What To Do If You Spot a Coyote

Coyotes are often found in packs, but you can also have an encounter with a lone coyote. While they are primarily scavengers, coyotes are not animals you should ignore.

Mar 23, 2023By Adeline Ee
what to do if you spot coyote

Instead, when you encounter a coyote, the method of approach you need should be aggressive and unwelcoming. It should be unpleasant and uncomfortable for the coyote so that it changes its behavior and turns away. If you can help it, do not play the victim. Whatever you do, do not run from the animal, or show that you are nervous or scared.

In this blog post, we’ll look at how you should deal with coyote encounters and what actions you’ll need to take.

What To Do When You Meet a Coyote Outdoors

coyote in neighborhood

If you meet a coyote on a hiking trail, it is best to portray aggressive behavior towards the coyote until it leaves the scene. Carry some sort of whistle or a loud rattle like coffee beans in a tin can etc. This will scare off a coyote that won’t budge from your area. You can carry bear spray if there are many coyote sightings in the area that you’re hiking.

If a coyote appears threatening, start yelling loudly, throwing sticks, rocks, or anything you can find to get it to move. Whatever you do, do not run. Running will encourage it to chase you as you will seem like the prey. Make yourself appear large and dangerous so that you do not look weak or like an easy target.

What To Do If a Coyote Comes into Your Yard

coyote in yard

If a coyote comes into your yard, some experts suggest leaving the coyote if it happens to be just passing through during the day. Leaving them alone if they are not causing conflict is always best, as provoking it might only cause aggression in the animal. If you happen to spot an aggressive and fearless coyote, report animal control immediately before the animal causes some sort of damage. Keep all loose pets and children indoors.

If the coyote refuses to leave, you’ll have to be firm and chase it off. Throw rocks, sticks, or any other objects are the coyote and clap loudly and aggressively. Shout in a deep, angry voice and try to scare it off. You can also try banging on pots and pans loudly to get it to leave.

In non-life-threatening encounters, it is always best to leave the coyote as it is, and it'll eventually leave. If you spot the nocturnal animal during the day, it has either sensed the presence of food or it could just be crossing by. Try to keep your bins indoors until pick-up day or buy bear-proof lids for your garbage bins.

Preventing Coyotes from Coming into Your Yard

coyote roller fence

Coyotes aren’t as uncommon as you may think. Coyotes probably live somewhere around you and you should be careful about it. There are three things a coyote might want; food, water, and shelter.

Garbage bins with scraps of meat or fish will attract coyotes as they can sniff it out from a distance. Installing a motion-sensor sprinkler is also a good way to keep any unwanted animals out of your yard.

Try to keep an eye on where the coyote came from and where it went. It’ll help you understand why it came to your yard in the first place or why it’s passing by. Has it found shelter somewhere near your house or your neighbor's house? Is someone promoting wildlife feeding and attracting coyotes into the neighborhood?

Fence your yard with the fence mesh at least 6 to 12 inches beneath the soil with the bottom in an "L" shape so the coyote cannot dig its way through. The height should be a minimum of 6 feet.

The type of place a coyote may settle for shelter can be a poorly trimmed bush. The area beneath porches or the area beneath sheds. Brush piles or wood piles can also be used as shelters. The most common area people see coyotes come from towards their houses are heavily wooded areas nearby.

The best way to minimize coyote sightings in your area is by leaving no area unoccupied and empty. For example, trim your bushes often and try to cover up and secure the area beneath your shed or porch. It is recommended to have at least 6 inches of mesh beneath the soil so that the coyote cannot dig its way through.

Why Are Coyotes Such a Problem?

coyote walking

Coyotes are increasingly coming into urban neighborhoods, and they are a problem for numerous reasons. First, they prey on small animals such as rabbits, rodents, and deer, which can destabilize populations of these animals. They can also go for household pets, like cats and smaller dogs. Second, they often carry diseases such as rabies, which can be transmitted to other animals and even humans.

Third, they can be aggressive towards humans, especially if they feel threatened or if they are protecting their young. Finally, coyotes sometimes form packs, which can further increase the level of damage they cause. For these reasons, it is important to take steps to control the coyote population.

There are a number of ways to do this, including hunting, trapping, and poisoning. However, these methods can be dangerous and are often ineffective. A better approach is to use deterrents such as fences, loud noises, and bright lights. These methods can help to keep coyotes away without harming them.

There are many coyote encounters that end peacefully but coyotes are still predators, and it is better to be safe than sorry. With these few measures, you can make sure that all your coyote encounters end well.

Adeline Ee
By Adeline Ee

Adeline graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Marketing. Originally from Singapore, she is a fanatic dog-lover and volunteers her time to help strays whenever she can, participating frequently in spay and neuter programs.