Fri, 07/14/2023 - 9:44am

Question of the Week

The recent surge of coyotes has now spread from coast to coast. Have you had any firsthand encounters?

AnnMarie and Jeffrey Saunier

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

One evening around 9 p.m. we had a pack of juvenile coyotes. They invaded our backyard. They seemed to be having a pack dispute, as no adults were around. We guessed their leader was killed. We put wolf scent down and have not heard from them since.
My husband is doing storm-drainage work at the moment, and a female with pups has been following him around the area he is working. She is not aggressive and is simply trying to survive.


Judith Murdock

Lake Mathews, California

Where I live, we have always had coyotes. They come right up to my rear fence and can be seen clearly in the dawn and dusk times when they are usually out roaming. The Danes bark at them, but it does not faze the coyotes. Plus, I always put food out for them: If they have full bellies, they are more likely not to try tackling a Great Dane!


Bob Stephanos

Wellington, Florida

Living on a couple of acres 13 miles from West Palm Beach, I was considered “way out” and we would contend with coyotes and other predators. Now 6,000 homes and 30,000 acres will be developed five miles west of our home. I guess progress comes with a price, and coyotes as well as the rest of the fauna end up paying ...


Jay Phinizy

Acworth, New Hampshire

“Coydogs" in New Hampshire: When walking down a woods road a few years back, coming over the hill, I saw an “oldster” who on seeing the Deerhounds discretely tucked tail and padded off. The Deerhounds were busy sniffing about and did not see the coydog. Good thing, too! The last adventure with local wildlife was four Deerhounds coursing a moose. Our fourth Deerhound was three legged but close behind the others (a hind leg had been amputated, bone cancer). In winter, we often hear coyotes howling to the moon. 

Rich Bergman

East County San Diego, California

Here they run wild, including up and down my driveway. They generally don't bother anyone. Their favorite food is rabbits and stray cats. Because they might occasionally make nose contact with the dogs through the chain-link fence, the old show dogs I have left are very current on their rabies shots. Even dry saliva will transfer rabies.


Richard L. Reynolds

Tenafly, New Jersey

We’ve co-existed with coyotes for years. Often today they are the sole quarry of some of the better recognized hunts all over the country. They run an (almost) straight line for miles. Still, in most places they are unwelcome inhabitants, but not nearly the danger that folks make them out to be.

With the Terriers and hole dogs we often encounter them in northern New Jersey. They will watch us dig from a respectable distance, knowing that we often will leave them a free meal when the digging is done. Like fox, ’yotes are opportunistic diners. They don’t want your puppy and they would have to be awful hungry to even think about it. When they become predatory we hunt them with Jagdterriers, almost always during the winter months.

 The ruff on my parka is the remains of one ’yote who made some unwise choices, but overall, they do little harm and are certainly nothing to be afraid of.  


Ginger Scott

Syracuse, New York

Last fall there was talk in the neighborhood of coyote sightings. Sure enough, two nights in a row I saw them walking down our country road after dark. A couple of our neighbors have chickens so they would be a big draw.

I feared for our Borders going out after dark. They are fenced in a small paddock, but a hungry coyote could get in without much effort. Then one morning I saw a young, emaciated coyote come out of the woods. I feed a family of crows. They come in for meat scraps and peanuts, so I figured the smell of the meat drew in the coyote. Our backyard is like a park, and we feed all kinds of birds and wildlife, so it’s a great hunting ground for all predators. I stopped putting out meat scraps and I saw the coyote come in and search the yard.

About the third or fourth day the coyote showed up at the same time the crows came in. I watched while the crows harassed and chased the coyote out of the yard and back into the woods. It never came back that I’m aware of.

I feel lucky to have these “guard birds” hanging out around our yard. I have seen them chase hawks and fox, too. Just last week they were causing a ruckus in the woods and a fox popped out of the woods, and they chased it all the way back to the river.


Lynda Beam

Grayslake, Illinois

Oh, tons. I live in a subdivision in Grayslake Illinois — not exactly rural.

I have Shiba Inu, and the coyotes seem more curious about them than anything else. I have a video of one of my dogs inviting them to play and getting an acceptance through my six-foot-tall fence. There are many more instances that I did not get on video. 

I haze the coyotes, even though I don’t like to, because I know it is safer for them to stay wary. I’ve only had one that even remotely questioned whether he should stick around or not. I believe he had a meal there and didn’t want to leave it, so after much hazing he went into the wetlands, and laid down where he didn’t think I could see him, except I had a good view from my deck. I let the dogs out and kept an eye on him and he did not come back until they were gone.

We can live in harmony here because my dogs are indoor dogs and I always check before they go outside.


Dick Korn

Malabar, Florida

We have sheep on the farm and have to be alert for the presence of coyotes.
They are most prevalent in the evening and early night.


