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coyotes in my area and aggressive.seeking advice

Everyone here has so much wealth of information thought i would start here.was in my paper this morning (but they have been around for awhile)some coyotes not only attacked a pet goat (with the lady there trying to get them away) but have had to be shot by police on 2 incidents in the last few weeks.alot of mornings i am up and out the door before the sun, which really doesnt matter since they have been brazen even in later afternoon and evening hours, by myself to get 3 to 4 miles in before my day starts.the coyotes are on the main streets and neighborhoods as well as the woods i go by or in.anyone deal with this particular problem and how to handle solo with them bieng a threat? have debated carrying an actual gun but have never even been around them so would mean alot of work too get informed, get comfortable, ect..if that is the best or only solution please inform me which type of gun and i will consider it but hoping someone has dealt with this another way with success. thank you for your help :) (there is also a pack of wolf hybrids they have been tring to far they only have caught one of them and they believe there are 3 to 4 more)

Well, if it were me personally I would carry bear spray. 

I have encountered a pack of coyotes on more than one occasion while in the hills. Most recently was last winter during an extended night of solo hiking. 

As I was approaching I could hear them yipping away. As I got closer they kept getting louder and louder which meant to me that they were not really worried about my presence being they didn't take off.

I was pretty loud and each footstep made a substantial crunching sound that was easily heard so they definitely were aware of my approach/presence.

At the same time I really wasn't too worried about them either. Coyote/human interaction isn't much of a problem in the ridges here. They are somewhat like blackies, bobcats, etc. 

Once they are aware of you they tend to steer clear of people or for the most part keep their distance. 

I kept trying to catch a glimpse of them that night with my headlamp but they seemed to just stay out of the range of my beam. 

I did see a ton of tracks where there were frolicking around in the snow. 

Anywho, it seems as though these coyotes you all are dealing with are not too concerned with human interaction and have found a consistent, viable food source that is easy to obtain.

With that being said I would go on a limb to say that capturing and relocating said animals may not truly alleviate the situation being that now the canines have become somewhat accustomed to this new, wonderful, easily obtained food source.

Relocation may alleviate the situation on the short term but they may find their way back after relocation dependent upon where they are relocated too or this may just transfer the problem to other populated areas. 

As much as it saddens me to say this dispatching the problem animals might(notice I said might) be the only viable, long term solution. 

I do have a few side arms(.357, .44, S&W .500) and I would say that if you were to encounter an animal or worse a pack under these circumstances you may be up a creek w/o a paddle. 

I surely would not use a standard round being chances are very limited in regards to hitting a single, moving target with a single shot let alone multiple targets.

A scatter round(commonly known as bird or snake shot) for a higher caliber pistol might be an option. I surely wouldn't take on an animal the size of a coyote or larger with a .22 loaded with a bird shot round. 

This may only injure the animal and an injured animal is a dangerous animal.

My strongest suggestion is to carry a spray with you and let the proper authorities deal with the animals on a larger scale.

If you encounter a coyote(or even a pack) unload the spray on them. Your chances of deterring the animal/animals is much greater and worst case scenario ya may end up with a burning sensation, watery eyes, and a runny nose(dependent upon wind direction, etc.) 

Then as soon as possible notify the authorities of your encounter as well as the area in which your encounter occurred so they can get on it asap. It is much easier to locate and pinpoint where these animals might be if notified quickly.

Minutes and seconds can make a huge difference in a scenario such as this in regards to locating or not locating these problem animals and alleviating potential problems later on down the road as I am sure you are aware of. 

There are many factors to take into consideration with a firearm.

Once that trigger is pulled the repercussions are not reversible. 

Once fired rounds travel and can travel for a great distance. One cannot steer a bullet. They ricochet, hit unintended targets, so on and so forth. 

If you are in an inhabited area this risk goes up dramatically. 

The effects of bear spray are temporary. A bullet not so much.

Please keep this in mind in regards to your decision on how to approach the problem you are dealing with. 

I hope this helps ya out a bit. 

My logic comes from growing up hunting, hiking, and trapping(among other various experiences throughout the course of my life.)


I no longer hunt & trap but I still hike and backpack. 


+1 for Rick-Pittsburgh:  I keep a carabiner with a thermometer on it, hanging from my pack.  It makes sounds to let wild life hide and warn the larger animals.  I respect the coyotes but don't fear them.  They kill many small animals with rabies and other problems, when there source of food goes away or we enter there area they're going after easy pray.  They'll work an area with easy food, dogs, cats, goats, rats ect..  If the food source is gone, they'll leave to, and also they track down animals but hate if you follow them.

