Scraggly Coyote!

Scraggly Coyote!

We’re pretty sure we saw this same coyote on the “carcass cam” last year, due to it’s scraggly fur and nearly bare patch on its back. In fact, last year we though it may have been old or sick and not long for this world.

There’s a bit of a mystery here however. While there’s not much information out there, it seems coyote fur lost has cropped up around the country and not due to common causes. According to a 2015 article on the subject posted by North American Hunter, it’s something else..

“Dr. Margo Pybus… says the hair follicles that produce the guard hairs have, in effect, shut down. This causes the guard hairs to weaken and fall out, after which no replacement is grown.”

You can read the full article here.  (Keep in mind that this is a hunting site and visually not for everyone…)

It certainly does look like there is fur on the “bald” patch as if the undercoat is healthy, but the outer guard hairs are not growing. Hmmmm.

Coyote with bare spot in Wisconsin

From what I can gather, that bare spot on the shoulders (visible above) has been put down to everything from rubbing to manage while others say it’s something new.  From what I can pick up, it doesn’t seem to be a symptom of anything life-threatening. On the other hand, who wants to roam around with a hole in their coat this time of year? Chilly!

We’ll look into this a bit more and update the blog if we get any solid answers…

Ref:,,,  #Photos supplies by the WDNR. Thank you!




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  1. maryw

    As a once wildlife rehabber,,,,quit due to dnr killing innocent baby wildlife,,called giggles,,,but,,,this could simply be a type of MITE,,, its in a bad spot,,,not easy for him to get at or clean,,but the cold might freez’em out,,but they may also simply migrate further up to where his fur is,,,I have also seen a bad round worm infestation do the same thing,,,,Soo,,,yea too bad thee old boy will definitely be cold this winter,,,hopefully this spring/summer he will cool of in a creek or something,,,,I myself as a 1nce rehabber,,would of tried to worm him,,,,,,now a days dnr would arrest me if I tried to help a wildlife critter,,ie,,,,jmo,DNR=,Destroying Natural Resources,,,now a days,,,maryw

  2. Author

    Thanks for your thoughts. I did see someone mention mites as a possibility in one of the articles on the issue. It seems all the reports are showing this patch in the same spot over the shoulders which is interesting.

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