Here is Melrose

New neighbors: Mount Hood coyotes

... stronger presence of canines in Melrose

by Len Dalton

On Thursday, April 26, 2007, I was enjoying my early morning hike at the Mount Hood Park in Melrose. Two miles into that stroll on a lovely spring day I arrived at 'perch rock' located at the tower parking lot. Placing my two-inch thick foam pad on the rock, I sat, caught my breath and drank in the lovely day. Down below at the 11th green, I saw Dave Crawford and his weimaraner, Dagmar. I hailed him and he waved. Immediately a loud barking and howling ensued about 100 feet behind me in the brush! It was a female coyote! She continued the noise and climbed to a rocky perch. Then she walked through the brush to the chain link fence bordering the playing field.

I watched as she got to the mid point of that fence when suddenly a male coyote met her! This canine has been seen by golf course employees and we agreed he weighed at least 50 pounds and possibly 60! He is a magnificent animal, looking a lot like a husky dog.

After my walk was finished and I approached my Tundra, Dave came along looking somewhat upset. He told me that after seeing the female coyote, he and Dagmar retreated away from that area over to the 16th fairway. Apparently the two coyotes saw Dagmar up by the playing fields and deliberately ran 400 yards or more to see more of her! As Dave walked on the 16th, the two coyotes came out of the woods and approached HIM! The male was aggressive and was snarling at Dave and got within 100 feet of him when Dave drew his blank cartridge pistol and felt compelled to fire four shots to scare the animal away. Dagmar was way out ahead of Dave looking for golfballs. Dave told me he thinks the female is in heat and so they were defensive. Now, on my morning walks, I shall be prepared to fend off any curiosity by these coyotes. I now suspect they might have pups in the area.

In the April 26 issue of the Melrose Free Press, Police Report: "5:29 a.m. Three coyotes ran in front of cruiser while on directive patrol on Spear Street. Will call animal control in morning."

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