rabid. Otherwise, they should mind their own business.

However, this gives me another reason I can tell people when they want to know why I feel the need to carry my Glock with me wherever I go. I live in Athens, GA, which isn't a real big city, but it's not a small village, either. One night, as I was driving home, I saw the weirdest looking dog I had ever seen running down the middle of Milledge Avenue. As I got closer, I realized that it wasn't a weird-looking dog, but a perfectly normal-looking grey fox. I followed it for a couple blocks, trying to figure out where it was going, before it gave me the slip.

As long as they stay shy, no problem. That fox will just keep eating trash and dog food and the occasional squirrel or stray cat. However, if one goes rabid, they become highly unpredictable and dangerous.

Have we had a "what caliber to use on rabid coyotes" thread yet?

chicago jerry
February 2, 2003, 11:54 AM
I live in Indiana and work in Chiacgo and I've seen dead coyotes along the Highway in the Chicago city limits. We can hear them howl some nights within 1/4 mile of the house. I've heard of them taking dogs right out of peoples yards. We have 2 dogs a little Yorkie and a large Cocker mix, I don't let the little one outside in our fenced yard without the larger one. The Yorkie has that big dog attitude but I think it would make a nice snack for a hungry Coyote.

cuchulainn
February 2, 2003, 02:30 PM
New Kent is way far east near Virginia Beach, right ... almost to the Atlantic (relatively speaking). If so, wow.

p35
February 2, 2003, 09:30 PM
Gotta remember that they work in packs and can pull down even a big dog using teamwork- my neighbor almost lost a pit bull that way before he broke it up with a shotgun.

Also check your target ID- a guy I knew in high school shot one while deer hunting, only to be confronted by a very POd individual yelling "YOU SHOT MY DOG YOU STUPID SOB!":what: He felt terrible but you can't take back a .308 bullet.

BerettaNut92
February 2, 2003, 09:59 PM
Where I used to live, it was illegal to discharge so much as a BB GUN in city limits.

I think it's illegal to cap critters, too.

Then they use taxpayer dollars to chase after them, and not sure if they deport them or just kill 'em.

I wish I could start a business where they tell me where the thing is, and me and a pack of skunks and a bloodhound would chase them coyotes down with impunity.

Too bad it's illegal to take care of your own critter-related problems now.

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