• Coyotes appeared in North Carolina in the early 1980s after illegal relocations from out of state and releases for sport hunting with hounds. Natural range expansion from Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina helped them get a foothold in all 100 counties by 2000.

• The coyote’s scientific name is Canis latrans (barking dog). “Coyote” is a Spanish word derived from the Aztec word “coyotl.” The Indians called the coyote “the trickster.”

• Adult coyotes can range from 20 to 45 pounds, they can stand two feet tall at the shoulder and be as much as four feet long.

• Their coats are usually gray, but they may be blond, dark red or black.

• Records kept by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission showed 133 trapped in 2002-2003. By 2005-2006, the number had increased by almost 50 percent. By 2006-2007, trapped coyotes totaled 847 animals. Of those, 174 came from the mountains, 333 from the Piedmont and 329 from the coastal plain.

• Coyotes often are mistaken for red wolves and sometimes cross-breed with red wolves.

• Coyotes often exhibit pack behavior when hunting large prey. They will “triangulate” a target, using yips to locate each other as they move closer to their quarry. They will rush their prey and attack from all sides at once.

• Coyotes have five toes on their front feet and four on their back feet.

• Their diet consists of rabbits, rodents, birds, woodchucks, insects, deer fawns (sometimes adults), plums, grapes, persimmons, watermelons, garbage, dog food, cats, small dogs and newborn livestock.

• Coyotes generally mate for life. Their mating season is January through March with a gestation period of 60 to 63 days.

• Females give birth to six to eight pups weaned at five to seven weeks. The pups emerge from their dens at three weeks and learn to hunt by eight or nine weeks. Until then, they’re fed by both parents.

• Dispersal rates are high. When a family or community group leaves an area, another generally moves in, making population control difficult.

• Winter coyote pelts can bring $15 to $20 but average $11. Most trappers obtain an additional fee from landowners.

• The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission enacted a temporary night-hunting law on private land for feral swine and coyotes on Aug. 1, 2012. During the next two months, five red wolves were found shot dead. Night hunting for coyotes ended in Beaufort, Tyrrell, Dare, Hyde and Washington counties after the Southern Law Environmental Center filed a lawsuit for the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and the Animal Welfare Institute. Wake County judge Paul Ridgeway set an injunction against night hunting in the five counties during November 2012. The injunction remains in place.

• There is no closed season for the taking of coyotes. They may be taken on private lands anytime during the day or night except in five eastern counties. They may be taken on public lands without a permit from the hours of 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset, and from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise by permit only. There is no bag limit on coyotes, and hunters may use electronic calls and artificial lights.