Yesterday evening I heard what sounded like a small pack of coyotes moving through the area, yapping and cutting up like a canine street gang making their presence known and threatening to hurt anyone who got in their way.
When I let my dogs out for their bed time potty run I made sure all the floodlights were on and I went out with them carrying a strong flashlight. I hoped that lights and a human presence would be enough deterrent if, indeed, one or more coyotes were in the immediate area. My yard is fenced, but most fences mean little to coyotes.
Later, as I was sitting in bed reading, I heard a single blast of what sounded like a shot gun. Very near by. Then it got real quiet. I was cautious again this morning, but it sounded like that pack of punks learned a little respect for humanity.
Is This Even Possible?
Is it possible that coyotes are in our area? We’ve not had them before.
Oh yes! I know people who have personally told me of their own encounters with coyotes. These people live along O’Neil Road: just to the north west of us, and in Bridgeport: just to the north east of us. My neighbor says he saw one walking up our driveway towards the woods one morning a while back. So, yes: this is a real threat and a grave concern to me.
Dealing With Coyotes
According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, this is how to deal with coyotes:
- Do not feed coyotes!! When coyotes begin associating humans with food they loose their natural fears and may become dangerous.
- Eliminate water sources. These areas attract rodents, birds, and snakes which the coyote will prey upon.
- Position bird feeders so coyotes can not get to the feed. Coyotes may also be attracted to birds and small mammals that have been lured in by the feeder.
- Do not discard edible garbage. Coyotes are opportunistic and will eat any table scraps.
- Secure garbage containers. Use trash barrels with lids that clamp down tight even when tipped over.
- Do not place trash cans out the night before scheduled pick-up. Placing cans out in the morning before pick-up will give coyotes less time to scavenge. They will not have cover of darkness.
- Do not leave barbecue grill outside and uncovered. The smell of the grill and the contents of the grills drip pan attracts coyotes.
- Feed pets indoors whenever possible. Remove any leftovers if feeding outdoors. Store pet food in areas not accessible to other animals.
- Clear brush and weeds from around property. This deprives the coyote’s prey (small mammals and birds) of protective cover and deters coyote from hunting around your property.
- A fenced yard may deter coyotes. The fence must be at least 6 feet high. Preferably the bottom of the fence should extend 6 inches below ground level.
- Do not leave small children outside alone if coyotes have been frequenting the area.
- Do not allow pets to run free. Provide secure housing especially at night. Small pets (cats, rabbits, small dogs) are favorite prey of coyotes.
- Discourage coyotes from frequenting your area. Harass them by throwing rocks, shouting, and making loud noises when one is seen. [shotguns work too!]
- Learn more here: Coyote Control