US

Tally ho! As coyotes overtake foxes, American hunting clubs adapt to new quarry

  • In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 photo, hunt master William T. Stuart, from Fairfield County Hounds, collects the hounds for a hunt, in Bridgewater, Conn. At the last fox-hunting club in the state, it’s been three years since the last fox sighting and coyotes have become the hunters’ new quarry. Coyotes run fast and in rugged terrain they are nearly impossible to catch. None were caught this day. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

    In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 photo, hunt master William T. Stuart, from Fairfield County Hounds, collects the hounds for a hunt, in Bridgewater, Conn. At the last fox-hunting club in the state, it’s been three years since the last fox sighting and coyotes have become the hunters’ new quarry. Coyotes run fast and in rugged terrain they are nearly impossible to catch. None were caught this day. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 photo, riders from Fairfield County Hounds and dogs assemble for a hunt in Bridgewater, Conn. American fox-hunting, a sport so steeped in tradition that riders still wear ties and blazers and cry out “Tally ho!” at the sight of prey, is adapting to a dramatic change: Foxes have been displaced by coyotes which, in turn, have become the hunters’ new quarry. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

    In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 photo, riders from Fairfield County Hounds and dogs assemble for a hunt in Bridgewater, Conn. American fox-hunting, a sport so steeped in tradition that riders still wear ties and blazers and cry out “Tally ho!” at the sight of prey, is adapting to a dramatic change: Foxes have been displaced by coyotes which, in turn, have become the hunters’ new quarry. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 photo, hunt master William T. Stuart, of Fairfield County Hounds, feeds a biscuit to one of the dogs at the start of a hunt, in Bridgewater, Conn. American fox-hunting, a sport so steeped in tradition that riders still wear ties and blazers and cry out “Tally ho!” at the sight of prey, is adapting to a dramatic change: Foxes have been displaced by coyotes which, in turn, have become the hunters’ new quarry. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

    In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 photo, hunt master William T. Stuart, of Fairfield County Hounds, feeds a biscuit to one of the dogs at the start of a hunt, in Bridgewater, Conn. American fox-hunting, a sport so steeped in tradition that riders still wear ties and blazers and cry out “Tally ho!” at the sight of prey, is adapting to a dramatic change: Foxes have been displaced by coyotes which, in turn, have become the hunters’ new quarry. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)  (The Associated Press)

American fox-hunting is adapting to a dramatic change: Foxes have been displaced across much of the country by coyotes which, in turn, have become the hunters' new quarry.

At the last fox-hunting club in Connecticut, Bridgewater's Fairfield County Hounds, it's been three years since the last fox sighting.

Members say the coyotes are less playful than the foxes, but also much faster and harder to catch.

The bigger, stronger animals pose challenges, because they enter areas where hounds and riders on horseback cannot follow. That is a strain particularly on the few remaining fox-hunting clubs in the densely populated greater New York City area, where encroaching development is leaving hunters with less room to roam.