Coyotes: How to Control Them


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Coyotes are increasing in number not decreasing so they are not an endangered species. Unfortunately people feed them and they become bold and come to human habitations to get what they can, which may include pets and even small children. Here are the guidelines of the Department of Fish and Game:

To avoid problems with coyotes, people should follow these guidelines from the Department of Fish and Game:

  • Never feed a coyote - Deliberately feeding coyotes puts pets and other residents in the neighborhood at risk and it's against the law to feed coyotes or other wildlife. Also, people can inadvertently feed coyotes by leaving pet food or garbage where they can get it. Feed pets indoors or promptly remove outdoor dishes, bring bird feeders in at night, store bags of pet food indoors, and use trash cans with lids that clamp shut.
  • Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings - Reduce protective cover for coyotes and make the area less attractive to rodents. Coyotes, as well as other predators, may be attracted to areas where rodents are concentrated, such as wood piles and seed storage areas.
  • Protect children - Although rare, coyotes have been known to attack and seriously injure young children. Never leave small children unattended in areas known to be frequented by coyotes, even in familiar surroundings, such as a backyard.
  • Protect pets and livestock - Keep small pets such as cats, rabbits, and small dogs indoors, especially at night. They are easy, favored prey. Coyotes have been known to be responsible for a large number of cat disappearances in a single residential neighborhood.
  • Use negative reinforcement - If coyotes are present, make sure they know they're not welcome. Make loud noises, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose. To keep coyotes wild or to prevent a coyote from becoming habituated to humans, it is important that coyotes retain their natural wariness of humans.
If coyotes are causing you problems and endangering your animals and family, the coyotes need to be dealt with. It would not be wise for you to kill the coyotes yourself for several reasons. Coyotes are not as easy to kill as you might think. They often travel in pairs or groups and killing one may not improve the situation. If you fail to kill it outright it could attack and may have rabies. Even if you succeed, it may be dangerous to handle the body.

The best thing to do is call the fish and game warden or animal control authorities in your area and ask them to do the job for you. They will not capture the animal and relocate it as has been done in the past because that policy has caused more problems than it solved. They will kill it and dispose of the body in a sanitary way.


Jack Wilson is an artist and writer in Tempe, Arizona:



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