Ronald Horn

Greenwood Village, Colorado

I recently thought our across-the-street neighbors had a new dog. It was sitting on their front porch. I decided to call and let them know their dog was out without a leash. They told me they didn’t have a dog. We all looked more closely at a very brazen coyote making himself at home. 


Joy Bass

Palestine, Texas

We fight coyotes every day for the last 17 years since we raise registered St. Croix Hair sheep.

We have three LGDs (large guardian dogs) who help us keep them out of our pastures.


Robert Birdwell

East Bay, California

First story:

We've lived in our house for 29 years. We're in the San Francisco Bay area, but a rather rural setting there. For the first 25 years, we never saw a coyote. Suddenly we started seeing one here and one there on the main road. (We live on a private drive.)

One night as my wife was cleaning up after dinner, she spotted ears at the top of our waterfall. The grass was still tall, but she could see the ears twitching.

She called me to the kitchen window ... and I could see them, too. The coyote was perched at the top of the waterfall so it could watch our dogs in the yard!

At this time of night, we usually let our “herd” of Pugs out in back, and I'd bring them in after an hour or so.

I went out with my handgun, walked up to the top lot ... didn't see anything. I walked across the lot all the way to the horses ... still nothing. As I walked back, the coyote sprang up in front of me and started running for the hill beside our lot. (We live at the base of Mt. Diablo in Contra Costa County.) I couldn't shoot at it, as the house was behind it. As it ran beyond the house, I couldn't shoot at it because of the parked motor home. Further still the coyote was in front of our solar-panel array.

When it finally got to the hill, I took a shot ... don't know if I hit it, but it went into “hyperdrive” ... Up and over our six-foot chain-link fence. As it cleared the fence, I took another shot ... It was GONE after that!

We've gone out with the dogs ever since.

Second story:

About a year and a half ago, we were “dog-sitting” a friend's Frenchie puppy and Doberman while she went off to judge somewhere.

We have only one Affenpinscher now, which was also a puppy.

I get up very early, so it was about 5 a.m., still dark. I took our Affenpinscher and the Frenchie out in the backyard. I left the Doberman inside so I could keep an eye on the two dogs in the dark.

I was carrying the Affenpinscher and the Frenchie was running around my feet. (Too hard to carry those guys!) As I walked out back I noticed the motion-detection lights were on behind one wing of the house, and I wondered why, but wasn’t too worried, as it is not uncommon for deer to walk about the yard.

As I got to where I could see behind the house, I spotted a coyote devouring a young deer ... ON OUR LAWN!

I quickly gathered up the Frenchie, and got both dogs back into the house, got my handgun, and went back out. The coyote was still on the lawn. It ran up to the upper lot when it saw me, and after a few seconds in the dark, I heard it hit the fence.

I took the remains of the deer out to the street so animal control could come retrieve it, but when I went to check on it before I called, it was gone. It appears the coyote stayed close enough to see what I did and retrieved its meal.


Pat Nevins


They are here. I use a small boat horn if they don't leave on their own when I see them.


Caroline Yourcheck

Chatham, New Jersey

I personally have not had any encounters with a coyote yet! I do, however, carry bear spray with me on every walk my pup and I take!

Here in New Jersey, a very large park, the South Mountain Reservation, has been closed for a week now because a coyote attacked and bit a 13-year-old girl and her dog! The dog lost an eye in the attack!



Linda Madden


Yes, I have. I live deep in the woods in a Civil War battlefield. On a couple of occasions I’ve seen coyotes during the day and I almost hit one on the road. 

The most worrisome occurred when I was sitting out in the puppy yard with eight-week-old Scottish Deerhound pups and a big male coyote ran my fence line. I’m always outside when my pups are out playing, but if I have to come in for any reason I always put additional Deerhound adults out with pups and their dam. Not only is there an obvious physical threat to unvaccinated pups, but the coyotes (and raccoons) carry rabies here, and that is huge concern. I do not want any of my hounds near them; we’ve already had hounds quarantined because of a rabid raccoon.


Laurie Ermentrout

Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania

We have a lot around us. Hear them at night. I have a fenced yard for my Mini Longhaired Dachshunds, but also put LED collars on them and keep an eye on them at night. I lock my sheep up in the barn at night as well. 


Sylvia Arrowwood

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Friends and neighbors have reported hearing coyotes and experiencing problems. This is a horrible problem for all animals, dogs, horses, feathered friends, cats. Horses tethered or blocked into a stall have no way to escape as being fleet is their only defense. All precautions must be taken. Please do not leave sight of your dogs for a minute. Too many tragic stories about someone only leaving for a minute to answer a phone or grab a drink, whatever. The old adage “It's better to be safe than sorry" is a truism not to be taken lightly. Coyotes are now here. This is no longer a cowboy movie. Please take heed.



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