Coyote (courtesy naturalunseenhazards.wordpress.com)

“Wildlife officials are putting up warning signs on the University of Colorado’s east campus in Boulder after a dog and its owner were attacked by a coyote,” the AP reports. Wait. Can coyotes read? Oh. I get it. It’s a warning sign for bipeds against the possibility of a coyote attack. Let’s go to dailycamera.com for the sequence of events that led to the signage . . .

CU police on Friday reported that a man and his dog were walking in a wooded area southwest of Foothills Parkway and Arapahoe Avenue around 6:30 p.m. when the incident occurred.

The man told police the coyote appeared to be focused on them for a period of time before approaching and finally attacking his dog [not shown]. The dog was on a leash, police said, and the man was able to pull the dog clear of the assault.

The coyote then lunged at the man, according to police, biting his left forearm as he reached out to block the coyote’s advance. The man managed to fend off the attack by kicking the coyote and swinging a stick as it retreated, police said.

So the man had a chance to shoot the coyote but didn’t. Because he didn’t have a boom stick (a.k.a., gun). Huh. So what’s the proper protocol for dealing with a coyote when you don’t have a gun?

CU police, meanwhile, advise that if a coyote approaches, do not run or turn your back. People are advised to make themselves as large as possible, wave their arms and throw objects, and also face the coyote, and back away slowly.

I wonder if the CU police would have any further recommendations for people about to be attacked by a coyote (or any other wild animal) when walking a dog (who must have been going nuts) or, God forbid, accompanied by a small child or two?

94 Responses to This is What Happens to a Disarmed Populace: They Get Bitten by Coyotes

  1. Yeaaahh.. Coyote’s are not mountain lions. Sorry. If they are going to attack they have already gone and done sized you up ahead of time.

  2. I wonder if the police that give the advice of making yourself big and throwing rocks do the same? Or would they just bust a cap?

    • I was under the impression these types of sprays worked less reliably on animals, particularly dogs, than humans? And that sometimes they do not incapacitate the dogs but rather awaken the instinct to bite down and not let go?

  3. I live in a developed neighborhood, albeit with fairly large lots (2.5 acres) each. Coyotes routinely perambulate through the neighborhood, and their cries–man they are weird-sounding–can be heard frequently. Several dogs have been lost to them in the last couple years; luckily, no bipeds yet.

    • I heard some of what you are talking about one night camping in the mountains in California. Not a happy sound coming from close by around midnight on a moonless night.

    • My sister lives IN Long Beach, but she has to make sure the cats are in at night so the coyotes don’t get them. They run up and down the LA River, and then into urban neighborhoods.

      • One of the Rules for Writing Good:
        Never use a big word when a diminutive one will work.

        “Walk” would have worked just as well.

  4. Coyotes are incredibly intelligent. They understand us better than we do ourselves. They will watch and learn human behavior and use it to their advantage, and may become unafraid of humans. (my daughter has a coydog, coyote dog mix, as a service dog. Makes other service dogs look like dummies). I admire the coyotes, but would use the fastest deadly force available if attacked by one and recommend the same.

    • I have to second this. From watching canine behavior in the west, the most adaptable canine to human behavior is the red fox, followed by the coyote.

      Coyotes are incredibly adaptable, and not to be trusted. They are devious little twerps.

    • Yup. Here in rural Idaho, they have learned that they should NOT be seen clearly by a human – because they will be shot (at least, the ones who survive the first incident learn that). I hear them yipping and howling at night, but you rarely see one for more than a few seconds during the day. Unless you have a good predator call and a 1.5X scope on your rifle.

    • That was my thought. Approached and attacked a dog and human together, when it could have easily withdrawn? That’s not like the coyotes I know.

  5. According to Everyclown for Gun Safety, people who are threatened by a coyote should give him what he wants. If that doesn’t work, urination and projectile vomiting are highly recommended.

