'The biggest coyote I’ve ever seen'

Local trapper Derek Palmer displays a large coyote that he trapped on the Buttahatchee River northeast of Hamilton on Dec. 10. Palmer said the animal weighed upwards of 60 pounds. “Some people say it’s a coywolf—a half-coyote and half-wolf cross. I don’t know. It just has a wolf look to it,” Palmer said. Palmer said the large animal pulled the trap from the ground which was anchored with a two-foot long piece of rebar. Palmer said he discovered the animal in a thicket. “It scared me and I think I scared it, too.” Palmer said he chased the animal a mile through thick woods before he had an opportunity to put it down with one shot. In Alabama, it’s legal to hunt coyotes all year long without limit on private lands. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, coyotes were introduced into the Southeast in the early 1900s for sport hunting as gray and red wolf populations declined.The coyotes then bred with remnant wolf populations and wild dogs giving rise to the variant coyote seen across Alabama today. On average, coyotes weigh between 20 and 50 pounds. “It’s the biggest coyote I’ve ever seen and the biggest one I’ve ever trapped,” Palmer said. Palmer, 16, has been trapping for six years