What to Do if You Encounter a Coyote

What to Do if You Encounter a Coyote

As coyote populations expand and more and more people encroach on their natural habitat, the chances of encountering a coyote are more and more likely. They have been spotted not only in wild rural areas, but they are now moving into more urban areas.

Just because you live in the city or suburbs does not mean that you are safe from encountering a coyote. Of course, the chances are still going to be higher in more wooded and less populated areas, but as many of us know, coyotes are intelligent creatures that are great at adapting.

This means that there are not afraid to live near us, especially if this means that they will be closer to food, shelter and water. If you are unlucky enough to come across a coyote during your normal routine, there are a few things you should and should not do to help ensure you remain safe.

What to do

  • If you have seen or are in the area that coyote may frequent, you should take some extra precautions and carry some sort of coyote deterrent. It could be as simple as carrying an air horn, whistle or some other noise maker or a big walking stick that may scare the coyote away.
  • Do not panic. Sometimes coyotes are known to shadow you throughout their territory just to make sure that you are not a threat to them or their den. If you do panic and run, you can be sure that they coyote will give chase, so continue going at your normal pace but keep an eye on the coyote’s activity.
  • If you fear that a coyote is too close, you can try to be big, bold and loud to scare it away. This animal is territorial and if you show fear or weakness they are more likely to attack. Never turn your back or run from the coyote. This will only lead to a higher chance of an Stand your ground but calmly move away from the coyote   without taking your eyes away from it.
  • If you happen to find yourself approached by an aggressive coyote, keep calm. If the coyote is snarling, growling and baring its fangs try throwing things like rocks near the area of the coyote. You can aim for their feet or other parts of their body but stay away from their head. This may entice the coyote to attack instead of retreat.

What not to do

  • Hunt, trap or remove the animal on your own. There are many precautions you need to take when removing a coyote, and in many states it is illegal to do so without the proper permits. You may even need permits to simply remove the animal, so play it safe both with the law and your livelihood by calling in professionals who can take the necessary precautions and know all of the local laws.
  • Never mess with the coyote’s den or move their young. As we stated before, coyotes are very territorial. They seek dominance and will only see your intrusion as you encroaching on their territory or property. This will only anger the coyote and will heighten the chances of you, your family and your pets of being attacked.
  • Never try to poison a coyote. There is no telling what damage you could do. You could inadvertently poison other animals, kids may come in contact with it or you could pollute the entire area and water supply. Also, there are many laws that prohibit this type of approach, so you could risk fines and incarceration if caught.
  • Never feed or try to befriend a coyote. Wild animals are called wild animals for a reason. They may seem like cute overgrown dogs to some of us, but they are not. They are wild animals that will act unpredictably. There are laws that prohibit the ownership of wild animals, and coyotes would certainly fall into this category.
  • As stated before, coyotes know when you are afraid and will see you as prey. If you run or act afraid in any manner, they will be more prone to attack. You need to keep your head and slowly move away from the animal without looking away.

Coyote encounters are becoming more and more common. The best thing to do is to know the facts and how to react when you do happen upon them.

If you do find a coyote on your property and want it removed, you need to call in the professionals. These animals can be dangerous and are highly intelligent. You can keep yourself and your family safe by relying on the help of someone who knows what to do and how to keep your property inhospitable to any other coyotes in the area.


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