  6. Did the bitten guy get rabies or what? Nah….there’s a##holes on TTAG all the time. LOL

  7. I have lived in the country half my 48 years and hiked and hunted for most of it and through every siting or knowing Coyotes were close, I have never had a single one come anywhere near me. I have dogs but they are many and they are Alaskan Husky’s.
    My question is are they sure it was a Coyote and not a Coy dog or Wolf? A Coy dog, a cross between a domestic dog and a Coyote would be more apt to attack a human and domestic dog than a Coyote. Wolves decide at that moment.
    A wildlife biologist for the state of Illinois put out a guide on how to tell the difference between Coyotes, domesticated dogs and Wolves. REMEMBER! THIS is a wildlife biologist!! He has a DEGREE!!
    He said that –NO– domesticated dogs have hair in their ears! In that case every Malamute, Husky and other Spits breed on the planet is actually a Wolf in dogs clothing and I have a kennel full of Wolves.This college degreed dumbass also went on to say that a Coyotes ears are noticeably closer together than a Wolf’s. Maybe so but it would not be something the average person could tell or would care to when looking at an animal with bone crushing jaw power coming at them.

    • I was thinking coydog, too. Odd that it was by itself considering they typically are in packs. We have them in central VA. They are an issue. I wonder if this one had rabies or something.

      • Feral dogs are the real danger in Central/Southern VA. They aren’t afraid of people and they can get very close before you can identify them as dangerous. I am more afraid of ferals than coyotes or wolves.

        • Yea, tell me about it. I left my sidearm in the house to do one quick chore in the evening. Coming out of the barn there was a pack of feral dogs about 30 ft from me. It was not good and they were considering going for it.

          Coydog are a bad mix of both and can trim down herds of sheep and goats effectively. Not to mention issues during calving season.

        • we have those in chi- town also. animal control targets the alpha bitch first, interestingly.

  8. I feel sorry for any coyote that attacked me while walking my dog. Not because I would shoot it, but because my dog is a 100 lbs malamute.

    • it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. i’ve seen big, muscular and tough dogs get destroyed by barn cats and i’ve got a 40 lb basenji mix that bested 2 coyotes and a wolf in my area when she was in her youth. but i have a friend who owns 5 malamutes. 3 of them are the biggest babies, while the other 2 are super vicious and have killed most anything that comes into their yard. but none of them are above 80 lbs

      all that being said my 145 lb cane corso is the biggest baby and is more marshmallow than guard dog

      • Absolutely. I told a K-9 cop that a Plott Hound will tear a schutz trained shepherd a new one if comes down to it. A dog that will take on a 500lb black bear isn’t afraid of a 100lb shepherd no matter how well trained. Dogs sense these sorts of things which is why after a little snarling they figure it out and move on. My Plott is pretty much a pussy but for some reason he hates GSDs and acts to breed in their presence.

      • My 175-pound Mastiff is a gentle baby who will let little kids tug on his ears and let our kitten nibble on his tail. But I pity the soul who decides to hop our fence in the dead of night.

      • My cousins farm dog is a 110lb half Great Dane half Doberman. He’s easy going with small dogs, has learned to leave the cat alone, but has killed young deer and turkeys. If he hears a coyote howl he’s off like a shot trying to locate it. Every valley around has some coyotes now, but not ‘his’ valley. They just don’t dare.

  9. It would not surprise me if the coyote was rabid. I hope the guy is getting his shots.

    My son lives up the road in Loveland (most you know that) and I walk his dogs down by the Big Thompson where the coyotes and mountain lion play. I carry. So does he. His big dog is a lovable plott hound (Rocky) and unlike my lovable plott hound Mr. Jethro, Rocky knows what he is doing and will be more than happy to take on a single coyote.

    I was hoping my son invite me for a visit so I could go reduce the local coyote population. I will wait until later this summer.

  10. I’ve only had one close encounter with a coyote – Ft. Irwin, CA out for my morning run, rounded a building corner to find myself facing a startled coyote. We both did a sort of look-around doubletake, then he turned & bolted at a good clip. All over with in about 5 hearbeats. Fast, unafraid & smart – I don’t care to mess with them.
    A Forest Service Ranger in New Hampshire told me that the coyotes there are bigger than the ones out west, that they filled left by wolves, expanding their range & appetite. There have been instances of attacks on children in the suburbs of Boston.

  11. And my school’s Outdoor Program had the gall to ask why I wanted to bring a firearm on a 3 day backwoods camping trip…

    • The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club has a great trail guide for the Shenandoah National Park. They have a statement that says don’t bring a gun because you are more likely to shoot yourself than use it in defense against two and four legged critters. I wrote back telling them how great their trail guide is but I took exception to their statement on guns. I told them that most dangerous part of the trip is getting there and that you have a greater chance of injuring yourself in the park than having a shooting accident. I also told them that a firearm is a signaling device. Three quick shots is a call for help.

