As in the past years cities have been spreading more and more, turning wildlife areas into urbanized ones and destroying the animals' natural habitat, many of the latter have stick around until they could adapt to other types of habitat. This happened with coyotes, which developed a great ability of adapting to any habitat. They started coming closer and closer to urban areas, searching for food. That is why many people have coyotes surrounding their properties at the moment.
Coming from the same species as dogs, coyotes are wild animals, having a behavior which resembles that of a dog, with small modifications to fit the wildlife. As far as their relationship with humans is concerned, coyotes are frightened and feel threatened in our presence, thus offering humans an advantage they could exploit in many circumstances.
What To Do During A Coyote Encounter
1. Don't panic
Coyote encounters are quite frequent in some areas, and many people don't know how to react when such things happen. The most important aspect is not to panic. It will prevent you from thinking straight and make you even more confused and scared. Do not forget that coyotes can sense fear and can become even more aggressive.
2. Make loud noises
Keep in mind that coyotes shouldn't be feared and act accordingly. You should start making loud noises or yell, while waving your hands up and down, so that they will be intimidated by your behavior. If you happen to have an air horn or a device that makes loud sounds, use it. They will start seeing you as an enemy and regard you as a threat. Trying to scare them away is what you should do.
3. Don't run
Seeing yourself as the coyote's enemy will change your attitude and make them regard you as such. They can sense fear and there is a high possibility that they will be more offensive if you try to run scared. So running is not a good solution. Being similar to dogs, coyotes might become more aggressive if you start running away from them, and might decide to chase you.
4. Throw things
Even throwing things at them could be an efficient way in which to make them go away. If you have with you a cane, a walking stick or an intended club, you could try hitting the coyotes with it, possibly hurting them and making them dizzy for some moments, which will give you time to think about your next move (in case the coyotes haven't run scared already). That's why it is always good to be prepared when walking alone in areas with coyote populations.
5. Don't turn your back
If you happen to find yourself face to face with a coyote, it is very important not to turn your back to him - it will only make you feel uncertain. It is better to face the "danger" in order to avoid any unexpected moves.
All in all, coyotes are wild animals which should not be regarded as pets. Taking preventive measures against them is the best solution. Keep on reading to learn how you can prevent coyote encounters.
How To Protect Against Coyotes
Below you will find some tips on how to protect yourself, your family, home and pets against coyotes.
1. Adopt a distant attitude
It is very important to avoid approaching or feeding a coyote. At some moments they may seem peaceful, but you should not forget that they are wild animals. If you feed them they will regard you as a constant food source and come back for more. Coyotes can be survolating your property's surroundings either because they are curious or hungry, not because they want to attack you. But since they are opportunistic wild animals, they will take advantage of you if you are softer than necessary.
2. Throw away the garbage
Coyotes living near either large or small cities have thaught themselves to search food in the garbage people throw away. As they are intelligent animals, they found this easier way to survive. That is why randomly throwing away your garbage will become an attraction for coyotes. The disorganization of your garbage will transform your property into a coyotes' food source. They will definitely come back for some more. The solution is to avoid leaving food outdoors and sealing the gargabe as well as you can, making sure it is no longer on your property as soon as possible.
3. Keep your animals indoors
Besides coyote attacks on humans
, there have also been attacks on animals such as dogs and cats, both of them representing potential enemies for the coyotes. While dogs are a real threat to them, as they can defeat them in fights, cats chase birds, which coyotes are known to protect. You should train your pets to stay indoors, providing them with various activities that capture their attention and that resemble outdoor elements, such as brightly-coloured toys. You should train your dogs to wear a leash; big dogs might be able to kill a coyote, but not all of them know how to fight. It is highly recommended to spray your pets in order to prevent them from roaming and to feed them inside.
4. Build a fence
If you own a property, be it big or small, you should surround it with a fence, in order to protect yourself and everthing else which is on that perimetre. Fences should be made of strong materials, such as solid wood, and should be taller than 6 ft, in order to prevent coyotes from jumping over them. At this height, they will find it too difficult. You can either buy the materials and do it yourself, or get a team of professionals to do it for you. You should not forget the fact that coyotes enjoy digging very much, so you should install a 2 ft wiring in the ground. The sole building of the fence will prove to pointless without the underground wiring, as coyotes will try other ways of entering your property. You can also use a roller top extension, which can be put on top of the fence, making animals fail in their attempt to climb it.
5. Protect yourself
Fence with top extension
If you are scared that you might have to deal with a coyote while talking a walk in the woods or discovering the unknown parts of your property, you can wear a cane. A walking stick will do as good too. The existence of an object with which you can assure your defence will comfort you and make you feel stronger during a possible encounter with a coyote. It would be quite efficient, as you could throw it at the coyote or even hit it if it gets dangerously close to you. Another object you could carry with you all the time is smaller, and yet useful: a pepper spray. Spraying it into the eyes of the coyote will cause them temporal blindness, and thus, the incapacity of attacking with precision. Last but not least, you can carry a gun with you - this would be your best defence weapon, not only for coyotes but also other bigger animals.
6. Ensure your farm animals' safety
Firstly, you should know that coyotes are very much attracted to small rodents and rabbits, which are their favourite prey. They may appear as a result of food left unattended outside - try to get rid of that. Coyotes are known to have hunt chicken. A very interesting method of ensuring your animals' safety is bringing guardian animals, such as llamas, dogs or donkeys. Although this technique started to be recently used in the US, it is quite old and efficient.
During nighttime try to gather all your animals in fenced locations/closed buildings. Don't let your animals alone in the dark, even if they are in big numbers. It is necessary to follow the regulations and adapt to the changes they imply in order to make sure that coyotes are no longer a danger for your animals. You should regard any solution as a possible one and try as many as you can.
7. Trim your vegetation
If you happen to have fruit trees within the perimeter of your property, it is advisable to dispose of them, as their fruits, either the ones still on the branches or the ones that have fallen on the ground, may attract small rodents through their smell and colour. Making your property unattractive for small animals is an efficient method of keeping coyotes away. As they are used to living in different habitats and protecting themselves from predators, coyotes surely find the best places to hide. Overgrown trees and bushes can prove to be such hiding places. By trimming them you will eliminate such coyote hiding places.
8. Supervise your property's perimeter
A method you should try is installing motion detector lights along your property. The lights will turn on whenever there will be something moving, drawing your attention. Coyotes prefer to avoid such lightened areas. Instant dense light will scare them back into the bushes. The constant enlightenment of small areas will make the coyotes tired and uncomfortable.
Coyotes (especially in big numbers) may be scary, but if you follow the above mentioned tips you should encounter no more problems with these animals. Remember that there are various ways in which you can protect yourself and your dear ones. You also have numerous possibilities of winning a potential fight so, without panicking, take attitude!
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