Monday, April 18, 2011

Coy-dogs in Blair County, early 1900s

From the Tyrone Herald (undated, but presumably early 1900s):
The final chapter of the historic Walter L. Main's circus wreck on May 30, 1893, was written on Saturday when at the hands of Constable Joseph Diehl, eleven descendants of the coyot that for many years worried stock owners in this region were killed. For number of years depredations have been reported as having been committed by alleged "wild dogs" that frequented Snyder township. About six years ago, a coyote was shot for a fox by a hunter who, with some misgivings presented its pelt before a local magistrate for the usual fox bounty. It was then that a westerner properly identified the dead animal and cleared up the mystery of the "wild dogs." It developed that a small Shepherd dog belonging to a Snyder township farmer, had found his affinity in the wild western cousin and the offspring had grown up in the wilderness. For many years they have been seen in the vicinity of the Sprinkle farm, where it was discovered they lived off the refuse and offals from the slaughter house. About two months ago a litter of seven puppies was discovered in the jungles and watched. They grew rapidly and were not unlike tiny cub bears in appearance.

Constable Diehl spent Saturday in the desolated district and succeeded in dispatching eleven of the species, ranging in size from a half grown fox to the timber wolf. They all had the sable and gray color. The carcasses were viewed with considerable interest by local hunters, who differ in opinion as to whether their ancestors was really coyote or wolf.

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