Keep in mind the pitch of the sound emitted from whatever you are using as a noise maker.

Some animals may mistake a higher pitched tone as being an injured animal in distress which makes for an easy meal/prey for a predator.

I personally carry a small air horn at times on the trail. 

The tone is much deeper than compared to say a whistle.

In the case of these coyotes I doubt a practice such as the one I utilize would have much affect being the canines are probably accustomed to a plethora of sounds/tones.

They are frequenting residential areas where traffic(vehicle horns) are present as well as a plethora of other noises are the norm.

I would say your best bet is to carry bear spray. the coyotes have obviously found an easy food source in your area...pets, trashcans, etc. thats why they are there. I would venture to say you have nothing to worry about as far as being on the menu, your too big for them. usually the coyotes stay in one area for awhile and then they move on when the food runs out. we have them here and they range alot, so we have learned to live with them. keep your garbage tidy, small pets indoors and you shouldn't have a problem. A firearm is overkill, also it may be unlawful to discharge one in residential areas. we have buddy, a big dog, to keep the coyotes off our property.

Thank you all for not just the replies but for fast replies.was nervous for tomorrow relieved that for the most part what im hearing is they will leave me be if i unfortunately encounter them and that i do not need (and more than likely should not have) a gun on neighborhood streets and woods.glad to hear bear spray (and noise) should be a good deterrent.I think I will throw a small air horn into little day pack since I have noticed they get mentioned here and there for little and big trails.thank you :)

Never a problem. If you have any more questions please by all means feel free to fire away.

An air horn works very well. I would stay away from anything metal hanging from metal, the squeaking sound of metal on metal sounds a lot like a rabbit in distress. That is one of their fav food choices. Here in southern nh they are a major problem, they have mixed with domestic dogs. This takes away some of their fear of man. I have a little mini farm, goats,chickens,ducks and rabbits, they are constantly after my animals. I have never seen a single or a pack that did not run from my voice. I hear them circle and check me out every time I camp near my house, unless they are sick you are prob not gonna get attacked unless you corner them. I have killed almost twenty in the six years we have had livestock. They are nasty little beasts, they will return the night after I kill one and eat their buddy.

I see coyotes within throwing distance all of the time, mostly because I'm trail running in the early morning or around dusk. They've done nothing but run. I had a suprise encounter (as much to me as the pack) with 7 coyotes. I came down a fast trail (at 10am in the morning in the Fall of last year) and up to a boulder overlooking a wooded creek. 12 feet below and 30 feet from me was the whole pack. Startled me a bit because it was so unexpected, but the coyotes (thankfully) were much more startled and scattered up the embankment on the opposite side of the creek. I am all for the bear spray and airhorn like my esteemed brethren above. Normally I have no fear of them. Happy hiking...

The only case I've heard of where a person was attacked by coyotes was a couple of years ago, where a girl hiking alone in a national park in Nova Scotia, was killed by two of them. The coyotes were later hunted down and killed.

There were a couple of factors at play:

First, when she met them, instead of standing her ground, she apparently ran away to try to get back to an outhouse she'd just passed. That would have triggered the hunting reflex in the coyotes all by itself.

Second, as wolves in the eastern forests have been extirpated, they have been crossbreeding with the local coyotes. An article  in National Geographic compared the skulls of western coyotes and eastern ones, in addition to the more obvious features like size. Pretty nasty - a wider and more powerful jaw with bigger teeth. And while wolves seem to avoid humans, crossbreeds with dogs or coyote don't have that ingrained fear.

One interesting example: An associate of mine and her friend were snowshoeing across a frozen lake a few years ago, when they realized they were being followed by a pack of coyotes. The situation got scary when the coyotes started going into a hunting formation, with the bulk of the pack closing in behind, a few running up the sides to hem them in and others racing ahead to cut them off! The women had bear spray but it doesn't work when it's frozen, so all they could do was keep on slogging. Probably a good thing - trying to run might have prompted an attack.

The coyotes never closed in though, just keeping pace and eventually turning away, and the women got back to their car safely. What's odd is that coyotes around here don't normally hunt in a group - they may have learned how from wolves in the area. 

Genetic testing of suspected wild cross bred animals in the northeastern US and southern Canada has confirmed they that interbreeding is taking place. 

a super coyote? so far we don't have them where I live, there are no wolves here...but that's a scary thought. 


