Has a coyote ever “followed” you or your dog while you’re walking in your neighborhood or in the park? If so, you may have felt afraid, perhaps thought the coyote was stalking you, or that an attack was imminent. But don’t fear.
Coyotes are naturally curious animals and often engage in this behavior called “escorting”. Escorting is when a coyote, sometimes with its mate, makes sure that you are leaving its territory. This behavior is most often seen from early March to late April when coyote parents are protecting their precious puppies. Escorting most often happens in the early morning or in the evening, and because they may see dogs as a threat to their babies, it’s most often seen by dog walkers.
What do you do if you’re “escorted” by a coyote? Don’t panic; the coyote is much more terrified of you! If you don’t have your dog leashed – which you should in coyote country- immediately leash it and keep it by your side. Calmly keep walking, slowly, as normally.
Soon enough, you’ll be out of the coyote’s home and he will stop escorting you! On the off chance, the escorting coyote starts to approach too closely, shout and wave your hands to frighten it away. As we humans develop more and more woodlands, coyote coexistence has become even more essential; we simply must learn to speak their language.
Photo: Joe Galkowski