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Weston's Animal Control Officer Karen O'Reilly has posted helpful tips, FAQs, and other items of interest regarding Weston's wildlife, farm animals, and house pets.

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Jun 29

How to Deal with a Bold Coyote

Posted on June 29, 2018 at 11:45 AM by Kara Fleming

Although it is a rare occurrence to encounter a bold coyote, it can occur in spring to early summer during "Pupping Season." In the event of a coyote encounter while on Weston's trails,
it is important to think through the actions that should be taken to prevent an escalation, so know what you are observing. There are several measures that have proven to be useful for people when they happen upon a bold coyote.

Pupping Season & Shadowing
Pupping season is typically from March until May when coyote pups are born to the time they are weaned. From late spring through early summer, coyote pups start leaving their dens to explore and learn to hunt for themselves. During this time frame, adult coyotes are watching over the pups and dens to protect them from danger.

Coyotes are known to “shadow” people who are walking through their territory. This is not to be taken as threatening behavior but is simply the coyote ensuring predators stay away from their young. If the coyote stays at a distance, just make sure your pet is leashed and continue out of the area.

If it Follows
Evaluate all situations carefully before taking action. Coyotes are naturally afraid of people, but if the coyote does approach you, here are some methods that can help:
  • Stand your ground. Be assertive and make loud noises. Be a source of discomfort to the coyote. 
  • If it continues to approach or acts aggressively, throw rocks in the coyote’s direction and swing a branch. 
  • Do not turn your back on the coyote or run away. Instead, back away slowly. 
  • If you’ve had an encounter with a bold coyote, note the area where it occurred and report it to Animal Control. 

Coyotes are creatures of habit and have defined territories so it is best to avoid that area for a while. You might also consider walking with a vinegar-filled water gun. When directed toward a coyote the powerful smell acts as a deterrent.