Chasing Coyotes: Accounts of Urban Crises by Debora Martin
eBook: 192 pages
Chasing Coyotes: Accounts of Urban Crises by Debora Martin is a
highly recommended informative guide on the presence and problems of
coyotes in the urban landscape of Orange County, CA, but it can pertain
to coyote populations in other urban areas. The main purpose of the book
is informational and educational, along with being easily accessible to
In Chasing Coyotes Martin discusses the history of coyotes in
cities, coyote habitats, and points out ways to coyote "proof" an area.
She also shares stories of coyote attacks on pets and people, especially
children. The stated purpose of Chasing Coyotes is fourfold: "(1) to document the plight of urban
coyotes in North America, (2) to reduce the amount of misinformation
presently circulating about urban coyotes, (3) to remove or reduce any
fear the reader may have of coyotes, and (4) to encourage readers to
haze coyotes every time they see them." Currently there is misinformation and untruths being spread about urban
coyotes by animal rights groups, such as the belief that urban coyotes
control rats. It has been shown that urban coyotes only control mice and
vole rodent populations, not rodent populations such as rats.
Included are ways to discourage coyotes from making your neighborhood
part of their hunting grounds, including "ammonia and white vinegar to
reduce pet odor, picking up pet compost, and keeping pet food and water
dishes inside." You can also "make sure that all fruit is picked up,
secure your trash can lid so coyotes cannot knock them over and get to
their contents, remove bird feeders, install motion-activated lighting
and sprinkler systems, and increase the amount of outdoor lighting....
Low-lying bushes should be removed, and bushes and trees should be cut
back, in order to reduce the number of potential coyote hiding places.
Your objective is to create a hostile environment for the coyote by
making your home and neighborhood coyote-unfriendly."
Martin discusses pets she has personally lost to coyotes in her
neighborhood. She makes it clear that you should never show fear to,
turn your back on, or run from a coyote because they might view you as
prey. You should never feed a coyote or take pictures of it. This
encourages them to not fear humans, creating a potential dangerous
situation. If possible haze any coyote you see. Martin explains how to
haze a coyote: Raise your arms and wave them while approaching the
coyote - be loud and large! Use noisemakers (your voice, whistles, air
horns, bells, and soda cans filled with pennies or dead batteries. (Be
sure to familiarize your dog to this noise.) Use projectiles (e.g.,
small rocks, cans, tennis balls, rubber balls). Try other repellents
(such as hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with
vinegar water, pepper spray, bear repellent, and walking sticks).
Sometimes coyotes will test you by pausing in their tracks and standing
their ground, but continue hazing and chasing them until they leave the
area and are out of sight.
Included in the book are a list of Coyote Preparedness References. There
are several urban areas that record and track coyote sightings in their
areas and compile a database of information. Be sure to see if your
city has a website with coyote information and a place to report
sightings of coyotes. If you have ever lived in a city or urban area
where there are populations of coyotes preying on pets you will
appreciate this book and the information it contains. While some of the
text is repetitive when discussing actions to take, in this case it
might help the casual reader remember what to do when a coyote is
My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.