Being in a survival situation means you must adapt, and make the best possible use of what resources you have at hand. When it comes to necessities like water, shelter, and food, want will have nothing to do with it.
If you’re out of food and want to eat, all that matters knows what you can eat in the wild, that will provide your body with the fuel it needs under the circumstances.
This means you might well end up eating things, and animals, that you would never, ever consider eating otherwise. How about coyotes? Can you eat coyotes in a survival situation?
Yes, you can. So long as it is prepared and cooked properly coyote meat is a safe and nutritious option in a survival situation.
Coyotes have a decidedly mixed reputation, at best. Seen as pests and predators, or scavengers at the very best, they have long been thought of as inedible due to their own diets and due to a general cultural distaste for eating canines, at least in the United States.
But as it turns out, coyotes are not only safe to eat but generally have an agreeable flavor.
We will tell you everything you need to know about eating them for survival in the rest of this article.
Where Do Coyotes Live?
Coyotes are among the most successful and wide-ranging canines on Earth.
Covering the entire North American continent except the far north-eastern and north-central parts of Canada, coyotes can be encountered pretty much everywhere, though their numbers are greatest in the American West.
There are no coyotes, however, in Hawaii, despite long-running rumors to the contrary.
Coyotes typically inhabit open areas with plenty of cover in the form of trees, shrubs, and tall grasses. They are also found in semi-arid desert regions and in forested areas near water.
Coyotes are primarily carnivorous and can routinely be found anywhere their prey is, especially around ready sources of food in the form of small livestock and pets.
Coyotes typically eat rodents, rabbits, small mammals, and birds but will also eat fruit, vegetables, and carrion as well.
For the most part, coyotes stick to themselves and their packs but they will readily scavenge food from human sources, which is how they have gotten something of a bad reputation in recent years. Anywhere you can find their food while in North America, you can find coyotes.
Nutritional Profile for Coyote Meat
Coyote meat, like the meat of most canines, is surprisingly nutritious despite the cultural taboos associated with eating it in the Western world.
Coyote meat is high in protein and has a decent amount of fat, making it a great source of quick and sustained energy for hard-working bodies.
It also has a decent selection of vitamins and minerals, both equally important for long-term survival, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and vitamin B2.
Together these nutrients are linked to everything from supporting healthy metabolism to boosting the immune system and promoting cell growth.
All things considered, coyote meat is a pretty good option for survival situations if you can bag one of the wily creatures.
Don’t Coyotes Taste Bad?
Coyote has long had a reputation among hunters, trappers, and outdoorsmen as a “trash” meat, meaning meat that, while safe, is so unpalatable as to be virtually inedible.
Luckily for us, and perhaps unluckily for the coyote, this is just not true and the rumors associated with that assertion are either just that- rumors- or are the result of poor prep and cooking.
Coyote meat is generally considered to have a mild flavor not unlike that of pork though it is often described as fattier or slightly oilier than an equivalent cut of pork. One good quality of the meat is that it tends to resist drying out.
The overall taste of the meat can also vary depending on the diet of the coyote itself; those specimens that subsist mostly on taken livestock will taste sweeter, usually, than the ones subsisting on wild fare alone.
Can You Eat Coyote Raw?
No! You should never eat raw coyote unless you are in a situation of uttermost desperation for nutrients.
Raw coyote meat, like the meat of most animals, can contain all sorts of pathogens in the form of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Any number of them can make you devastatingly sick, and a few can kill you.
You can’t even afford to get sick considering the situation you are in – that’s why you are resorting to eating coyote in the first place!
Coyotes are known carriers of a number of diseases including rabies, parvovirus, and mange, all of which can be passed on to humans.
But, all of the above and many more can be eliminated if you just take the time to thoroughly cook your coyote meat.
Proper Cleaning and Cooking of Coyote is Essential for Safety
Prepping and cooking coyote is not all that different from prepping and cooking any other wild game you might find yourself in possession of.
The first thing you need to do is skin the animal and remove the entrails, as you would with deer or hog.
After that, you need to soak the meat in a brine solution for at least an hour or two if you have time and supplies.
This will help to tenderize the tougher cuts of meat and also to remove any blood that might be lingering in the muscle tissue.
Once you’ve done that, rinse off the meat and pat it dry. At this point, you can cook it however you like so long as the internal temperature of the meat reaches a sustained 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This will kill any germs present in the meat and make it safe to eat.
Coyote meat is suitable for being roasted, grilled, stewed, or even made into jerky if you have the supplies on hand to do so. No matter how you cook it, just make sure that you cook it thoroughly!
Can You Eat the Skin of a Coyote?
You could, but this is generally a bad idea. The skin of a coyote is covered in dense fur that will take a good while to remove, time that is better spent on dealing with the meat itself unless you are trying to use the fur for some other purpose.
This is not to mention the fact that it is tough as nails and generally not very palatable. For this reason, you can just discard it along with the entrails when you are cleaning the animal.
Can You Eat the Bones of a Coyote?
No. At least not directly; that is a great way to get broken teeth and lacerated intestines, or else just choke to death.
Humans are just not designed to eat bones the way that canines are. You can, however, crack or split the bones to extract the highly nutritious bone marrow within.
This can make a broth or stock that is healthy on its own, or that can then be used in soups or stews.
Alternately you can simply scoop out the marrow after opening the bone and add it to another dish or cook it gently and eat it as is.
This is a great, and safe, way to get nutrients from bones without actually having to eat the bone itself.
Can You Eat Coyote Organs?
Yes, you can, and coyotes have several that are good for eating though you’ll have to be careful in preparing them properly just like any other meat.
The liver and heart are generally considered to be the best parts of a coyote to eat, though caution is advised with the liver since it can be contaminated with various toxins due its function in the body.
Pay close attention to the condition of the liver when removing it; if it looks odd, has a weird texture, or foul smell, discard it!
The kidneys are a somewhat controversial option since they often have a nasty, urine-like taste if not expertly prepared (usually by a long soak in milk or water) prior to cooking.
The kidneys are, for this reason, a love-it-or-leave-it item on the menu of most hunters. The lungs are also edible but not quite as palatable as the other organs.
The stomach and intestines are also edible, as with most mammals, but require exacting care in expelling wastes and cleaning them prior to cooking if you want to avoid a very unpleasant experience.
It is probably best to avoid these organs unless you are absolutely confident in your ability to clean them properly.
The thought of eating coyote organs is enough to make the hardest survivor quail, but if you find yourself with harvest during a survival situation you should make the most of it!
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.