Coyotes in the Wild
We have talked about mountain lions and black bears, but what do you do when you see a coyote on the trail. Last February when hiking on North Table Mesa with my faithful little companion, Auggie, and we came in proximity with a coyote. Today’s post will go over my experience as well as remind you what to do when you see a coyote.
Auggie and I were doing a fantastic hike in the snow. It was a gorgeous day. When we were coming down the mountain, we saw an animal in the distance. From a distance, it looked like a dog. Auggie got very excited because he loves to meet other dogs on the trail. I started looking for the dog’s human, then worried the dog was lost. But then I realized, it was not a dog at all. It was a coyote.
The coyote started to approach. I was less concerned about the coyote than I was about his friends. Auggie was on a short leash, which leads me to my first topic. Make sure your dog is on a short leash. Coyotes are known for “playing” with small animals. By “playing” I mean the pack will send one coyote to play and lead small animals away from their homes and back to the rest of the pack.
Once realizing it was a coyote, I maintained eye contact until the coyote started to back away. I safely finished my hike. So, what to do if you encounter a coyote?
- Keep children close and animals on a short leash
- Maintain eye contact
- Back away slowly
- Make yourself look bigger than you are
- Do not turn your back on the coyote or run…this will trigger the coyote’s instinct to attack
If the coyote approaches:
- Make loud noises
- Throw dirt, sand, or gravel in their eyes
It is always good to be prepared when you are hiking. Being prepared means knowing what to do in every situation that could happen, including meeting wild life. Now we have covered Mountain Lions, Bears, and Coyotes. Now you can relax and enjoy your hike! For more information please visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Coyote Page.