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What to do if you encounter a coyote

coyote while crossing the street into Sequoia National Park

The Humane Society has suggested some ways to stay safe when faced with a coyote that seems aggressive or bold.

Normally if you see a coyote that doesn’t run away it’s because it has been fed. It’s probably looking for a handout, according to the Humane Society’s guidelines.  What you need to do is re-instill its fear.

Hazing, or making use of scare techniques, is one way to do that. Here are some suggestions:

  • Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote
  • Noisemakers: Voice, whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of marbles or pennies, pots, lid or pie pans banged together
  • Projectiles: sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls or rubber balls
  • Other: hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray or bear repellent

The Humane Society said the easiest way to scare off a coyote is to be large and loud.

  • Stand tall, wave your arms, and yell at the coyote, approaching them if necessary, until they run away as demonstrated in this coyote hazing video.
  • If a coyote has not been hazed before, they may not immediately run away when you yell at them. If this happens, you may need to walk towards the coyote and increase the intensity of your hazing.
  • The coyote may run away, but then stop after a distance and look at you. It is important to continue to go after the coyote until they completely leaves the area.  You may need to use different tactics, such as noisemakers, stomping your feet, or spraying the coyote with a hose, to get them to leave.

Click here to see the Humane Society’s tips for keeping pets safe from coyotes.

After News 8’s Christina Hepner launched her report on the coyote problem in Colona, other viewers shared their observations about coyotes in their towns.

Here’s what some of our viewers had to say on Facebook:

“Oh they are getting bolder and bolder. As a “country girl” myself / they are pretty brave. And if you run into a pack of them, it could get nasty.”
“We live in the country and 3 came and surrounded my neighbor while she was jogging. We also had one baiting our dog last year from the corn field across the street. My husband fired blind at it into the corn…it moved 5 foot…started barking again…he fired again…it moved again…they are losing their fear…”
“I agree coyotes are losing their fear of us. Even deer that live in town really have little fear of us. My family that lives in the country, if a deer sees you, they take off right away. I live in Rock Island and the city deer just stand and stare at you, usually you can get pretty close before they finally take off.”
“There have been a few stories of them being bolder lately. It wasn’t too long ago I read of a dog being attacked in its yard. Even deer are approaching people.”
“I carry a golf club when I walk the dog, mace will also work. She should have something especially if walking alone. Why takes a chance on that coyote not being afraid of you, sickly or so hungry it could care less”
“They are all over in Atkinson as well. When we’re sitting on our porch at night, we see coyotes and foxes running around the park and up and down our sidewalk. They don’t come up on the porch, but they don’t shy away from us either!”