Living With Coyotes
Living with coyotes is a part of living in the woods. There were at least two coyotes on a game camera over the winter, far below the numbers we saw in our backyard 10 years ago. The population is under control now. In early March I had Ava and Zoey outside after sunset to run out some of their energy while I closed in the chickens and ducks. We know predators are here on a regular basis because we live in the woods. Still, hearing a coyote yip one hundred yards from where I was standing is surprising. I don’t like them after being stuck in the barn with Kristin one winter night by a coyote that planted itself between us and the house. We didn’t neglect to bring a dog out with us ever again. This is a story for another time.
The birds were tucked in for the night but noisy. The ducks quacked and splashed with their last pan of water for the night while Ava and Zoey played keep-away with a toy of some sort. The yip stopped them in their tracks. Ava’s familiar with coyotes but we doubt Zoey had ever heard or seen one. They were about 100 yards from the backyard. I put the dogs in, hid behind the edge of the garden shed with a rifle and yipped. A return yip, then a howl, and then my reply. We went back and forth several times until the coyotes moved away from me. They probably figured me out; I’m not much of a coyote caller.Living with coyotes isn’t difficult. It’s almost not even a thing. It takes a little thought and planning. The poultry has to be locked up when I’m not home and penned if I Ava isn’t outside to keep them safe, the same thing living required of other predators. During coyote mating season the dogs can’t be outside without one of us for long because too interested in pet dogs to be trusted. We usually see them only around sunrise and sunset, and they’re a rare sighting. Like bears, they probably see us more often than we see them. mink
Tips On Living With Coyotes
- Keep small livestock and poultry penned. Avoid temptation.
- Make a lot of noise if you see a coyote. Don’t let it get comfortable near your home and any areas outdoors you use on a regular basis.
- Keep cats and small dogs indoors.
- A livestock guardian dog is usually enough to keep coyotes away.
Living with coyotes is a growing issue. Do what you can to avoid conflict and call a game warden when necessary.