The Windsor-Essex region's coyote population grew so big and so fast in 10 years that the local tourism agency began touting hunting the predator as an attraction two years ago.
"The Essex County region is one of the last homes for the ‘true coyote’ found in Ontario," reads a promotional posting on the Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island website.
"The coyote population is extremely large and expanding in the area. Great predator-hunting opportunities exist throughout the county. Hunters have taken as many as 50 in an area no larger than three square miles in the Kingsville zone."
Brent Patterson, a field research scientist who specializes in coyotes for Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources, said the coyote population steadily increased between 2000 and 2011, the year it peaked and the last year for which numbers are available.
That's also the year the tourism board took the advice of a consultant and on its website's outdoor section highlighted Essex County's bountiful coyote population.
However, Kris Racine, the agency's director of product development and marketing, said other than the annual pheasant hunt on Pelee Island, staff doesn't "actively promote" the sport of hunting.
"Do we promote it? No. It's only on our website," Racine said. "You could argue we promote it, because it's on our website, but we don't actively promote it. We don't go out and encourage shooting.
Population 'out of control'
"We do understand there is an influx of coyotes everywhere," Racine said.
The president of the Essex County Field Naturalists' Club doesn't agree with promoting coyote-hunting as an attraction, even latently.
"This is promoting hunting as a recreation because the population is too high. I have mixed feeling about that," Phil Roberts said. "Recreational sports and hunting opportunities are considered recreational tourism, which is good for tourism and economy. This coyote thing is non-scientific."
There are no hard numbers on how many coyotes are in the area, but the Ministry of Natural Resources agrees it's increased since 2000.
There is no closed season on hunting coyotes in Ontario, and there is no bag limit. Pelts sell for approximately $35, Patterson said.
Long-time hunter Chris Durocher, who called the southern Ontario coyote population "out of control," isn't sure coyote-hunting would be a tourist draw.
"It's not like deer-hunting. Everyone has coyotes. You don't have to come here. If you can hunt in your area, you can hunt coyotes," Durocher said. "I wouldn't say you'd get Americans to come here. Some of the best coyote-hunting is in Texas and Colorado. It's endless there."
Racine said the online promotion has so far done little to increase outdoor tourism in the region.
However, several local hunters CBC News spoke with complained about the growing number of coyotes in southern Ontario. The predators frequently scare off deer or eat small game, such as cottontail rabbits. Both are hunted for sport in southern Ontario.
"You see them everywhere," said hunter Tom Kondratowicz. "I have a spot where I was hunting deer and three different times I was set up for deer and coyotes came running out of the bush. The deer just scattered."
John Jones hunts rabbits. He said coyotes make hunting rabbits more difficult. They force the rabbits to sit tight and hide better than ever before.
"You see tracks in every field," Jones said of coyotes.
Durocher said the coyote population has ballooned.
"When I was eight years old, to see a coyote was unbelievable," Durocher said. "To see a coyote was amazing. Now, the foxes are gone and the jack rabbits are struggling and all you see are coyotes. It's definitely growing."
Durocher said as the number of coyotes grow, so does the number of hunters.
But the animal proves to be a challenge for hunters.
Patterson said spotting a coyote is not difficult, but hunting them is.
"They're very intelligent and wary. Once they receive a little hunting pressure, they become difficult to fool," Patterson said.
"They have good eyes, ears and nose and they're always on the lookout," Jones said.
Typically, coyotes eat mice, rabbits and moles in the winter, Patterson said. They eat fallen fruit in the summer.
However, for the last few years, Ontario farmers have complained the predators have slaughtered sheep and other livestock.
They have also found their way into urban areas, where they rummage through garbage and kill pets.
Last year, a young coyote was found hiding in the foyer of a downtown Windsor business.
Last week, Essex County OPP were called to the Ministry of Transportation inspection station on Highway 401 to chase away coyotes that refused to leave.
In 2012, the Essex County OPP had 596 calls regarding animals — eight of them for coyotes. This year, the department has already responded to a pair of coyote calls.
