Are you a hiker who loves exploring the great outdoors?
If so, it’s important to be prepared for encounters with wildlife, especially coyotes. Coyotes are beautiful creatures, but encountering one while hiking can be dangerous.
As people who love hiking, we’ve had our fair share of run-ins with coyotes, so we want to share with you some tips on what to do if you see a coyote while hiking.
Keep reading below for more!
How To Identify The Signs Of Coyote Presence?
Before we get into what to do if you see a coyote while hiking, it’s important to know how to recognize its presence.
Here are some signs to keep an eye out for.
Coyote Tracks And Scat
Coyote tracks are distinctive and can be easily identified by their oval shape, with two claws pointing forward and two pointing backward. If you see tracks that match this description, chances are there’s a coyote nearby.
Similarly, coyote scat is often found along trails or at the base of trees and it looks similar to dog poop but tends to be more elongated and tapered at the ends.
Coyotes are known for their unique vocalizations, including howling, yipping, and barking. If you hear these sounds, there’s a good chance a coyote is nearby.
These animals prefer open spaces like grasslands, meadows, and deserts, but they can also be found in urban areas. If you’re hiking in an area with these types of habitats, keep an eye out for coyotes.
Moreover, coyotes are opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything they can find. If you see evidence of a coyote’s meal, such as a carcass or bones, there may be a coyote nearby.
Now, it’s important to note that just because you see signs of coyote presence, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will encounter one.
However, it’s always better to be prepared and aware of your surroundings, and if you do come across a coyote while hiking, knowing how to react can make all the difference. But don’t worry, I’ll cover that in the next section!
How To Avoid Coyote Encounters?
Avoiding coyote encounters while hiking is the best way to ensure your safety, so here are some tips to help you avoid coyotes.
Choose The Right Time Of Day
Coyotes are most active at dawn and dusk, so try to plan your hikes during the middle of the day when coyotes are less likely to be out and about.
Stay On Designated Trails
These creatures tend to avoid well-traveled areas, so sticking to designated trails can reduce the likelihood of encountering one.
Keep Your Dog On A Leash
Moreover, coyotes are more likely to approach a dog than a human, so it’s important to keep your furry friend on a leash.
Read next 🐶 – Best Hiking Dogs
This will also prevent your dog from chasing after a coyote, which could lead to a dangerous encounter.
These wild animals are also generally afraid of humans, but they may become more aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered.
Therefore, making noise while hiking, such as singing or talking loudly, can help deter coyotes from approaching you.
Keep Food And Trash Secure
Finally, coyotes are attracted to food and may approach humans in search of a meal. So, keep your food and trash secure and away from your campsite to avoid attracting coyotes.
Remember, the best way to avoid a coyote encounter is to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to reduce the likelihood of encountering one.
However, if you do come across a coyote while hiking, it’s important to know how to react.
What To Do If You See A Coyote While Hiking?
If you do come across a coyote while hiking, it’s important to stay calm and know what to do. Here are some tips to help you handle a coyote encounter:
Coyotes are natural predators and may chase after something that runs away from them. If you see a coyote, stand your ground and don’t run.
Make Yourself Look Bigger
If a coyote approaches you, make yourself look bigger by raising your arms and standing on your tiptoes. This will make you appear more intimidating to the coyote and they might even shy away and run!
Again, Make Noise
As we have already mentioned, coyotes are afraid of you too, so yelling, clapping, and making loud noises can help scare them off.
Make sure that you use a firm, assertive voice to let the coyote know that you’re not afraid and you will probably see them run away.
If a coyote continues to approach you, throw objects in its direction. This can be anything from rocks to sticks to water bottles. The goal is to make the coyote feel uncomfortable and encourage it to leave.
Back Away Slowly
If the coyote isn’t showing any signs of aggression, slowly back away while keeping your eyes on it. Don’t turn your back to the coyote or run away.
Use Pepper Spray
If a coyote becomes aggressive and attacks you, use pepper spray to defend yourself. Be sure to aim for the coyote’s face and eyes.
How To Prevent Coyote Encounters In The Future?
Now that you know what to do if you encounter a coyote while hiking, it’s important to take steps to prevent future encounters.
First of all, reporting coyote sightings to local authorities can help track and manage the population, while community and government initiatives, such as public education programs and wildlife management plans, can also help.
Furthermore, when planning outdoor activities in coyote territory, remember to follow best practices, such as keeping your pets on a leash and securing your trash and food.
And, of course, by being proactive and taking the necessary precautions, you can reduce the likelihood of encountering a coyote in the future.
The Bottom Line
Coyotes are dangerous animals but if you follow our tips and advice, you should be able to confront them and watch them run away before you even need to panic.
So, save this article and share it with your hiker friends!