        • Exactly!

          The way we say that around my neck of the woods is “Shoot, Shovel & Shut-Up”.

      • Indeed. A gunshot is louder than any whistle I know of. I wasn’t bringing the gun to shot at random stuff (I think this was the assumption), I was bringing it for self-defense/ signaling reasons. After telling them it was for defense against wildlife (however unlikely), they just came back with, “The animals are more scared of you, than you are of them.” This irked me because I’m not afraid of wildlife, I believe in being prepared in the unlikely scenario we are being stalked by mountain lions, coyotes, etc. Since then I have refused to give them any more money or go on any trips with them, I’ll just organize my own trips.

        PS 2 blasts for all clear, and 3 blasts for distress (by whistle or gunshot) is the standard as far as I know.

    • It’s a sign of the times. Not so very long ago the question would have been ‘What sort of gun are you bringing on the trip?’. I don’t generally go anywhere without a handgun but I don’t like to get out of the site of houses and roads without a long gun. Maybe I’m just channeling a long lost mountain man but either a very large camp knife or a small ax and a rifle are pretty basic equipment for the big woods. A two hour hike can become a 2 day ordeal pretty easy in some places and you never know when there will be an emergency, that’s sort of the definition of emergency, you don’t see them coming.

  12. It won’t cost anything for the signs, the current administration had already printed up thousands of signs that said “THIS TERRITORY BELONGS TO COYOTES”. They just didn’t plan on using any of the signs that far north. Yet.

  13. The state Department of Natural Resources website declares that there are coyotes present in every county in Georgia. That includes the sprawling megapolis centered on Atlanta. Although I live out in the boonies and have little fear of two-legged creatures, I’m thinking it might be wise for me to start carrying anyway.

  14. Make it illegal for coyotes to attack people and domesticated animals. Let’s get Cuomo on this now!

  15. I hope he got checked for rabies, cause otherwise that is one seriously ballsy coyote. I had a coyote come after my dog once but as soon as I grabbed my walking stick and charged him he changed his mind real fast. Coyotes are generally very small and wouldn’t dare step up to an adult human.

  16. Connecticut has many coyote attacks on dogs, only 2 instances of coyotes attacking people I could find.

    In the first instance the coyote snuck up on him while he was mowing.

    “It got closer, and I just kept on mowing, and it snuck up behind me and when I turned around, it was right there, and that’s when it pounced on me,” Plyler said. “It was like an all-out battle for like a minute and a half, two minutes.”

    The coyote clung to his shirt and arms, Plyler said. “He was intent on killing me,” he added.

    Plyler had no time to grow alarmed. He fought back, kicking and hitting the animal where he could. Eventually, he was able to get the coyote off him, and it ran back into the woods, he said.

    The article also mentions a 2006 coyote on human attack where a peavy was used for self defense.
    “In October 2006, two Washington residents reported having been attacked by a coyote. One of them, a woodsman, killed the coyote with a peavey, a logging tool with a metal spike at one end, Schain said.”

    http://www.theday.com/article/20110427/NWS01/304279950

    Greenwich, CT also has many coyote attacks, including on on Kathie Lee Giffords’ pet bishon friese
    http://nypost.com/2003/02/01/kathie-lee-and-kids-in-tears-as-coyote-takes-beloved-pooch/
    http://www.greenwichtime.com/local/article/Greenwich-officials-issue-coyote-safety-tips-540237.php

    Screaming and running at the coyote with a bat seems to work:
    “I jumped up without thinking, and I ran out to the deck, grabbed a bat, and started screaming,” said Ledoux. “It had her by the head, the top of the head, dropped her, and ran into the woods.”

    http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Dog-Survives-Coyote-Attack-in-South-Windsor-243431641.html

    Grabbing a stick and screaming also worked.
    “I grabbed a stick, ran, yelled and screamed,” Burgess said.

    http://www.wfsb.com/story/25312061/3-dogs-attacked-by-coyote-in-southington

    This one is a yeller, but it worked ” At that point, the girl began to yell and grabbed the dog’s leash, causing the coyote to drop the pet, according to the report. ”

    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Coyote-attacks-on-dogs-prompt-warnings-4987989.php

    http://connecticut.news12.com/news/fairfield-animal-control-warns-of-coyote-attacks-after-multiple-reports-in-residential-areas-1.6432018

    February seems to be a big month for coyotes attacking and killing dogs.

