How to keep Coyotes, Foxes, and Wolves Out of Your Yard and Livestock
In my part of Wisconsin wolves are unheard of, however recently a new pack has moved in just a couple miles away. Neighbors have seen what they believe to be wolf tracks in their fields and around their barns and house. With the snow finally falling people are just beginning to notice wolf and coyote tracks, however they have probably been there since the fall if not sooner.
Foxes and Coyote mating season starts in January and February and they give birth during March and April, making sightings more common during this time. Wolves mate anywhere from January to April, moving often looking for mates and a good place to den.
With increased sightings of coyotes, foxes, and wolves in the area people are becoming fearful for their families and livestock. Although these predators are coming into the yard and around the livestock it is unlikely these predators will attack your children or pets. It is more likely that your child will be bitten by your own family dog than a wild coyote, fox, or wolf. However it is never a good idea to leave young children or pets unattended outside for any period of time.
Keeping these predators out of the yard can be simple and nonlethal, with these tips and tricks keep your family, livestock, and livelihood safe and predator free.
Tips for keeping predators away:
Keeping predators away can be simple and nonlethal with a few tricks that will help prevent predators from coming into your yard killing livestock and becoming comfortable around people.
- Keeping a guard dog such as a Great Pyrenees or Shepherd will prevent predators from coming to close to livestock.
- Moving livestock to different pastures can prevent wolves from coming in and killing the young or sick
- Reinforce chicken coops with heavy gauge welded wire along with a finer layer of mesh to prevent coyotes, foxes, or wolves from being able to reach through
- Putting up fences will also prevent traveling predators from entering the yard and seeking out livestock, however predators have a heightened sense of smell and can smell up to a few miles away.
- Putting up a coyote barrel (freestanding cylinder) that attaches to the top of a fence may also be an option. It prevents dogs from getting out and other animals trying to come in out. It literally rolls the animal off that is trying to climb over.
Do not feed coyotes, foxes, or wolves, whether that be on purpose or by accident.
- Leaving extreme amounts of bird seed in feeders attracts small mammals, and coyotes. Just enough bird seed for birds is enough to keep away the rabbits and squirrels along with the coyotes.
- Feed pets indoors whenever possible and store the feed where it is inaccessible from wild animals
- Keep garbage cans secured shut and compost piles free of meat and easily accessible edibles
- Bury, burn, or dispose of carcasses in fields instead of leaving them to rot
Take Away Housing:
Trim and clean shrubs and brush to ground level which reduces housing and hiding cover for coyotes, foxes, and their prey
Trapping foxes and coyotes may work as a temporary fix however new families can and may move in. Trapping also requires a licenses.
It is possible to live in harmony with these beautiful predators. They are only looking for food sources as we are slowly tearing apart their habitat. By using these tips we are encouraging them to stay away from humans and to find their food elsewhere. Winter months are long and food is scarce. With the white backdrop of snow it is easier to see the red fox and coyotes moving through the fields and pastures than it is in the summer.
Mating is in season for coyotes, foxes, and wolves and we are seeing them more often as they are looking for mates and new places to den. They have always been here, just because we can see them more, doesn't mean they have become a threat to us or our livelihood.