A Ranchos coyote sighting | RecordCourier.com

A Ranchos coyote sighting

On a recent weekend morning, my son and I took a neighborhood walk near an area that backs to open space. We rounded a corner and my son exclaimed, "Hey, Mom, look at the puppy!"

I followed his line of vision just in time to see a small animal dash into the bushes of a nearby yard. A waist-high fence separated us from where we'd seen the creature go, and we approached its edge to get a closer look. After a moment, we heard rustling and watched in awe as a sandy-colored coyote pup stepped out from beneath the brush. It was as surprised to see us as we were to see it; we shared a split second of eye contact before it spun around and trotted away.

I turned quickly to check our surroundings. It seemed likely that the coyote pup's parents would be somewhere close by, although we didn't see them. Despite my son's protests (he thought the coyote could make a great pet and companion for our dog), we moved away from the area and wished the pup well on its adventure.

Coyotes are considered nocturnal animals, but they may be seen during daytime as they forage for prey, particularly in the spring and summer months. They typically avoid contact with humans. The Humane Society of the United States advises that if a coyote is scared away by the presence of people, "they are exhibiting natural behavior and this should not be cause for concern."

Should you encounter a lone coyote, the simplest way to haze it is to get “loud and large” by waving your arms and yelling.

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Coyotes who do not run away are probably used to being around people, likely due to the accessibility of food. This behavior should be discouraged. The Humane Society recommends "hazing" as a technique to "help maintain a coyote's fear of humans and deter them from backyards and play spaces."

Should you encounter a lone coyote, the simplest way to haze it is to get "loud and large" by waving your arms and yelling. You can also use noisemakers such as whistles, bells, or bang pots and pans together. Depending upon proximity, a squirt from a hose can be an effective deterrent. If the coyote moves away but keeps looking back toward you, continue employing hazing techniques until it leaves the area.

Hazing should only be practiced on an individual coyote. It should never be done near an adult coyote with pups, or on an animal that appears sick or injured. If you see a coyote you suspect is sick or injured, contact the State of Nevada Agriculture Department – Wildlife Services at 775-851-4848.

To discourage coyote foraging, always keep pet food and water indoors. It is safest to let pets outdoors only when you are with them, and always walk them on a leash.

For more information and recommendations from The Humane Society regarding coyotes, visit http://www.humanesociety.org.

June Bingo at the Elks Lodge

The Tahoe/Douglas Elks host Bingo at their lodge tonight and again on Friday, June 16. Doors open at 5 p.m. with warm-ups at 6 and regular games starting at 6:30. Players must be at least 21 years of age. The Tahoe/Douglas Elks Lodge is located at 1227 Kimmerling Road in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

Amy Roby can be reached at ranchosroundup@hotmail.com.