What we need to know about Coyotes
RBNW Quarterly Meeting October 17th, 2023
Guest speakers: Bill Moog and Allen Moore from the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife from the South Coast Region for San Diego.
Per Bill Moog and Allen Moore, not only are coyotes all over the neighborhoods, but they can also interact with small animals and can snatch a small dog, cat, chicken, and other small animals quickly.
Mountain Lions and Bob Cats have also been found in our local areas, but it is the coyotes that have really multiplied in number.
No one who has lost a loved pet to a coyote wants to hear that the coyotes were here first and how we humans have encroached on their territory.
Many residents complained that they can no longer enjoy their backyards, as coyotes can and have easily jumped over their 6-foot fences. It was clear from the emotional reaction to what info the speakers were relaying, that the residents wanted the coyotes relocated, trapped, or eliminated.
Bill and Allen explained our options.
1. It is ILLEGAL to feed wildlife. Residents should NOT leave out pet food and bowls of water for the coyotes. Sadly, many people still do. However, the Fish and Wildlife Dept. has NO authority other than to talk to the resident feeding the wildlife to explain the problems this causes. A warden can come out to possibly arrest the individual in violation, but even the warden needs actual proof of the violation, such as a picture or video of a resident feeding a coyote.
2. Homeowners can set up motion light detectors and/or motion detector sprinklers that go off when a coyote comes on their property, as coyotes do not like that water spray. This may or may not work.
3. Coyote fence tube rollers work in most cases but are useless in any fence less than 6 feet tall. The rollers sit on top of the fence, causing the tube to spin, preventing the coyote from gaining traction to get over the fence.
4. Constantia or barb wire may also prevent coyotes from entering property perimeters, if allowed by your neighborhood.
5. Residents are NOT allowed to shoot a crossbow, fire an air gun, a regular firearm, gun, rifle or even a pellet gun within city limits. Be aware of YOUR local laws.
6. You are NOT allowed to trap a coyote without a licensed permit and even then, there are numerous guidelines regarding whether a dangerous trapped coyote can be euthanized on site with approval or just released again at the same location. (code 2.151.) Even with a license to trap, the trap must be inspected daily.
7. The Fish and Wildlife Dept. does ask that residents REPORT any damage caused by a coyote, loss of pet, livestock. etc. It is encouraging that some department is keeping track of the loss, although no data was available at this meeting.
8. The department can relocate a bobcat – but not a coyote. Why not? Because a coyote returns to their territory and are creatures of habit. They are territorial and remain in their area and will often die if relocated. And often another coyote will just fill their spot, making relocation useless.
9. Residents should trim all bushes and low plants to avoid giving coyotes a place to make their den or raise their pups. If you have common areas with a HOA in charge, speak to your HOA management to trim and control the growth of places that coyotes can hide.
10. Other food sources that need to be removed to avoid enticing coyotes are fallen fruit on the ground from trees and uncovered trash cans.
11. When hiking or walking, keep your pets on a leash. If you have a small dog and a coyote approaches, pick up your dog to prevent the coyote from charging your pet on the ground. Keep pets INDOORS at night. Cats given freedom to roam day and night are particularly vulnerable to coyotes.
12. Coyotes are more active in the spring when feeding and protecting their young. It would be very rare for a human to be bitten by a coyote; however, a human could get hurt by trying to grab their pet in the clutches of a coyote, and coyotes can carry rabies.
13. Coyotes no longer have any real enemies. The wolves and mountain lions are mostly gone. Even a good-sized hawk can carry a 10-12 pound dog or cat away. Humans have made things too easy for coyotes to thrive by providing food, comfort, and shelter, shelter and then we quietly walk away to not provoke them. This is the opposite of what we should be doing! We need to learn to HAZE the coyotes!
14. WHAT is hazing? This is when we make things UNCOMFORTABLE for the coyote. When we see a coyote, we need to NOT run, but not unnecessarily approach them. Never lie down and play dead.
15. Instead, to haze the coyote, we should make ourselves look tall and BIG and yell LOUDLY, scream, stomp your feet, and wave your hands above your head. Maintain eye contact! If available, blow an air horn, a loud whistle, throw rocks at the coyote, and carry pepper spray if they approach. REPETITION IS THE KEY! You can spread wolf urine on your property to deter them. We are allowed to use a slingshot or fire a paintball at them. One suggestion given was to freeze the paintball to inflict a sting. (Ouch!)
16. In other words …WE must be more aggressive, and we need to adapt to the coyote to be their PREDATOR.
17. It was obvious that many in attendance were hoping for a better answer from the Fish and Wildlife Department speakers. Many were hoping for the relocation of this wildlife species.
18. Of course, all coyote bites must be reported and will be followed up by the warden. The department always gets involved to find and test a rabid animal – but in general, the responsibility is with us to be more aggressive in our dealing with coyotes.
Listed below is additional information on coyotes.
We can continue to log and notify the department when we have been endangered by coyotes and know where they have been sited and live if they are an immediate threat to you or other animals. (They will not respond to coyotes simply roaming.) The department number is 858-467-4257 (Mon-Fri.)
You can watch numerous videos on YouTube on “Hazing Coyotes” for tips.
This information is from RBNW Meeting Minutes from October 17, 2023, Provided by Secretary, Jan Semerad
WWW.RBNW.org October 2023