Living with Coyotes

Daryl Laux

Coyotes are curious, clever, and adaptable and will take advantage of any food source. Yards with abundant fruit on the ground, pet food, unsecured garbage cans, or unattended pets such as small dogs and cats are often easy food sources for coyotes. Coyotes may consider larger or loud dogs to be a threat to their territory and become aggressive toward them. Coyotes have lured and attacked dogs that are off-leash, and bold coyotes have attacked small dogs on retractable leashes.

People often inadvertently create conflicts with wildlife by providing food, water, and shelter that attract them. Never feed wildlife. It is unlawful to feed coyotes in Pima County per Arizona Revised Statute 13-2927. Violations can result in a fine of up to $300.

Arizona Game & Fish website:

Living with Coyotes brochure:

If you see a coyote near your home, don’t ignore it. The coyote may lose its natural fear of humans, which can eventually lead to bold behavior.

How to Scare Off a Coyote

Make loud noises, but do not turn and run away; the coyote may view it as an opportunity to chase.

Keep eye contact.

Shout and bang pots and pans or rattle empty soda cans with pebbles in them (coyote shaker).

Wave your hands or objects like sticks and brooms.

Throw small stones or cans.

Spray the coyote with a hose.

Use a commercial repellent like Mace, if necessary, on bold animals that refuse to leave.

Move toward other people, a building, or an area with activity.

In case of an emergency, call 911.

If a coyote is approaching a person or has bitten a person, seek medical attention by calling 911. Anyone bitten by a coyote must immediately seek medical attention from a qualified health care provider.

Also call your local Arizona Game & Fish Department office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday excluding holidays, 520-628-5376. After hours and weekends, a dispatcher is available at 623-236-7201.