Living With Wild Animals - Coyotes

The following information is from Arizona Game and Fish Department website:




This photo was not taken in Dove Valley Ranch. The photo is included here so residents can identify these animals. If you have a photo of this animal taken in Dove Valley Ranch please send it to your photo will be included on this website.

Coyotes are common in rural and urban areas throughout Arizona. Coyotes tend to travel and hunt alone or in pairs, but they can form groups where food is abundant.

Possible Conflicts with Humans and Pets

Coyotes are curious, clever, and adaptable. They quickly learn to take advantage of any newly discovered food source, and are often attracted to yards with abundant fruit and wildlife to eat. Coyotes will eat pet food and knock over unsecured garbage cans, or may walk along the tops of walls around homes in search of unattended dogs and cats to eat. Coyotes may consider large or loud dogs to be a threat to their territory and become aggressive toward those dogs. Coyotes have lured free-roaming dogs away from their owners to attack, and bold coyotes may attack small dogs on retractable leashes.

What Attracts Them?

Coyotes may visit a home if they find food, water, or shelter there.

  • Food can include unattended pets, birds or rodents attracted to bird feeders, pet food, garbage, or fallen fruit.
  • Water sources can include a pet's water bowl or a swimming pool.
  • Shelter can include a storm drain or any cave-like area beneath a shed or unused building.

What Should I Do?

If you see a coyote near your home, don't ignore it. This may cause it to lose its natural fear of people, which can eventually lead to aggressive behavior.

To discourage a coyote, immediately:

  • Make loud noises.
  • Shout and bang pots and pans or rattle empty soda cans with pebbles in it (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.

In an emergency: If a coyote is aggressive, approaching a person, biting, or growling and snarling unprovoked, then:

  • Continue and exaggerate the above actions.
  • Don't turn away or run because the animal may view it as an opportunity to chase.
  • Keep eye contact.
  • Move toward other people, a building, or an area of activity.

Call your local Arizona Game and Fish Department office (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon. -Fri. excluding holidays). Also, call Game and Fish if severe property damage has occurred or if there is possession of a live coyote. After hours and weekends, a radio dispatcher is available at (623) 236-7201.

To prevent further problems:

  • Remove anything outside your home that may be attracting coyotes. This includes garbage, pet food, water sources, and bird feeders that can attract rodents and birds for coyotes to eat.
  • Never feed coyotes.
  • Encourage your neighbors not to feed coyotes or leave anything out that might attract the animals.
  • Feed your pets inside, and never leave them unattended, especially at dusk and dawn when coyotes are most active. If it's necessary to leave a small pet outside unattended, keep it in a sturdy enclosure with a roof.
  • Keep poultry, rabbits, and rodents in secure enclosures.
  • Trim and remove any ground-level shrubs and branches that provide hiding places or den sites for coyotes or their prey.
  • Secure garbage containers and eliminate odors by cleaning trashcans with a 10 percent chlorine bleach solution. Put out trash containers on the morning of pickup, not the night before.