The Spirit of Pine Valley

A Unique Community Living with Nature

Co-Existing with Coyotes

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Notes from the Rancho Bernardo Community Council Meeting
August 22, 2013

For information or assistance in solving coyote problems call 916-979-2675 United States Department of Agriculture.

WHY YOU DON’T WANT TO KILL COYOTES: They eat rats, mice, squirrels, rabbits, carrion, gophers, reptiles, amphibians, fruit, birds and their eggs, insects and other small rodents thereby keeping those populations and the diseases they carry minimized.

Coyotes are one of the smartest animals alive. They think, reason and size up situations. They are extremely aware – their sight is 5 times that of a human. They hear and see everything around them. They will observe you from 100 feet away to see what you may do. Coyotes hunt to eat. They take their prey with them. Rats, mice, squirrels, rabbits, insects and SMALL CATS AND DOGS are their local prey. In the wild and rural communities, coyotes have been known to attack deer fawns, sheep, cattle and poultry. Don’t allow your pets to run freely especially in early morning or in the evening. Coyotes have been known to attack humans, in one case a 3-year old was killed in So. California. Coyotes don’t run in packs they run in families and therefore protect their pups and yearlings. STAND YOUR GROUND, DON’T TURN AWAY FROM A COYOTE — make loud noises.

Coyotes do not like loud noise: shout — clap your hands — use a metal whistle (plastic doesn’t work). Party horns, air horns, can be helpful to discourage a coyote from coming close to you. A jar of marbles loosely packed with a tightened lid can be thrown at a coyote to deter its advances. A squirt gun filled with ½ water and ½ ammonia will deter advances. Coyotes have a very keen sense of smell. If you are walking your dog PICK IT UP and hold it. Small pets can be quickly snatched. A small dog on a leach is like bait on a string to a coyote. Any animal smaller than the coyote is potential prey.

Coyotes are looking for FOOD, WATER AND SHELTER. Therefore, don’t make it easy for them to find FOOD, WATER OR SHELTER in or around your home or property. Remove all food and water bowls from yards and patios. Keep garbage in upright heavy containers that cannot be knocked down and opened. Coyotes can dig under fences to get to food in kennels. Installing a motion detector light can be helpful. Clear brush and secure areas that can be shelters for coyote dens. Young coyotes are more active during daylight. Young are born March through May in litters of 5-6 pups once a year.

Old dogs larger than a coyote can be vulnerable due to age. Protect your older, larger dogs/pets by keeping them indoors or protected in appropriate cages or properly fenced, if kept outdoors. In rural areas, BB guns will often deter coyotes. Once they learn the area is dangerous, they usually do not return to the same place.


  • This is their territory.
  • Range in weight from 20 – 40 lbs.
  • 42 teeth.
  • Smartest animal since it thinks and reasons out
  • Confident – hunts to eat; only kills to eat. Has been known to jump a 6 foot fence.
  • They WATCH us.
  • They are everywhere in the county.
  • If you got rid of them, we would have rats, squirrels, raccoons, skunks
  • They cannot be relocated. If they are trapped, they are exterminated.
  • They don’t live in packs, they live in families. They stay together for life
  • Can have up to 4-6 pups – 60 days gestation.


  • Do not leave your pets out.
  • Brass (not plastic) whistle.
  • Party horns (get at Party City).
  • Get a can, fill with marbles, reseal with tape and throw at coyotes.
  • Can pick up an 8 pound animal.
  • “Seeing” a coyote doesn’t constitute a problem.
  • Don’t let dogs off leash – other coyotes “pals” are watching.
  • They are always “pushing the envelope” to see what they can get away with.
  • Senior communities are vulnerable because of small “lap” dogs.