Last night around midnight I woke up to the sounds of excited coyote communication. We often hear the yips, barks and snarls of coyote packs successfully ripping apart some poor little animal up and down the valley where we live, but never up on our hill that overlooks the valley. They packs normally center around a goat farm in the valley bottom about a half mile from us. Well, last night I had a pack of yipping coyotes about 50 feet from my front porch in the pasture. So I get up, grab my gun, and run into the darkness in my bare feet and underwear. I fired two shots in the air to scare them. I couldn't take a confident shot at any particular animal without risking shooting blindly towards our neighbor's house, plus my gun jammed because it was still filled with cheapo firing range ammo (thank you Wal-mart). There were between 9 and 12 coyotes and they ran when I shot. At the moment it doesn't appear that they killed any of our cats, which was my fear and why I ran out there like freaking Wyatt Earp. Our male outdoor cat was accounted for last night and I locked him in the basement under heavy protest. However, our female outdoor cat is still unaccounted for. I am now completely freaked out that they have made it across the highway and up our hill. We have cats, a small feist dog, and a one year old daughter who I am sure is just about coyote snack size. Plus, DH is out of town and that leaves me to hold down the fort solo. So, my question for you all is: How do I successfully exterminate the coyotes in a way that 1) is not immediately lethal so I can save non-target species, or 2) in a way that is immediately lethal to coyotes but not immediately lethal to cats or domestic dogs? Poison is out. We could shoot them, but I don't know what kind of special tactical ops equipment we would need to be successful at blowing them away at night. Does live trapping a coyote work? In the coastal plain of NC they bait shark hooks with big pieces of meat and hang them at a height that causes the coyotes to jump up for the meat and get hooked. That is a little too Dr. Mengele for my taste. Any ideas? On a related topic, before Christmas we found a dead but completely intact young female (1 yearish) coyote about 300 yards behind our house in the woods. She was laying on a game trail like she decided to take a nap and never woke up. We are guessing someone poisoned her because nothing, other than rodents stealing fur, has even touched the body to scavange it. She seemed to be in very good health. Her teeth were white and clean, there are no marks on the body, and she didn't look like she had had puppies yet in her life. So there is someone near by already working on coyote population reduction.