Coyote FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Coyotes in Broomfield:

Broomfield Open Space and Trails frequently accepts calls about coyotes in the Broomfield community. These are some of the most common questions we receive regarding coyotes. 

Q: Why are there coyotes in my neighborhood, shouldn't they be on Open Space land?
A: Although coyotes tend to make their dens on open space land, their territories can and often expand into nearby neighborhoods. It is normal for coyotes to be attracted to residential areas. However, we want to do everything possible to make sure coyotes are not comfortable in neighborhoods. Make sure there is nothing attracting coyotes to your neighborhood such as fallen fruit, unsecured trash or compost, exposed water sources, dirty barbeque grills, outside pet food, or intentional wildlife feeding. It is illegal to feed coyotes in Broomfield based on Colorado Parks and Wildlife regulations. Utilize low-intensity hazing whenever a coyote is sighted; look big, shout, throw rocks/stones, spray water or pepper spray, use noisemakers, or shrine bright lights. Work with your neighbors and homeowners association to make sure negative coyote interactions are minimized. 

Q: I saw a coyote while hiking or walking my dog through Open Space, what should I do? 
A: Coyotes call Broomfield home, and are here to stay. In order to make sure you and your family or pet is safe when seeing a coyote, follow these guidelines: 
     - Stop! Do not run. If you run, the coyote may chase. 
     - Pick up small dogs and children, if possible.
     - Make yourself look as big as possible.
     - Shout, wave your arms over your head, or throw rocks/sticks.
     - Back away slowly if the coyote does not retreat. 
     - Keep all dogs on a short (less than 6 ft) leash. 

Q: I saw a coyote out during the day. Isn't that unusual for a coyote? 
A: Coyotes are naturally diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. Many coyotes have adapted to be more active at night in response to human activity, but seeing one during the day does not mean something is wrong with it. Utilize low-intensity hazing whenever a coyote is sighted; look big, shout, throw rocks/stones, spray water or pepper spray, use noisemakers, or shine bright lights. 

Q: I own a dog/cat and am fearful for its life because of coyotes. What should I do? 
A: Many animals see pets as food: eagles, owls, hawks, and foxes have all been known to prey on pets. Coyotes often see dogs as prey or competition as well, and have been known to kill pets. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pet is safe. Coyotes can jump even six foot fences, so dogs should always be attended while in the backyard or kept in a secure run. Always keep dogs on a short (less than 6 ft) leash when recreating. Cats should always be kept inside. 

Q: Should my family be fearful of coyotes? Do they attack humans? 
A: Although extremely rare, coyotes have been known to attack humans. Broomfield had one bite on an adult in 2009 and three on children in 2011. In response to this, coyotes who display habituation towards humans are now hazed aggressively by Broomfield Open Space staff using paint ball and rubber buckshot. If a coyote becomes a direct threat to human safety, Broomfield Open Space works with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to have the animal lethally removed. Utilize low-intensity hazing whenever a coyote is sighted in order to re-instill a coyote's natural fear of humans. Teach children the S.M.A.R.T. method for encountering coyotes. Call Broomfield Police at 9.1.1. to report a coyote attack on a human. 

Q: I saw a coyote that was sick or injured, can Broomfield do anything to help?
A: Broomfield Open Space does not assist injured or diseased wildlife. Wild animals can often survive injuries or recover from illness and our policy is to let nature take its course. If a coyote has become completely immobile from illness or injury, you may call the Broomfield Police Animal Services at 303.438.6400 to have the animal humanely euthanized. 

Q: I saw a coyote that was missing a lot of hair, is mange contagious to humans or pets? 
A: Sarcoptic mange is a canine disease that is caused by an infestation of the skin by mites, resulting in various degrees of hair loss. Both coyotes and foxes are known to carry mange. Serious cases of mange can cause blindness, hearing loss, difficulty eating, and can be lethal in wild canines. Sarcoptic mange can be transferred to dogs and even cats, but is highly treatable with medication from a veterinarian. Do not allow your pet to interact with coyotes. Sarcoptic mange very rarely transfers to humans and when it does it is generally self-limiting, causing only temporary itching. 

Q: Why doesn't Broomfield trap and relocate coyotes? 
A: Trapping wild coyotes is an extremely dangerous operation and not seen as a valid option for Broomfield Open Space. The reality is that the suburban area is attractive habitat for coyotes and coyotes are capable of traveling up to 300 miles to return to their home territory. Additionally, Colorado Parks and Wildlife does not authorize relocations of predators in the urban area because there is nowhere for the coyote to go. Moving wildlife across county lines is not permitted. 

Q: Why am I not allowed to shoot coyotes that encroach onto my property? 
A: It is illegal to discharge a firearm in Broomfield (Broomfield Municipal Code: 9-72-020). The shooting of coyotes is not permitted anywhere in Broomfield County due to this provision. Additionally, coyote populations are extremely capable at rebounding and recolonizing vacant territories, and the suburban habitat provides plentiful sources of food and water. Removing one coyote will only allow another to take its place. Broomfield does work with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to remove coyotes that pose a direct threat to human safety.