Two years ago, the Osgoode Township Fish, Game and Conservation Club, near Ottawa sponsored the "Great Coyote Cull Contest." That same year, two men in Cornwall, Ont., organized a competition to kill coyotes in the Cornwall area.
Scott Smithers, a Kemptville District Area biologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, told CBC News at that time that indiscriminate killing of the predators will ultimately backfire.
"As you remove coyotes from the landscape, they actually will increase their birth rates," said Smithers.
Coyotes have one litter of five to nine pups per year.
Patterson said coyotes have very few, if any, natural predators in Ontario. Not even hunting can curb their population.
"Coyotes are hunted fairly heavily in parts of the province. But there is little evidence that shows humans drive changes in the number of coyotes. Even though there are groups of hunters moving coyotes from some areas. That intense effort is never applied broadly across the entire landscape.
"There's only as many coyotes on the landscape as there is food to support.
"It's a matter of perspective as to whether how many coyotes is enough or if there's an overabundance."
Earlier on HuffPost:
Sperm-sniffing Police Dog
Police Dog Handler B-G Carlson with the sperm-sniffing dog Rapport's Opus, which collected evidence against a 23-year-old man who was charged with a rape. Credit: <a href="http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article13335666.ab" target="_hplink">Aftonbladet</a>
Guru, the Hairless Chimp
Looking almost like a bronze statue of a person, Guru the hairless chimpanzee eats in his enclosure at India's Mysore Zoo. Guru lost all his hair to alopecia, a condition that can also affect humans.
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Miwa, a baby monkey, rides a young boar named Uribo in the Fukuchiyama City Zoo, in Kyoto, Japan, on Oct. 19. Both have been sheltered by the zoo since June after losing their mothers
These hilarious pictures of Westie dogs doing water sports should cheer anyone up, whatever the weather. They are a newly-launched theme for handy iPhone app Weather Puppy, a weather app that comes free but lets you buy themes such as these side-splitting images of West Highland White Terrier. British publishers Maverick Arts are behind the wacky pictures and have used amazing image-manipulation skills to make it seem as if the dogs are indulging in adrenalin sports. Maverick MD Steve Bicknell explains: "We are obsessed with the weather here in the UK and I think our pictures of the Westies should cheer people up weather they are at a sunny beach or hiding from the rain."
Boy Finds Whale Vomit Worth $63,000
Charlie Naysmith, 8, found this hunk while walking on a beach in Great Britain. He thought it was a rock, but it turned out to be a piece of whale vomit worth $63,000.
Insect with Singing Penis
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Rebecca Reichart, Leroy Nunez, Nicholas Coutu, Claudia Grant, Kenneth Krysko
In an Aug. 10, 2012 photo provided by the University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History researchers, from left, Rebecca Reichart, Leroy Nunez, Nicholas Coutu, Claudia Grant and Kenneth Krysko examine the internal anatomy of the largest Burmese python found in Florida to date, on the University of Florida campus. The 17-foot-7-inch snake weighed 164 pounds and carried 87 eggs in its oviducts, a state record. Following scientific investigation, the snake will be mounted for exhibition at the museum for about five years, and then returned for exhibition at Everglades National Park. (AP Photo/University of Florida, Kristen Grace)
Mass For Animals -- Oct. 2011
Gil Florini, of Saint-Pierre-d'Arene's church, blesses donkeys with holy water after a mass dedicated to animals on Oct. 9, 2011, in the southeastern French city of Nice.
Police have released a photo of the culprit in a series of flag thefts from the graves of soldiers at the Cedar Park Cemetery in Hudson, NY. As you can see by the photo, it looks like they caught the thief in the act: This woodchuck right here in the middle of the screen.
At two weeks old, Beyonce, a Dachsund mix born at a Northern California animal shelter, is just under four inches long and is in the running for the title of World's Smallest Dog. Here she is pictured resting on an iPhone.