    “This past February, the Wildlife Division’s Hartford Office documented six coyote attacks on dogs, of which five dogs were killed, and one severely injured and put down, Vann said.

    “These are likely only a percentage of the total number of attacks occurring around the state. This number is of concern but not necessarily that unusual as coyote attacks on dogs have become a common occurrence in Connecticut over the past 10 plus years,” Vann said.

    Attacks on dogs appear to be on the rise, Vann said, adding that dog owners should take appropriate precautions.
    http://articles.courant.com/2012-03-09/news/hc-ct-coyotes-killing-dogs-0312-20120309_1_large-coyote-coyote-population-small-dogs

    • In an age of fine firearms other weapons are often neglected. That peavey tool is one nasty implement. Looks like a logger got medieval on a coyote.

  17. Very little rabies in the Boulder area–this is pretty common here. Lots of kai-yoat (proper pronunciation). They mostly go after the “dogs” that you can drop kick.

  18. That’s terrifying. Coyotes are bad enough, but really any wild animal is something to steer clear of unless you’re prepared and intent on not avoiding it. These are animals that, generally speaking, have to kill something, every day, to stay alive. Even down to the raccoon or possum level, we’re still talking about something you don’t want to mess with, even if it isn’t sick.

    And that goes for your pets, too. Instinct and breeding can present very nice qualities in Rover, but there’s much to be said for experience, too, and your basic house hound doesn’t have it. These are inherently perilous contests best avoided, but ended swiftly and decisively with overwhelming force when unavoidable.

  19. Interesting report on coyote attacks mentions:

    “From our most recent data set of coyote incidents from 1977 through 2004…
    23% of all coyote attacks were associated with the presence of pets (primarily dogs); that is, humans
    encountered aggressive coyote behavior toward dogs that were being walked, and in some cases
    people sustained injury in the act of attempting to rescue their pets from coyote attack. ”

    ref: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/nea/nre/pdfs/fish_timm.pdf

    • Exactly what I was thinking: the dog involved here was probably of the “meat snack on a string” variety.

      People really need to understand that there are certain requirements to call something a “dog.” If it can fit into a purse or a handbag, it isn’t a “dog,” it is a cat that barks.

      • Say what you want about little dogs, but they are considerably better as house alarms than big dogs. I have a Maltese and a pitbull. The little one is the bark and the big one is the bite.

      • I have a couple of those (Papillions), but I swear, based on their behavior, that they WERE crossed with cats!

      • >> People really need to understand that there are certain requirements to call something a “dog.” If it can fit into a purse or a handbag, it isn’t a “dog,” it is a cat that barks. <<

        In my neck of the woods, those are called "Carpet Rats".

      • I have to admit, I have two little dogs; a Yorkie and a 20 month pup of a Pekapom (half Pekinese half Pomeranian). The Yorkie should have been called ‘moose’ he’s so big, but that’s still big relative to a normal Yorkie. He’s death on ground squirrels, bunnies and anything in that size class and down, including mice and rats, it’s his raison d’etre. He’s basically snack food for a coyote but all his outside time is with me and my gun. The little one is pretty much good for nothing but a lap warmer but the Yorkie has his purpose. It doesn’t have to be big to be a useful dog, it just depends on the use.

    • The average coyote weighs maybe 40 pounds. You could put one down with a 32. No need for a freaking shotgun.

      • Working in a remote area of Utah, I hear coyotes frequently. I have a Governor handy for whatever comes my way…even the shepherds Great Pyrenees (sp?). If the PDX1 shotshell doesn’t do the trick, maybe the .45 long colt will.

      • Perhaps, but if you’re talking about a pack that’s charging you, or even just the one coyote coming at you with hungry eyes, I’d rather take the shot from some standoff distance. I’m more confident of a long gun connecting at such distance than I am of a pistol in .32acp. After all, I’m sure a coyote can be killed with a pocket knife, too; but I’m not interesting in engaging in hand-to-paw combat with a wild animal.

        • The coyotes in and near populated areas are the most dangerous since they’ve gotten used to people and their pets… especially since a lot of do-gooder idiots feed them and the other wildlife.

          We have coyotes (along with foxes, mountain lions and bears) where I live, but in this more rural setting west of the front range, they tend to be much more wary of humans and keep moving, but I still keep the dog on-leash or in a fenced area and never let him run free (he’ll herd elk given the chance).

