Curious Coyote

Despite being a fully-grown adult, I can have the imagination of a 6 year old. It takes mere whiffs of suggestion to get my mind going

When I read Keep The Tail Wagging's excellent post about a coyote run-in with one of her pups and how to prevent it, I had my moment of concern. We see coyote scat on the driveway all the time. They use our driveway as a corridor to travel between the densely wooded land in which we live, into the rural farming areas around us. I saw a young coyote, such a sweet-looking small thing, on our driveway once. Aside from moments of wild imagination, I tend to keep my concerns in check. Until this week. Unprompted, I looked up from my desk and out my office window. You can imagine my surprise when I saw a coyote, sitting right outside my my garden. Just sitting there, like the poodles do when the sun is shining and they want to soak it all up. The difference was, it was raining, and this was no poodle. It was a fully-grown coyote. I reached for my cell phone, but by the time I fumbled with the camera, he had got up and started calming walking away.

Bad photo, but proof of the coyote walking away!
  Well, couple this incident with my vast knowledge of rabies (knowledge gathered primarily from public radio), my imagination has run a little wild this week. I've been very wary of letting the poodles out into the yard unattended.

Of course, since then I haven't seen or heard any coyotes. It was probably a one-off, curious coyote. Like any good 21st century citizen, I've also Googled the whole thing and it sounds very unlikely that a coyote would approach the sounds of an occupied home, never mind challenge a large dog. When I saw the coyote I was working quietly and the dogs were asleep, so as far as the coyote was concerned there were no discernible people sounds to deter it. There are some precautions that can be taken though, to discourage their visiting.
  • Keep garbage well stored - check!
  • Clean up rotting fruit and veg from your garden - check!
  • Don't leave animal feed out - check!
Were I to encounter a coyote that didn't instantly run away, I don't want the poodles to chase it nor should I turn around and run away. I need to make myself large and intimidating. This can be achieved by unzipping my jacket and holding it open above my head while shouting something scary like "go away"! Making startling sounds, like banging or clapping, can help too. Hikers sometimes carry noisemakers to scare coyotes away, similar in concept to the bear bell.

Where the wild things are!
When living in the woods, sometimes wild animals venture closer than we want or expect but they quickly realize we're here and keep their distance. In fact, being so close to the wild is one thing I love about living here. I'll try to be realistic, wise, and careful, while keeping my imagination stored away for another time.

Poodles at Play


  1. Mom and I like to go walking, but thankfully we've never run into any coyote! We do have them in the area where we live, but in all her years she has only seen ONE and that was just earlier in the year super early in the morning on her way to work.

    1. Glad to hear you haven't encountered any on your walks! I think they are normally very good at keeping their distance!

  2. After Rodrigo's encounter with the coyote, the territory was reformed and within 6 months, they stopped crossing our property; now they go around. We only find deer poop on our property (and cat poop one day next week - neighbor's cat). Despite the change, I try to be vigilant when we're outside. I never go out first thing in the morning or at dusk with Rodrigo, because if he catches a scent, he's gone. The other dogs are good at listening to me and staying close.


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