Kitler, a kitten small enough to fit in a cup with a remarkable resemblance to Hitler is looking for a home after being found abandoned at the side of a busy road. An animal charity is struggling to find a loving home for an abandoned kitten - because it looks like HITLER. The six-week-old moggie was found abandoned on her own by the side of a busy main road by a member of the public. She was handed in to Wood Green animal shelter in Godmanchester, Cambs., where staff nicknamed her 'Kitler' because of her distinctive black moustache. Nobody came forward to say they were Kitler's owner so the centre put her up for rehoming, but she is yet to find a loving family because of her unusual markings.
Elephant Polo -- Sept. 2011
Elephant polo players from the Spice girls team (left) and the British Airways British Army team battle it out for 5th place during the final day at the King's Cup Elephant polo tournament Sept. 11, 2011, in Hua Hin, Thailand.This year marked the 10th edition of the polo tournament with 12 international teams participating for the unusual annual charity sports event.
John Huntington poses with one of his chickens on a lead in Sydney, Australia, on Aug. 15, 2011. Mr Hungtington's 'City Chicks' are chickens for those living in an urban enviroment, complete with small walking leads and harnesses and elasticised nappies. 'City Chicks' will be showcased at Sydney's ABC Gardening Australia Expo.
An angler is celebrating after breaking the record for catching the world's biggest ever cod. The mighty fish weighed in at 103lbs, smashing the previous and long-held world record by nearly 5lbs. And the biggest specimen of Britain's favourite eating fish to be pulled out of the water by rod and line was caught by a German. Michael Eisele was on a fishing trip to Norway - the so-called El Dorado of cod fishing - when he snared the whopper.
Seal Pup Survivor
This little seal was nearly strangled to death when it got tangled up in a discarded G-string thong near the Lovers Leap Cliffs of New Zealand. Luckily, a passerby saw the panicked pup, and conservation workers were able to free the animal from the offending garment.
The U.S. attorneys office sued Heritage Auctions of Texas in June to force it to return a Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton to the Mongolian government.
This March 8, 2012 photo shows Nicole Andree feeding a hamburger to her dog, Prada, a 4-year-old pit bull mix, at an animal control facility in Nashville, Tenn. Andree is fighting a lengthy legal battle to save her dog's life after the animal was ordered euthanized for attacking other dogs.
Kitten Found In Car Engine
After driving about 85 miles to Santa Cruz, Calif., a man discovered that this runaway kitten had been inside his car's engine in March 2012.
Monkey Photographs Self
One of the photos that the monkey took with Davids camera. These are the chimp-ly marvellous images captured by a cheeky monkey after turning the tables on a photographer who left his camera unmanned. The inquisitive scamp playfully went to investigate the equipment before becoming fascinated with his own reflection in the lens. And it wasnt long before the crested black macaque hijacked the camera and started snapping away sending award-winning photographer David Slater bananas. David, from Coleford, Gloucestershire, was on a trip to a small national park north of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi when he met the incredibly friendly bunch.
Is it Elvis... or Bert from "Sesame Street"? This stink bug photographed in Singapore seems to be a fan of one of them -- but it's not clear which one.
World's Longest Snake In Captivity
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Space Alien Really A Baboon
This close-up of the head of the animal shown in the previous slide, was, according to a local veterinarian, a baby baboon photographed by park ranger Llewellyn Dixon. The animal was found near the South African resort town of Nature's Valley.
Britain's Saddest Puppy
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Animals In The News
Tha Sophat, a 20-month-old Cambodian boy, suckles from a cow in Koak Roka village, Siem Reap province, Cambodia, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. Tha Sophat started suckling the cow in July after he saw a calf do the same since his parents moved to Thailand in search of work, said his grandfather UmOeung.
World's Smallest Cow
Swallow, an 11-year-old sheep-sized cow from the West Yorkshire region of England, is one of the stars of the 2011 edition of "Guinness World Records." This 33-inch-high Dexter is the world's smallest cow.
Skateboarding With Tillman
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Tori, the Smoking Orangutan
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Ranger Shoots Deers Whose Antlers Are Stuck
It was a shot in the dark, but an Illinois police officer manage to separate two whitetail deer whose antlers were tangled together -- by shooting them apart.
