(COLORADO) — Coyotes are common in Southern Colorado and can pose a risk to humans and pets alike, if steps aren’t taken to minimize interactions.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) shares about coyotes along the front range on their website.

“The coyote’s success is attributed to the coyote’s own ability to adapt. Coyotes have adjusted very well to human-disturbed environments, and now thrive in close proximity to people,” CPW said.

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According to the website, coyotes are at home all along the Front Range. They are described as opportunistic hunters who prey on small animals, domestic pets, domestic fowl, and livestock. They also eat carrion and plants. Coyotes will eat what is available to them.

CPW said, “In Colorado, coyotes are classified as a game species and may be taken year-round with either a small game or a furbearer license. Landowners may kill coyotes, without a license, on their land if the coyotes threaten their property or livestock.”

CPW list these guidelines for coexistence with coyotes:

At home

  • Never Feed Coyotes!
  • Remove attractants from your yard, including pet food, water sources, bird feeders, and fallen fruit.
  • Secure trash in a container with a locking lid or put trash out on the morning of pick up.
  • Deter coyotes with a 6-foot privacy fence.
  • Never approach wildlife. If a coyote approaches, yell, throw rocks or sticks at it, spray with a hose, or bang pots and pans.

If approached by a coyote

  • Do not run or turn your back
  • Be as big and loud as possible
  • Wave your arms and throw objects
  • Face the coyote and back away slowly
  • If attacked, fight back

Pet protection

  • Keep pets on a short (6-foot) leash
  • Use extra caution from dusk through dawn
  • Avoid known or potential den sites and thick vegetation
  • Do not allow dogs to play or interact with coyotes
  • Pick up small pets if confronted by a coyote.
  • Always supervise your pet when outside, especially at dawn or dusk.
  • Never leave cats or dogs outside after dark.
  • Don’t leave pet food outside.
  • If you must leave your pet outside, secure it in a fully enclosed kennel.​

Preparedness. For those concerned about coyote encounters:

  • Recreate during daylight hours.
  • Walk with a walking stick.
  • Keep a deterrent spray handy.
  • Carry noise makers or rocks to throw.

Following these guidelines can keep pets and humans safe.