It takes minimal effort to coexist with coyotes. Here are some simple guidelines:
- Never feed coyotes. This is the one factor that has been associated with the 17 bites from coyotes which occur per year. For perspective, 1000 victims of dog bites are sent to our hospital emergency rooms EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- Never approach a coyote. Allow it its “safety space.” Approaching a coyote can be construed as a threat to them and should only be used to make them back off if they have approached your pet within 30-50 feet. Please see below.
- Don’t leave food out. This means pet food, empty pet bowls, bird seed on the ground, picnic food, dirty barbecue grills, or accessible garbage cans. Garbage cans can be secured to prevent any animals from getting into them.
- Keep your dog leashed in coyote areas. Dogs are prone to chase coyotes, and coyotes will chase back. Once on a chase, it is hard to recall your dog. Also, if you see a coyote, rather than allow antagonistic eye contact between it and your pet, keep walking in the other direction if possible. But don’t run: running by many animals is construed as an invitation to chase. Coyotes have been known to charge at dogs: keeping your pet leashed and close to you will minimize this possibility.
- Keep small pets protected. Small pets need to be kept indoors at all times unless you will be out with them to supervise.
- Be prepared to shoo a coyote away if there is an inadvertent encounter. Coyotes will avoid humans at all costs — you are bigger and smarter than they are, and they know this. But, since coyotes are protective of their territories, if you have a dog with you, you should be prepared for an emergency shoo-away. The best method we have found for this is to carry a folder newspaper in your pocket. If the occasion should arise, you should swing out that newspaper and slap it aggressively on your thigh as you face and even walk towards the coyote. It’s important not to stop until the coyote backs up. It is not only the noise which is important, it is the aggressive activity of hitting your thigh and your stare and approach. Practice a few times on a friend until you think you have it.
- During Pupping Season — about March through September — you’ll want to be especially vigilant for coyote parents who might be protecting their den areas or their youngsters. Just give them a wider girth.
For a very complete guideline, please visit the AWARE Wildlife Rescue website page on coyotes: http://www.awareone.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45&Itemid=9