Imagine hiking alone through the woods and you come across a group of coyotes. What do you do? In this article, we will explain how to protect yourself from coyotes. Coyotes are not normally aggressive toward humans, in fact, they are usually afraid and timid and will typically avoid human interactions altogether. Most coyotes weigh between 15-45 pounds and are about 56 cm (23-26 inches) in height. They can be found all throughout North America and Canada, so spotting a Coyote while driving, camping, or walking in your neighborhood is not all that uncommon.
Unlike other animals, coyotes have easily adapted into 21st-century environments. If you were to ever come across a coyote while walking, camping, or hiking, then there are some steps you need to take in order to keep you and your pets safe.
Step 1. Appear aggressive– As stated above, coyotes are usually timid in nature and for the most part will not attack humans, therefore it’s recommended to make loud noises or appear bigger to run them off. The best practice is to put your arms above your head and make loud noises to let the coyote know you mean business. Most coyotes will get the point and run away.
Step 2 Don’t Run. A coyotes’ natural instant is to chase down animals that run away from them, so it would be unwise to take off running if you happen to come across one. Plus coyotes can run up to 45 miles per hour which means you will have no chance in outrunning them.
Step 3 Carry a weapon. It’s always good practice to carry some type of weapon when walking or hiking. There are some good nonlethal deterrent weapons out there such as a taser stick or animal pepper spray.
Step 4 Avoid Hiking at night. Coyotes are nocturnal in nature and do most of their hunting at night. One way to protect yourself from a coyote attack is to avoid them altogether. If you live in an area populated with coyotes then try to avoid walking or hiking at night.
Step 5 Don’t be stupid – Use common sense, if you come across a coyote or a group of coyotes and decide you want to pet or play with them, just remember they are still wild animals and can be very dangerous. You’d be surprised how many people get attacked each year by doing stupid things such as taking selfies or interacting with wild animals.
What attracts Coyotes
Coyotes are top predators in their habitat, but they are also scavengers and opportunist. It’s not uncommon to see a coyote eating dead corpses or out of trashcans. Surprisingly, coyotes have been caught many times eating dog food. If you don’t want any coyotes hanging around your yard, then make sure your trash is secured properly and your pet food it sealed up.
They generally have a large diet and will eat just about anything smaller than them and at times larger. If you keep cats or smaller dogs outside and live in a wooded environment, then that could very well attract coyotes. Also if you live in an area where there’s a large population of squirrels, rabbits, and deer then, you could also attract Coyotes.
Do coyotes attack people
As stated before, coyotes are very timid toward people and will typically try to avoid them. Over the past 40 years, there have only been 348 confirmed coyote attacks on people and only two attacks were fatal. That’s not bad compared to the millions of dog attacks reported each year. So to answer the question do coyotes attack people, My best answer would be no and if you did witness a coyote attack, it would be extremely rare.
When are coyotes most aggressive
Coyotes tend to be more aggressive during the months of March thru August, this is typically breeding time and pup rearing season for coyotes. Based on studies done by wildlife interaction, they saw an increased amount of attacks during the above time period. So if you are located in an area where there are a lot of coyotes just be mindful of the time period.
How to protect your dog from a coyote attack
If you have a small dog under 30 pounds then your dog is at risk of being attacked by a coyote. Coyotes are expert hunters and will have no problem snatching a small dog in a matter of seconds. If you’re walking your dog, just be mindful of your surroundings and bring some type of protective equipment to fend off attacks. If you keep your dogs in the back yard, make sure your fence is at least six feet high and six inches deep. Also, watch for holes and broken areas on your fence. Remember coyotes are scavengers, so cover up all dog food, trash or bird seeds.