Although I am not on social media, I have heard rumblings of people encountering “aggressive” coyotes in town. Somebody took it so far as to kill one and dump it over the bridge by the old sewer plant. Having lived on Walnut St. off and on for 64 years, I am fully aware of the wildlife in our canyons and mesas. Unfortunately, I was guilty of being an irresponsible dog owner and ended up carting dogs to the vet for stitches and antibiotics due to encounters with coyotes. I learned from these experiences a couple of things. I did not have control of my dogs. I also realized that them being off lead was an invitation for coyotes to go after them. I also became aware of the times of year when coyotes may be more problematic: during mating season and when they are providing for pups (basically very early spring through the summer months). I found that keeping my dog on lead was key to preventing encounters. I also began carrying pepper spray which I have never had to use.
I would like to encourage dog owners in our county to consider these ideas. I am not a novice dog trainer! I trained and fielded search and rescue dogs for 34 years! We live in an incredible area full of all sorts of wildlife. The coyotes offer a great service of controlling rodent populations and culling the deer population. They are vital to our ecosystem and I would encourage people to understand their role in our habitat.
I had the fortunate experience of watching a litter of five pups grow and develop last summer in Walnut Canyon. I consider myself lucky to have witnessed this experience firsthand. Please do your part in protecting coyotes rather than seeing them as vermin and competition.