Living With Coyotes on the Homestead
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 alarming.The birds were tucked in for the night but noisy. 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 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. We had a coyote howling in the backyard, circling the meat chicken pen and trying to dig under fence to get into the duck and chicken pen this fall. There are pictures but we didn’t see it with our own eyes.
Tips On Living With Coyotes
- Keep small livestock and poultry penned. Avoid offering a coyote any kind of 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. If you hear them too close to the homestead you can hit the panic button on your vehicle’s key fob to set off the alarm.
- Keep cats and small dogs indoors unless supervised.
- A livestock guardian dog is usually enough to keep coyotes away.
- Persistent coyotes can be removed. I asked a local trapper to deal with our problem. Five days later she stopped in to show me the first coyote she trapped. Problem solved.
- In my state, predators may be shot if they’re caught in the act of harassing livestock. If I’d been able to catch the coyotes trying to get to the birds I could have shot it.
Living with a coyote or coyotes is a growing issue. Do what you can to avoid conflict and call a trapper or game warden when necessary.