          And don’t expect the CU or Boulder PD to suggest that anyone carry a gun and shoot at threatening wildlife… especially along the Boulder Creek Path in the middle of town. They describe it as a “wooded area”, but there are quite a few homes, businesses and busy roads in the very immediate area.

  20. “CU police, meanwhile, advise that…” The CU police may “advise” a number of things, however what would they DO if they were in that situation? I expect they would shoot the beast. The peasants however are advised to wave their arms around in an attempt to look larger.

    • We have this all backwards, coyotes ought to be a lot more afraid of us than we are of them. I believe the problem is that too many humans have forgotten how to be apex predator we are. Guns are of course the best solution but far from the only effective one. Humans, with our height and reach, handy opposable thumbs and big brains, have done pretty well for ourselves with pointy sticks, clubs and sharp, heavy rocks. It would seem that for those non-gun situations and people good advice would include carrying a large, heavy stick for dealing with coyotes. I suppose though that as soon as some beta lightly taps a coyote and gets bitten instead of delivering the savage bashing required they would sue. Then there are the animal rights people who would demand action to stop the inhumane beatings of coyotes and the whole thing just falls apart.

      On second thought, lets feed the disarmament ninnies to the coyotes. If they can’t summon up the wherewithal to behave like a proper human, coyote chow might be a better use of them.

  21. I was out by a bonfire with a friend last night and we heard coyotes making all kinds of noise. We were only armed with some shitty bb gun. Next time I go I’ll probably bring the 1911 and the 12 gauge. Wonder how a coyote would like a face full of #7 bird shot

      • That means I gotta buy ammo. I got a couple hundred round of #7 target that I’m not doing anything with

    • If you’re going to go to the trouble of packing a scatter gun why not stoke it with something that will actually drop the coyote? For defensive encounters against a critter that size I recommend either #1 buck or 000 buck. The former should end it at a shot and the latter is apt to roll a coyote.

  22. 1. The governor of Texas teaches us to carry a Ruger LCP to take care of coyotes.

    2. Back in 1989 in Laguna Hills, CA I was runing along Aliso Creek and found myself within a pack of coyotes. One jogged along side me about ten feet away, his tongue lolling out and he kept looking sideways at me. I was a fast runner back then (sub six minute miles) and I was going all out. That coyote was barely trying. We kept on for about a half mile until I finally got to a path to lead me back up to Aliso Creek Parkway (right where a freeway is now). The coyotes just kept on their own merry way. I admit to being a bit unnerved!

  23. I’ve buzzed them at the airport, and I just about pasted one in a little Honda FIt going about 80 and seen them here and there, but no good stories.

  24. OMG. The solution is so freaking obvious. Just make the university a coyote free zone. Duh!!!

  25. here in cook county they commute along our creekbeds, electrical and RR right of ways and live in our golf courses. i almost always see them solo (doesn’t mean…) except the pair that flush rats and rabbits back and forth to each other by loping along either side of a substation fence. and this across the street from where the cabrini green towers once stood.
    we’ve had them enter into convenience stores near the loop, and attack a barking rug in the chucky cheese parking lot in lincolnwood. that last one ended with the pet owner beating the the yapper out of the ‘yote’s jaws with her purse.
    while roaming backyards as a meter reader i would often find critter carcasses. raptors tear their food up differently than canines- you could tell who dined there. but a sighting was always with the ‘yote in retreat.
    once in glenview i stood still as two red foxes cavorted while a third watched, all well within fifty feet.

  26. Let’s be honest here – how much is your puny pistol going to help when the coyote comes racing down the street on a pair of rocket skates?

    What we need is more firepower.

  27. Moved from the city to a partially undeveloped suburb fifteen years ago. Most of our wildlife are nocturnal. There are two signs that something is wrong with a coyote, such as illness, injury, or starvation, and they are that I see them during the day, and not with a pack. Odds are good that a coyote traveling alone in the daylight is rabid.

    My first sighting of a coyote was down the street from an elementary school, which would let out for the day within fifteen to thirty minutes. At first, my thought was “Look at that poor, starving…..THAT’S A COYOTE!”

    I didn’t own a gun at the time, and if I did, it would have been back at the house, as car carry was illegal then. (Yeah, like that worked) So, I pulled into the nearest business, told them some children were about to meet up with a coyote, and to please call the police. Luckily, the police station was less than a mile away.

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