-- Language Warning -- The person under attack has a potty mouth!

I found this footage of a hungry coyote a while back. It has some cursing in it preventing me from showing it to the children. The guy in the video had one hungry coyote deal with. It wasn't a threat. I always carry pepper spray for wild dogs.

Brazen coyotes are usually a result of a food supply and little resistance.  People leave their trash in containers that coyotes  can knock over.  They leave out pet food and small pets.  If coyotes  get shot at once in awhile (not hit) it makes a strong impression and they will keep their distance.  They are around here in Nevada almost every night, so we have a fenced yard.  I have had success with strong search lights and air horns.  I carry a pistol now when hiking because of the recent rash of pets being attacked in broad daylight in backyards and even while being walked on a leash. When they yip and howl at night there are usually 2 parents and a whole litter together in a coyote choir.

So if you were in a situation like that shown in the video above, with the coyote trying to bite the guy, how would you respond?  Although it ran a bit when chased, it seemed like the animal didn't really back off for good until the guy got close to the buildings.  If he'd been out in the wild he wouldn't have had that option.

I'd probably be tempted to whap the animal in the snout with my trekking poles.  But they're carbon fiber so they might break.. probably not a good option.  Maybe stab it in the snout with the pointed tip?  It sounds cruel, but this is a matter of self defense.  Though I suppose this would just make it angry & cause it to attack with more vigor...

What would you do to defend yourself in a situation like this?

that's where the bear spray comes in handy. a good shot of that stuff and he'll think twice......I'd aim for the eyes with the trekking pole tip...more sensitive than the snout.

I sure hope this doesn't become problematic in the places I go. I don't need yet another thing to carry... I haven't seen the need to carry bear spray yet & don't want to start now.

I would shoot the closest one in hopes that it would discourage the others.  Fatal coyote encounters are becoming more common in Canada and Alaska.  I revere wildlife as much as anyone, but at some point self-preservation becomes more important.

Agreed.  Hurting an animal is the last thing I'd want to do.  But if I'm alone in the wilderness & being attacked by one, I'd have no choice.

Though I guess if I were traveling in remote places in Canada or Alaska, I'd change my view on carrying bear spray... so that would be my first line of defense.

if you're in canada or alaska carry a gun! a nice .357 or .44 mag should do nicely...or a 30-06 if you don't mind carrying a rifle...bears and wolves are your targets, coyotes come in 3rd. maybe a nice moose...out there the critters are really wild and really hungry!

if you're in canada or alaska carry a gun! a nice .357 or .44 mag should do nicely...or a 30-06 if you don't mind carrying a rifle...bears and wolves are your targets, coyotes come in 3rd. maybe a nice moose...out there the critters are really wild and really hungry!


Is this based on personal experience or word of mouth? It's a very strong comment to be throwing out unfounded. Being from Canada and having been to every province in this beautiful country I feel no need to carry a gun. More so, I would be hesitant to throw suggestions like this out over the internet not knowing anyone's knowledge, experience, skill level, etc. Without wanting to go deep into the whole gun debate I'll also just say our laws are also greatly different then U.S gun laws.

On the original O.P's question- I would agree with everyones opinion on bear spray. Coyotes can and will hunt in packs, pepper spray gives you a wide field of spray and is able to deter multiple angles at once. Also much easier to hit a target with and will not kill the animal, just deter them enough to give you time to get away.

To everyone who doesnt want to hurt or kill an animal. What if the man taking the video was a small child, they would run and get taken down and eaten. My daughter was 9 when a coyote cornered her cocker spaniel in our yard. She ran out to defend he pet, without any thought for her own safety. When I arrived on the scene she had the dog in her arms, screaming bloody murder. My wife was throwing chunks of firewood from ten feet away and hitting it maybe every other time. I shot it. I would do it again every time. My daughter wont go outside after dark alone and its been five years. The line must be drawn somewhere. If an animal tries to harm me or mine I will take action. I do carry bear spray,an air horn and a 45. long colt six shooter. I even wear a bell to give wildlife every chance to avoid me. I will defend my life, if a person was trying to kill me I would shoot him too. Sorry if this offends any of you, but we all have our own opinion.

That doesn't negate Rick's and Jake's advice - anybody is justified in using whatever defence is necessary to protect themselves.