This is the moment two angry squirrels went head-to-head in a spectacular fight over food. The two red squirrels showed the lengths they will go to in order to protect their precious dinner as they can be seen charging at one another and scrapping in the sand as they viciously fought over a watermelon. One of the squirrels was enjoying his fruity snack in peace when he was approached by a brazen squirrel hoping to steal a bite of his meal.
Camel in the Family
Nathan Anderson-Dixon, his wife Charlotte, their 18-month-old son Reuben, Joe the camel and a reindeer.
Space Alien Is A Baboon
This is a close-up of the previous slide, which turned out to be a baby baboon found in South Africa on July 10, 2013.
This photo released by the New England Aquarium, in Boston Tuesday, July 24, 2012, shows a 21-pound lobster caught July 14 off Cape Cod, and donated to the aquarium where it will be displayed after a 30-quarantine period.
Parrot on Roller Skates
A parrot trained by Italian trainer Anthonie Zattu performs wearing a pair of rollerskates during the International Festival of Cirkus Art on Feb. 20, 2011, in Prague.
In art, there's primitivism and there's primate-vism. Meet Jimmy, a 26-year-old chimpanzee who can paint. Pictured while creating a painting on cardboard on Sept. 20 at a zoo in Niteroi, Brazil, the monkey's art works have caught the attention of zoological experts who plan a special exhibit for the chimp.
Camel in the Family
t's not every day you can say that a camel has shared your breakfast - unless you're Nathan and Charlotte Anderson-Dixon. Each morning they and their 18-month-son Reuben are joined by pet camel Joe, who pokes his head through their conservatory window to help himself to something to eat. The three-year-old happily munches eats bread, fruit and cereal plucked from the table at the family's detached country farmhouse. Joe, who measures 17.5 hands, loves bananas on toast but hates toast with cheese or Marmite. He lives with four other camels but is the only one to share breakfast with his owners. The others have to eat hay, barley, straw and corn mix in their stable in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Nathan, 32, has owned Joe for two years and uses him for camel racing.
Baby Raccoon Stuck In Sewer
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World's Longest Cat
Robin Henderson stretches her cat, Stewie, outside of her home in Reno, Nev. Stewie, a 5-year-old Maine Coon, has been accepted by Guinness World Records as the world's longest cat at 48.5 inches long. Unfortunately, Stewie passed away in February, 2013. He was 8.
Taxidermied Squirrel -- Dec. 2011
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Kayaker Snags Shark -- Sept. 2011
This is the jaw-dropping moment a canoeist landed a 6-foot shark after it dragged him through the water for 10 minutes. Brave Rupert Kirkwood, 51, had paddled a mile off the United Kingdom's Devon coast when he suddenly felt a snag on his line. The 70-pound beast nearly pulled him overboard, before pulling his 16-foot canoe through the water as he desperately clung on. After 10 minutes of wrestling with the beast, he eventually hauled the massive fish on board.
Dogs Behind The Wheel
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Li Zhiwei, a forestry worker in China, discovered this 19-inch earthworm in a gutter near his house. He plans to raise it as a pet.
Trouble, The Millionaire Dog
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Elephant with Prosthetic Leg
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Gorilla With Toothache
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Crocodile in Belgium -- Dec. 2011
A man holds a crocodile with tape around its mouth, as workers from the Natuurhulpcentrum, a wildlife rehabilitation center, collect several crocodiles at a villa in Lapscheure, near the Dutch border, on Dec. 22, 2011. Police discovered eleven Nile crocodiles and one alligator (all alive) in a villa rented by a German man, Rolf D., during an investigation into financial fraud.
This Little PIggie Has Two Snouts
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Lucy: World's Smallest Working Dog -- Nov. 2011
Lucy, a mini Yorkshire terrier from Absecon, New Jersey, is now in the Guinness Book of World Records. Weighing just 2 1/2 pounds, Lucy was named the world's smallest working dog last week, bumping out a 6.6-pound police dog in Japan.
The "alien" creature discovered in South Africa on July 10, 2013 is actually a baboon, a local veterinarian confirmed this week. The next slide is a close-up of the animal's head.