I think we must be referring to different articles, because I could not find the statements you referenced in "Top Ten Badass Animals Native to the USA," the piece I am criticizing. The reason it is crap is that this article continues to promote the sensationalistic fixation on death by predators, neglecting to mention the very real hazards that are more worthy of attention. I don't believe it even has the animal hazards straight. The biggest animal killer in the USA, year in and year out, is the honeybee - anaphalactic shock.

I don't have the stats handy, but I believe dogs, wild and domestic, kill far more people than coyotes in a typical year.

I have lived in Arizona or SoCal for the last fifty years, and I have seen a lot of coyotes. One of the more recent was slightly more than a quarter mile from my house in a neighbors yard. I can hear them every morning as I pick up the paper. I have also seen bobcats in town and black bears are reported in nearby communities. We bring our critters in at night and stay alert.

One of the nice things that coyotes do is keep the rodent population in balance. Rodents are another killer, carrying various diseases. Right now there is a fair amount of concern about rodent borne hanta virus, which has killed far more people than coyotes ever have. When hanta virus was diagnosed, I found I had been working for several years at the Arizona locality (del Muerto canyon) where the syndrome was first identified. I have also worked in the midst of a bubonic plague outbreak, another charming illness for which rodents are an indirect vector. I say bring on the coyotes!

About fifteen people a year die from rattlesnake bites, a pretty paltry total. It is easy to learn the proper techniques that will increase your odds considerably. Oh yes, rattlesnakes chow down on rodents too.

It is easy to take an extreme position on what is clearly a very emotional topic, judging from the internet chatter. I am sure there are situations where problem bears, coyotes, etc. really should be put down, after careful analysis.

The thing is that when you are assessing hazards attendant upon outdoor activities, know what the real hazards are. Falls are a prominent cause of fatalities, as are extreme weather conditions, both hot and cold. Drowning is a big killer. Be alert to these problems, and you have increased your chances of surviving enormously. Keep the animal problems in their proper perspective.

Wild critters are a problem, and anyone competent in the woods learns the right techniques for dealing with whatever is in the vicinity. The article dissed the often given advice to stand your ground and not run when faced with a black bear. The statistics, as well as my personal experience, indicates that this does work. Incidentally, if you want to avoid bear trouble, one of the most important things to do is keep a clean camp, a fundamental strategy of course not even mentioned to the article.

I am sure I preaching to the choir in discussing most of these issues, but I really hate to see such misleading tripe fed to people who might not know any better.

Upon further review, this article is still crap.