Bear spray works better for the reasons mentioned. The noise of a gunshot will probably scare away most animals, but if you have to fight it off, you're more likely to succeed with spray than trying to hit a moving target with a gun.

As Jake also says, I've been out in the backcountry in Canada for most of my life, and I've never carried a gun nor have I felt it to be necessary. And carrying (or even owning) a handgun is illegal in Canada without a permit and a good reason for doing so.

Since I'm not a hunter, I have no need for a firearms permit. A few years ago, one of our provincial cabinet ministers used his 'pull' to get a permit to carry a .44 magnum in the bush. When the story hit the newspapers, he became the subject of ridicule from both hunters and the general public.

The bear spray should do the trick for your self defense situation, just make sure it's not plugged up when you head outdoors. Something you should be aware of with regards to a coyote bite. My brothers dogs got into a fight with a pack of coyotes both had to be taken to the vet asap. One dog had a small chunk bitten out of it's rump the other dog had a single puncture low in the achilles tendon, I examined the dog myself . The vet treated both animals with IV antibotics, he told my brother that the achilles bite could develope into blood poisoning, it did and the dog died. In the past century when medical treatment for animal bites was not as available as it is these days, alot of the ranchers and farmers would do the predator control themselves. I would encourage you to keep preasure on the Sheriffs Dept. and Game Dept. to get the coyotes out of your housing area.

didn't know canadians were so anti gun. alright, alaska then. if the choices are get eaten or carry a gun, I'll take the gun. not suggesting that this is the recommended course of action here in the op's case but hypothetically speaking, if you're in wild country with wild predators...  

In populated areas I think the Bear Spray is probably the best idea, it also works very good on those nasty two legged pest too.  :)

Comment about the video;  This guy is toying with a coyote that has probably been feed by humans.  You can see several times that he is holding his hand out to the coyote and calling it.  It has probably been feed by the same camp or even the same guy before.    As for the "Attack" on the foot, it looks more like play to me then an attack.  That is a well feed non fearing human coyote. NOT your run of the meal coyote that is half starved digging through garbage.  I think it's a bad example of human coyote interaction, as the whole situation stinks of "setup". 

Just my opinion.


ppine said:

Fatal coyote encounters are becoming more common in Canada and Alaska.

Actually, they're not. There have only been two fatal coyote attacks on humans ever recorded in North America. 

I don't think that qualifies as some kind of epidemic. Let's not exaggerate the danger.

Neither Jake nor I said we were 'anti-gun,' trailjester, so your comment isn't accurate. Most Canadians know people who hunt, many for food not 'sport', and I don't question their need for the tools to do so.

We both made the same two points;

  1. First, neither of us has ever felt the need to carry a gun in the backcountry, and we've managed okay without one. From my perspective, I'm just not that afraid of the animals I might meet.
  2. Second, your suggestion about carrying a handgun would be illegal in Canada, so you were advising people who want to come here to break the law.

I agree with wolfman, that was not the average coyote that I see in nh. He was a lot heavier,much better fed than any coyote that I have ever seen. His coat was so full and thick, his good eating habits were not a new thing in my opinion. I dont think in the true backcountry the coyotes are as much of a threat. It is the wooded areas that border populated areas that they have learned that we mean food, not us but our trash and scraps. Im not advocating shooting anything or breaking the law. I own and run a cash business late at night, so I have a concealed carry permit. Im a lifelong hunter that is trained both with rifles and hunter safety plus extensive hours with a pistol. My sister is a police officer down south, so I grew up with guns. They are not for everybody. Bear spray or a loud noise are prob your best defense, but I like having a sidearm when I camp. Maybe its an insecurity of mine or growing up in a city, playing in the country, I dont know. Remember the bear in the video with the raft, do you think bear spray would have turned that bear like that warning shot did? I dont think it would have. The bear prob would have run from the spray but I bet thete would have been some physical contact before she did. An air horn might have done the trick in either video but spray would not have been as effective in both cases. Back to the video, sorry about the rant. This animals look,actions everything about it is wrong. The attack pattern the lack of teeth baring and the lack of vocalization all strike me as odd. The best non firearm would obviously be spray for that situation and prob 99 out of a 100 it will work. That and an air horn would be my advice for all wild animal defense.

didn't know handguns were illegal in canada. didn't mean to advise anybody to break the law. I won't mention canada in any of my jokes ever again...but I still say that if it comes down to being eaten, given the choice between bear spray and a gun, I'll take the gun.

November 23, 2020
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