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I'm at my sister's home in Columbia, Missouri for a short visit. She's in a residential area in a good size city. I went out this morning to get some things from my truck and startled a coyote, which trotted at a rather leisurely pace to a yard across the street. I spotted him later, basically walking around looking in windows. I've done enough desert camping to be confident that this was in fact a coyote and not some feral-looking stray.

My sister has four small dogs and a large yard with a very solid 8 foot fence. I think her dogs are safe. I talked to a woman across the street who has a dog and a 4 foot picket fence, which a coyote would laugh at. Then I had my sister post an urgent alert on the Next Door site.

I'm accustomed to seeing coyotes "in the wild" but now I'm seeing them close to our home in Wisconsin and they don't seem particularly shy around people, which is concerning.
 

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I'd love to see a coyote in the wild but would not be happy to see one in the neighborhood!

My city parks department says coyotes are numerous in the parks here but shy of humans. I have seen a few alerts of them spotted in neighborhoods but not where they were really close to or approaching anyone.

For context, large city but also very large parks. Hundreds of acres.

Its far more common here to see foxes but at least, having a big dog, a fox doesn't concern me much. Had one or two around my office that would trot through the parking lot but not if people were there.

Do you scare them off or just hang tight and let them pass by?
 

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There are a good many residential areas here in Colorado where you don't let small dogs out alone if you care about them. A friend who lives right in Denver reported a fox attacking one of her small dogs in a yard surrounded by privacy fencing. Letting larger dogs run loose is probably also dangerous. Of course it is in many ways, but it's my understanding that while one coyote can't take on a big dog, a pack can and will.

My feelings are mixed. I've seen coyotes running looking disoriented and bewildered in broad daylight right after bulldozers start on a new tract of what was untouched land. I think so many areas like that have been developed that coyotes and other wildlife have adapted to suburban living. They've had to. Loose cats and dogs are as much prey as rabbits and rodents. A dozen deer in my horse pasture are no longer an unusual sight, and they don't spook when I walk by pretty close, even with one of my Rotties. Everyone in the neighborhood who plants trees surrounds them with mesh wire protection as high as possible.

I did hear a guy on the radio raising Cain over fear for his kids in his yard in an area like that a while back but don't know what came of his campaign to have coyote exterminators out like in the old days. Pretty amazing when there's a push to reinstate wolves in parts of Colorado.

Do you scare them off or just hang tight and let them pass by?
I've heard of pretty aggressive and brazen behavior from coyotes. If I were walking a small dog in an area where they were reported, I'd carry something to back one off - I've used pepper spray on loose dogs that approached aggressively.
 

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I live in a Chicago suburb in in dense townhome neighborhood and have seen many of them around over the years. There was one walking down the sidewalk across the street when I brought my dog out to pee late-night. My dog (40# beagle mix) went absolutely berserk and the coyote didn't flinch. He just kept strolling along the sidewalk casually.
The deer don't seem to mind people around much either.
 

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I have seen many coyotes in and around the neighbourhoods here. In my experience, usually not a problem. In that context, they seem rather shy, complacent, reserved. Relatively unthreatening.

Years ago I also had one encounter outside the urban zone, in the wild so-to-speak. A friend and I were walking one of my dogs in a large wooded area, going westward, when we were confronted by a coyote wanting to go eastward along the path. All parties came to a halt and a basic stationary standoff occurred for a brief moment. Then suddenly and surprisingly, the coyote became much more "assertive" (borderline aggressive IMO), continued to advance and insisted on its right to proceed. My friend immediately grabbed a fallen tree limb merely as protection if need be. For some reason the coyote was adamant, so we peacefully conceded of course and retreated uneventfully.

What was most concerning to me was this area is directly adjacent to a university campus, with indoor / outdoor childcare facilities on the campus outskirts. In my subsequent communications with wildlife authorities, they admitted it was unusual behaviour, but also suggested that perhaps the coyote was a female with newborn pups nearby.

Point being, it's Mother Nature at work. Be aware of the possibilities, be respectful, and be careful.
 

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An 8 foot fence is not a barrier to a coyote.. it is a challenge. Please be aware of this.

Had coyotes on my farm and dog coyotes in the east can go 70 pounds. I never had trouble with them as they kept the rodent population in check and would also thin out the deer by eating fawns (a thing I was always very happy to see as the deer did a LOT of damage to my crops). More recently I heard that some beef farmers locally (western MA) are having issues with coyotes attacking and killing calves as they are being born (during the actual birthing process) and the cow is helpless.. sometimes this has also led to the cow being damaged and having to be slaughtered for beef. This is a large loss to those farmers. I never had this issue even though my cows calved out on pasture.

Coyotes are smart and adaptive. They are more and more common in cities and suburban neighborhoods. Be aware and keep small pets safe (do not let little dogs out unattended, keep cats inside and so forth). I would also watch for unusual behavior that might be associated with rabies.
 

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An 8 foot fence is not a barrier to a coyote.. it is a challenge. Please be aware of this.
I have no doubt a highly motivated coyote could get over that fence, but there are much easier pickings in the neighborhood, including a lot of outdoor cats or yards with 4 foot picket fences and small dogs.
 

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I live in MO and I have never once seen a Coyote, but i've heard them all right.

her dogs are not safe though, maybe try coyote rollers.
 

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Coyotes seem to get especially brave in the winter when finding prey gets a bit harder. They avoid our farmyard through the spring and summer, but in winter they occasionally wander through the yard at night looking for food. Keeping any food in the dumpster where it belongs and off the ground helps encourage them to look for food elsewhere.

When my father raised sheep, he would hang a shirt that he had slept in and sprayed with cologne up in the sheep pastures to help deter coyotes. It worked well in an area where farmers can and would shoot at wildlife bothering livestock, but probably not so well in suburban areas where the scent of humans is already prevalent and the most people do is shout at them.
 
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