I had a close encounter with coyotes more than once and these are my tips on how to protect yourself from coyotes.
In case you like to take walks out in nature then you must be prepared to act if you come across the local wildlife.
Coyotes are one of the species that are most commonly met, plus they are drawn by populated areas as they see human settlements as great places to scavenge for food.
Also, in the past years, to the continuous expansion of cities, farms, and extensive deforestation, humans shrunk the natural habitat of the coyote and of other wild animals as well, which explains why the possibility of one-on-one encounters with coyotes increased.
Just like any other wild animals, a coyote will not attack unless it feels cornered or in danger.
So, meeting a coyote doesn’t mean that it will end up badly.
If you know how to react, regardless if you see a coyote on a forest path or in your backyard, you will manage to avoid dangers.
How to protect yourself from coyotes?
when approaching to write this article I immediately reminded of the sad and horrible story of Taylor Mitchell.
Taylor Mitchell, a 19-year-old singer, and poet from Toronto was in the midst of a tour in the east coast of Canada when a group of coyotes interrupted her journey to success – and her life in October 2009.
Mitchell took a designated route through the Cape Breton Park in Nova Scotia, and during the trip was attacked by the coyotes for some unknown reason.
Bridget Ledger of the Canadian Mountain Police told reporters in Toronto that hikers heard Taylor’s screams for help and called the rescue forces.
The police managed to reach the park quickly and even killed one of the wolves, but the other wolf managed to escape.
The singer was evacuated by helicopter to the hospital in the nearby town of Halifax.
During the evacuation, she was still alive, but in the hospital, they could no longer save her.
“Attack of coyotes – rare”
Coyotes are very common on the North American continent. Zoological expert Bob Bancroft explains that coyote’s attack is a very rare event. “Usually they get away from humans, and they usually prey on small animals or scavengers,” he explained.
“It’s very rare, I do not think it will be repeated, and I do not expect the coyotes to become dangerous predators,” said the expert from the Nova Scotia Zoological Center.
Although it is very rare, the danger exists and this is what you have to know in order to prevent such horrible events.
By nature, the coyotes are fearful animals and will avoid, by all costs, direct contact with humans.
However, our paths can cross with those of a coyote, if we live close to an area where coyote prey lives or during the mating season of coyotes.
When in search for prey, a coyote may choose the shortest trajectory to its favorite hunting grounds, which may pass through people’s backyards or even streets, especially in areas close to open spaces.
To make sure that a coyote will not stay on your property for too long, you should make sure that there is no food left in the reach of the coyote.
This also means to make sure that you have secure trash bins outside your house.
Still, coyotes are often seen during the mating season, which takes places starting with the month of January and until March.
This is when young coyotes will leave their families with the purpose of starting their own.
Because they are not fully familiarized with the areal, they may end up too close to human settlements.
But, again, they will be passing by only.
Just make sure that your pets and small children are secure if you know that you live in an area with coyotes.
While it can be scary to see a coyote close to you, these animals usually run away at the sight of humans.
Still, there are cases in which they will stick around and even follow people.
If a coyote won’t go away at the mere sight of you, then you should start taking precaution methods.
What to do when a coyote follows you?
There are a few things you can do to intimidate the coyote and convince it that it is better to leave the premises.
First of all, never turn your back on a coyote or run away.
They are prey animals and your fleeing action may trigger their predator instincts.
Instead, stay where you are and act as big and as loud as you possibly can.
This means to raise your arms in the air and wave them, clap your palms, and yell loudly by using an authoritative tone.
If you will appear as a large and dangerous target in the eyes of the coyote, it will choose to leave and avoid any kind of confrontation.
How to threat a coyote in your backyard?
If you have a coyote lounging in your backyard, it could be useful to use pans, pots, whistles, or air horns to make a lot of noise and drive the coyote away.
The noises you make will also alert your neighbors so you can join forces in driving the animal away from the property.
If you can find small sticks, stones, balls, or anything else that can be thrown in the direction of the anima, it’s something you can also do to chase the coyote away.
Just do remember that you should not throw things to injure the coyote, but to intimidate it, so don’t intend to hit the animal.
Believe it or not, you can use a squirt gun loaded with a mixture of water and vinegar, spraying the content in the direction of the animal.
The coyote won’t appreciate the smell of the vinegar and will choose to walk away.
If you have a water hose in handy, spraying water in its direction may also drive it to leave.
Another way to scare a coyote is by shaking an empty soda can that was previously filled with small pebbles or coins or by using a “coyote shaker”, as the noise you’ll make will be unpleasant for your unwanted guest.
You should also talk with your neighbors about these methods as they are most effective when done in a group.
Still, it is worth mentioning that you should not use intimidation methods if you see a coyote with pups around or if the animal appears to be injured or sick.
In this case, you should call local authorities in charge of wildlife or the police.
The previously mentioned methods, called “hazing”, will work for a lone coyote or a small pack.
The methods should be used continuously until the coyote leaves the area.
Some animals will choose to walk away for a small distance and then stop or return.
In this case, you need to continue with the hazing until the animal leaves for good.
But, if there are food sources in the area, the coyote may choose not to leave or to return in a short notice.
Thus, all food sources must be removed.
Never leave small pets or children unattended in the outdoors.
If you want to walk your dog in the outdoors, make sure to do have your dog on a leash, so it won’t wander too far away from you.
What to do in case you come across a coyote on a path?
First of all, establish and maintain eye contact and begin to slowly back away without losing your eye contact with the animal.
If you have a backpack, raise it above your hands or open your jacket so that you will look bigger.
Shout and make loud noises to scare the coyote.
Throw sticks or stones, if possible, in the direction of the coyote.
In case you’re encountering a pack of coyote, make yourself look big and make loud noises, avoiding any kind of contact with the pack or to show signs of aggression.
It is not so rare to meet coyotes in the wild, therefore, knowing how to protect yourself from coyotes is very important.
Usually, a coyote will run away when encountering a human being.
To avoid pulling them to you, do not leave food outside your camping or house.
If you do happen to encounter a coyote, don’t turn your back to him, instead, raise your hands and make loud voices as possible.
Always keep children and pets close to you while in nature.
I hope that now you know better how to protect yourself from coyotes.
If you have any comments or suggestions please leave them here below.