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The Broomfielder

Protecting Your Pets While Living with Coyotes

Aug 31, 2019 07:19AM
If you subscribe to Nextdoor or any of Broomfield’s Facebook groups you are sure to read regular posts about Broomfield residents’ encounters with wildlife, in particular coyotes. The
recent Denver Metro Area Coyote Behavior Study , led by Dr. Stewart Breck with the USDA
National Wildlife Research Center provides several insights:

  •  Coyotes live in higher population densities in urban areas.
  •  Coyotes build their dens and primarily reside in natural areas and open space, but they do hunt everywhere - including in residential areas.
  • Urban coyotes are most active at night, but they can be active during the day.
  •  About 92% of coyote conflicts reported between 2003 and 2010 were incidents involving
  • pets. Over 90% of pet-attacks occurred near a resident's home or backyard. Of the pet-
  • attacks that occurred in open space, 87% involved dogs off-leash.
  •  Less than 3% of coyote conflicts were attacks on humans.
One of the most important actions related to living with coyotes, is to protect your pets. Coyotes
are opportunistic hunters. If they see an animal that they can easily prey upon, they will. It’s up to
you to keep your pet safe so stay near. Colorado Parks and Wildlife recommends always being
within five feet of your pet.

Here are some other tips:

  •  Keep cats indoors.
  •  Always supervise your pet outside. Do not leave your pet unattended in your yard.
  •  Keep dogs on a short leash (six feet or less).
  •  Avoid known or potential den sites and areas of thick vegetation.
  •  Do not allow dogs to "play" with coyotes or foxes.
  •  Do not leave pet food and water bowls outside.
Resources and Numbers

To report a coyote emergency involving a human, call:
Broomfield Police Department at 911

To report the loss of a pet to a coyote, call:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-291-7227

If a pet is attacked while on leash, call:
Broomfield Police Department Animal Control at 303-438-6400

For additional information about coyotes, call:
Broomfield Wildlife Masters Volunteer Program at 303-464-5554

Coyote Hazing

Coyote hazing is one of many strategies to reduce or prevent conflicts between humans and
coyotes and can be defined as methods that use deterrents to move an animal out of an area or
discourage an undesirable behavior or activity. Hazing can help maintain a coyote’s fear of
humans and deter them from residential areas such as backyards and playgrounds. Citizens should avoid hazing coyotes near an active den site or pups, and instead should report aggressive coyote behavior under such circumstances to Broomfield Open Space staff.

Low-intensity hazing, intended tactics to scare away coyotes, include:

  •  Banging pots,
  •  Shining bright lights
  •  Shouting
  •  Throwing small rocks or sticks
  •  Spraying garden hoses
  •  Spraying pepper spray
  •  Carrying a ski pole or golf club
  •  Using whistles or other noisemakers
  •  Practicing the S.M.A.R.T. actions
o Stop! Do not run! If you run, the coyote may chase.
o Make yourself look big! Put your hands over your head or pull your jacket up
over your head. Look as big as you can so the coyote knows that you are too
tough to mess with.
o Announce forcefully, "Leave Me Alone"! Repeat if necessary. This lets the
coyote know you are a person, and it lets people around you know that you may
be in trouble.
o Retreat! Back away slowly, but don't turn your back on the coyote.
o Teach your friends and neighbors about coyotes and report coyote encounters to
an adult if you're a child.

Information courtesy of