I thought coyote problems only happened in really remote areas of the country, in places where people ranched or farmed and had to get in their truck to drive to visit their closest neighbors. My uncle has a pig ranch in Idaho, and he talks about how he lost a favorite dog to a coyote one night when the dog ran off instead of coming inside, or how mad he was when a coyote destroyed all of his chickens. When we’d visit my uncle, my sisters and I always had a great time, with the exception of the pig smell and the sound of the coyotes at night.
So, you can imagine how I felt the other night when I went out of my cute cookie-cutter house in my little cookie-cutter neighborhood to take the garbage cans down to the street for pickup the next morning, and heard a pack of coyotes yipping and barking to each other somewhere close to the neighborhood.
I couldn’t believe it, and my uncle’s stories came flooding back to me. I don’t live in the boonies. I live in a very populated suburban area. True, the subdivisions went up only about six years ago, but the area was built up very quickly and is more densely populated. Surely we couldn’t have coyote problems here. Surely, I couldn’t be more wrong.
My husband didn’t believe me until he left for work early the next morning, and heard the coyotes’ wild sounds floating across the still subdivision. In talking with other neighbors, we discovered a few households had lost a cat, and just figured the cat had wandered off. Now, we suspect a far worse fate for beloved pets. As we became more aware of the coyote problem, people stopped going jogging by themselves in the evening or early morning hours. Parents started making children stay inside instead of walking by themselves to a friend’s house. While the coyotes had not yet posed a real threat to a human, the potential was there, and we changed our lifestyles slightly to be more careful.
I soon grew tired of it, and so did my children, who wanted to get back outside with their friends to ride bikes or play soccer. I wanted to stop worrying about the dog, who wasn’t raised to be an indoor pet.
While there is a bounty on coyotes in our state, we still live in a populated area, and can’t just go out coyote hunting without putting a lot of people at risk. So, we needed a professional service to get rid of the coyote problem for us. Fortunately, most of the neighborhood was willing to chip in, and we got a really good expert through Allstate Animal Control. We’re all still pretty wary, realizing that, even though we’re not in a remote area of the country, we can still have clashes with wild animals.