We contacted three agencies that we felt might have some insight and recommendations into dealing with coyotes - the local Humane Society, the City of Colorado Springs and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. What we learned from the first two was that the ultimate authority for managing coyotes in Colorado is the Division of Wildlife. So we turned to them as experts in dealing with coyotes, and they subsequently sent out an officer to investigate. We have recommendations from the DOW and contact information for them at the end of this report.
First, some background on the issue. Pine Creek surrounds hundreds of acres of open space that has been designated as endangered wildlife habitat that is managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Department. This open space is home to the endangered Preble's Jumping Mouse, and as such is off-limits to the public. You may have seen the signs warning people to stay out of these open spaces. Because of the protected status of this open space, and the fact that it's adjacent to a privately owned golf course, coyotes have found a large sanctuary in which to live and breed (feasting on Preble's Jumping Mice, no doubt). Many homes in Pine Creek back right up to the protected open space and to the golf course, so access by coyotes to Pine Creek yards is easy, and inevitable. Unfortunately, short of building a wall between homes and the open spaces, there will be no way to create a barrier to prevent coyotes from entering yards.
Based on our reports, The Colorado Springs Division of the Department of Wildlife sent an officer out to investigate the Pine Creek coyote activity and events that have been reported by owners. What they discovered is significant, but not unexpected coyote behavior. They told us that coyote breeding occurs between January and March and that they will be most active during these months when their natural food sources may run short, and they will wander into yards in search of food. The DOW has provided several recommendations on how to deal with coyotes - the main points we have recounted below in this email. But we strongly urge you to DOWNLOAD the DOW's brochure entitled, "Your Guide to Avoiding Human-Coyote Conflicts". This document has more details on dealing with coyotes and should be beneficial to most residents. In addition, you can find additional info on the DOW website.
If you are one of the people who have witnessed recent coyote activity, please contact the DOW at 719-227-5200 as they need to hear the specifics directly from each of you. The more reports they get directly from homeowners, the more info they will have to determine if they can take stronger action for our coyote problem.
Several of you have asked if you can shoot coyotes. Be aware that it is illegal to discharge any firearm (even BB and pellet guns) within the city limits, so we urge you not to shoot coyotes. Unfortunately, PCVA can't get involved directly in coyote eradication efforts. Even if we could formulate some sort of approved plan with the DOW, the cost and liability would be too great. This is a problem best solved by direct homeowner involvement with the DOW. If you have an emergency with coyotes (or any other wildlife for that matter) please call the DOW directly at 719-227-5200.
CLICK HERE to download the document entitled "Your Guide to Avoiding Human-Coyote Conflicts".
CLICK HERE to visit the DOW website regarding dealing with coyotes.
Here are some highlights provided by the DOW on dealing with coyotes.
What To Do If You Live in Coyote Country:
- If you live in areas where coyotes have been seen, protect your pets! Coyotes will attack and kill cats and dogs. Do not allow your pets to roam, especially at night.
- Do not allow your dogs to run with coyotes.
- Don't leave pet food outside.
- Keep your garbage in a storage facility or in a tightly sealed container.
- Keep your distance and do not approach the animals.
- Keep your pets on a leash when walking them.
- If a coyote approaches you or your pet, you can throw rocks or sticks to frighten it away.
- Use a loud, authoritative voice to frighten the animal.