If Mitchell ran from the coyotes or panicked, she may have triggered a predatory response in the animals. Gadbois revealed citing reports that indicate she had bite marks over her entire body.
In the Adirondacks, it is quite common to hear coyote songs on still, dark nights. The sound of their yips, yaps and yowls still carry for miles on the evening air, just as they have since the 1920's.
Yet, coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare. Despite a small number of attacks on people, most of these incidents have involved small children under 5 years of age. With over 3 million children bitten by dogs every year, the likelihood of a child getting bitten by the family pet is a million times more likely than by a coyote.
Coyotes exist on a diet that includes rabbits, birds, mice, chipmunks, grasshoppers or other small animals they can overpower. They also eat a lot of berries, which in late summer can constitute about half of their diet.
While many sportsmen believe that coyotes have decimated the Adirondack deer herd, the vast majority of their deer take consists of fawns.
Although coyotes can easily take down adult deer. "They're about twice the size of the western variety, weighing around 40 pounds," according to Gary Foster, a wildlife biologist at DEC Region 5. "They may not kill a lot of deer that way, but they can stress the herd and run them out of the area. We don't see a lot of the damage coyotes do during the season."
But, DEC readily acknowledges the impact that coyotes can have. According to Foster, "They're extremely wary creatures. It takes a good trapper to take coyotes consistently."
Hunting regulations for coyote have been loosened in recent years as trapping has not proven to be the most effective method of controlling the coyote population.