So, my yard backs up to a long patch of woods, which has always been one of the things I love most about my house. I’ve got a little creek, tall majestic trees, and lots of beautiful nature to observe. Over the 19 years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen raccoons, possum, rabbits, deer, snakes, turtles, and the occasional fox. Fascinating to watch, and I’ve always appreciated being able to co-exist peacefully with my wild kingdom, especially since I actually live in a pretty well developed area.
But here’s the problem: I have recently discovered some new new residents in the woods. Freakin’ coyotes. They are not native to the area, and considered a nuisance animal by the state. However, I have hit a brick wall with getting them removed. Local animal control only deals with domestic animals, and my state Department of Natural Resources doesn’t handle removals. A private removal service is waaay expensive, and doesn’t guarantee that they’ll remove them all.
I’ve just about resigned myself to the fact that they are here to stay, and that I will continue to live in fear of a pack of coyotes attacking my dogs. The dogs don’t get to go outside as much as they used to, and when they do, I never let them out of my sight.
Anyway, I’ve been told that spraying the perimeter of my yard with predator urine (sold at Lowes or Home Depot), will keep them out of the treated area. Apparently, you use the urine of the predator one notch up on the totem pole. Wolf urine, in this case. The reviews I’ve read online are mixed on whether or not this works, so I thought I’d see if any Dopers have ever tried this.
My uncle Red used to buy moonshine in South Carolina he called “panther piss”. I don’t think he was using it to chase off pests, but I was only a little kid.
As far as urine goes, when I first moved to where I live now, there were foxes who made themselves unwelcome. I pulled the stunt I saw in the movie “Never Cry Wolf” and marked MY territory. We had a few middle of the night arguments where they’d bark at me and I’d call them out and tell 'em to get lost. Seemed to work, but I wouldn’t have done it if I lived in the city. Some of them folks have no sense of the practical.
I have no idea how effective it would be against coyotes, but in a house I lived in about 20-ish years ago, our friend down the street had a brother who was a barber. They’d sweep up the floor and bag the hair clippings, and our friend would hang them around all four corners of his property. He had the only garden in the neighborhood that wasn’t eaten by deer.
Supposedly it works with other animals as well, but I can only say for certain that it works very well against deer.
Depending on where you live, coyotes may not really know what wolf smells like enough to really fear it; like the usual fail of using lion dung from zoos or circuses to try to frighten off deer. But human now — that’s another story. I would (and know people who have) go with a mixture of human hair and some urine marked areas. Or maybe bear if you could find it but that gets a little pricey.
The hair suggestion is interesting. I’ve read that coyotes tend to be afraid of humans, and will avoid contact. I’ve got a friend that owns a salon. I may ask him for a sack o’ hair to try out.
For what it’s worth, I’ve never really had a problem with the deer wrecking my yard. Except for that one year I did an elaborate vegetable patch, complete with corn. I will never try growing corn again, btw. I was just about to harvest my lovingly grown corn, but figured I’d wait til the weekend to throw it on the grill. I waited a day too long.
I suppose that once the coyotes take out all the deer, I can grow veggies again.
You can buy piss (Oh Dear Og, am I Really saying this?) or you can make piss into a throw-away bottle for free and scare them away with that.
So What if you’re neighbors think you’re an Alcoholic Psycho…
I know I’ve discouraged neighborhood dogs with Cayenne pepper, but the treatments are constant, the price is a lot over time, and unless they learn, the problem never really resolves.
Look, how desperate are you?
Is your personality one that is OK sitting at an open upstairs window, like Zoe Deschanel, with a sling-shot or a BB gun for 2-3 hours a night looking to shoot a predator in the ass?
“Honey, what the Hell was That Sound?”
“Its the Stillers. You KNOW they never close their windows…”
Are you saying that something like that is too ‘light weight’ for you to get the job done?
That’s what Mrs Stiller said…
Remember, you can always lay down a circular perimeter of Tomcat Bromethalin Meal Bait.
Yes, every member of the canine family that eats it will die a screaming horrible death with blood squirting out of every hole on their body… but you’d still get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. mirror time
“Mirror Mirror on the Wall…
…Tell me if I have the Balls…?”
After reading some of these responses, I’m seriously starting to consider using my own pee at the edge of the woods. (And I can’t believe I actually typed that sentence!) Although I must confess, I’ve been sitting here wondering how I was going to work up the nerve to go out in my yard and cop a squat, hoping the neighbors wouldn’t notice. It never occurred to me to use a bottle! :smack:
I really am desperate to get rid of them, though. Their howling and screaming every damn night is like some sort of serenade from hell, and it freaks my dogs out. Not to mention I’ve had quite a few vivid nightmares about what would happen if I encountered one while taking my dogs out late at night. I really want them gone.
Oh, and hunting them is not an option. The town I live in does not allow discharging firearms within town limits.
Most personal experiences with schemes to keep various animals away suffer from not being thoroughly tested, and assume causation from correlation. To figure out a good method though, you need to figure out why the animals are coming to your place, and then you can determine how to (or if you can) deter them.
If you’ve been there for a long time and this is new, then you might suspect some change in prey abundance or other predator control/protection might be taking place. In the case where there’s a shit-ton more rabbits you’re not going to scare the coyotes away with urine from a foreign species they don’t even recognize… they won’t care. They already smell you and your neighbors every night (by far the most abundant/dominant/dangerous species they’ve ever encountered) and just waltz right in anyway. If there’s some kind of coyote explosion due to a combination of laws which prohibit their control (common in developed areas that don’t allow shooting) and abundant food like stray cats and rodents living in everyone’s gardens, then chemical deterrents won’t do much either… it’d be the equivalent of putting up “no panhandling” signs at prime panhandling locations. The desperate come and do their thing anyways because that’s the best spot and they’re… well, desperate for food/resources.
Problem wildlife experts pretty much always advocate first removing the attractants on your property, be they food, cover/habitat, or something else. There’s really not much proven in between the next step of simply killing them. I have rural property with a river valley, trees, and a natural pond. Beavers are my pest… and short of draining the pond, diverting the river, and denuding the area of edible vegetation, they will always keep coming. Even if I trap or shoot every one of them on my property today, next year some new beavers will move in because the habitat and food is what they want. No secret scent or techno gadget will deter their obviously successful instinct to seek out prime habitat.
You can fairly easily get rid of specialist-type species like pandas which require very specific conditions and food, but a robust generalist omnivorous species like coyotes, rats, or roaches will pretty much always find a way to hang on, especially if your yard or neighborhood is appealing.
Crossbows? They are legal in PA for hunting and depending on the legal definitions of a safety zone in your state --------
And to be frank, I have read (yeah – that’s right – read) of people using blunt points in residential areas to cause fatalities in a safe fashion on harmful critters. Not that I myself would ever do such a thing but with like a 150# draw ------
I’ve used coyote piss to keep mammals (deer, rabbits, etc.) out of my garden and it was effective against them… but alas, not against 40 pounds of snapping turtle. Or thieving neighbors. And I doubt it discourages coyotes, but then, the coyotes are not the ones eating my vegetables.
Predator urine only works in areas where the predators already exist, so the prey animals will recognize the scent. And it’s not 100% perfect. Also must be re-applied after rain.