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  1. #1
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    Are coyotes a potential problem?

    Coyotes have begun to show up in greater numbers in our neighborhood. They have killed deer and people's pets.

    I ride in the dark sometimes. Having been chased by dogs on occasion, I was wondering about the potential for coyote trouble. Anybody know enough about coyotes to have an opinion about whether they might pose a threat to cyclists?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I read of an attack on a cyclist in the Oceanside , Calif newspaper several years back.. A coyote attacked a cyclist while in motion.. But, the report said the coyote was later found and tested. It was rabid.. . Other than that, always had the impression , if a coyote is in a normal state of mind, they will seek out smaller prey..
    As I recall the newspaper story, the cyclist outran the coyote but it attempted to chase him.. Seems a coyote would be faster than the average cyclist.?.
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  3. #3
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    We get Coyotes up in the area here and and we definitely ran into a few a on tour. They caused us no harm, however they were our biggest threat the whole time.
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    Mistadobalina AGGRO's Avatar
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    2 killed a woman recently but she was jogging. I usually carry some type of defensive tool when I ride back country.

  5. #5
    Pat
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    Coyotes tend to be relatively small. They are also not social hunters or cooperative hunters. I would think that they do not really pose a risk to healthy adults. Domestic dogs pose a far greater threat to cyclists. But even there it is not so much the bite that is the problem. What can kill you quickly is the dog running out in front of you and your bike striking the animal broadside. When that happens, you go right over the handlebars. I have seen that happen twice.

    Animal attacks are pretty rare. Animal attacks get quite a bit of attention. But in this country, your chance of being hit by lightning is higher than you chance of getting killed by a wild predator.

  6. #6
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Pat, I don't know what kind of wild dogs/cats you get down there in Disney, but up in the sticks here, Goofy and Pluto will attack if they see/smell food or the opportunity presents itself. They will not attack unprovoked, but provocation could be a little as running/cycling by right in front of them. It could be cooking on a fire, or it could be the sound of you snoring attracts them.

    He is correct in the fact they are not social or cooperative hunters, but that only makes them a bit more unpredictable. Pay attention to tracks, poop/white poop on top of rocks. (Coyotes, mountain cats, and foxes all tend to release their dropping on top of a rock as to mark their territory. More than likely if you see a rock with poop on it, the owner will return within 24 hours.

    Don't let any fear dictate the way you ride, just let it dictate how prepared you are. Enjoy!
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    Thanks, everyone, for your input. I guess preparation is key. Now to figure out how best to prepare!

  8. #8
    Senior Member 5kdad's Avatar
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    In NW Arkansas, I think the biggest threat from coyotes would be if you were camping in a rural area at night. They can be rather vocal at times, just a few can sound like a whole pack.
    We have plenty in our area, and I've never heard of anyone being attacked.
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  9. #9
    Pat
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    The coyote Canis latrans is pretty small for picking off humans. The males get to 40 lbs and the females about 30. A pair will hunt together. But from what I understand, they do not hunt in larger groups. Wolves can take down very large prey like moose and bison because wolves hunt in large packs.

    Coyotes mainly prey on insects, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, snakes, lizards really pretty much anything. They do take deer some of the time.

    I live in Central Florida and one of the people here made a snide comment about that. But we do have active and hungry coyotes here. I know a guy who loves cats. He, being a conscientious soul, gets his kittys from the animal shelter. His cats kept dissappearing because the local coyotes were consuming them. He went through 6 cats in a single year. But no one in the area had been threatened by a coyote. It is my understanding that coyotes just are not that interested in people.

    Shoot even big alligators rarely bother adults around here. Alligators do love dogs though. And even a relatively small gator (6') can easily kill and devour a large dog. But gators just do not seem to be that interested in humans.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post

    Shoot even big alligators rarely bother adults around here. Alligators do love dogs though. And even a relatively small gator (6') can easily kill and devour a large dog. But gators just do not seem to be that interested in humans.
    That's because we humans are too boney and only taste good with ketchup.
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  11. #11
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    I see cayotes all the time while riding in the state park adjascent to my house. Most of the time they just ignore bicyclists and do their own thing. They're basically just a mid-sized dogs. I get more worried about unleashed domestic dogs who have absolutely no fear of bicyclists and think every cyclist is out there to play.

  12. #12
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    Had a run in today with a coyote today on my ride. I came up from behind him and when he looked over his shoulder and saw me coming at him he got out of there quick. Generally speaking, I think coyotes are more afraid of us than we are of them, especially how we look "big" on a bike compared to their size. Not to jack the thread, but does anyone have any advice for run ins with mountain lions? Apparently they're around where I ride sometimes too.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Any predator will not normally attack prey larger than themselves. A 40 pound coyote isn't likely to decide that a 150 pound human is the easiest prey around. Wild animals don't like to risk injury, since it generally means death for them.

    Mountain lions are a whole different thing from coyotes, don't mess with a mountain lion. Mountain lions are bigger, and if one is starving, it might attack humans. If the lion feels threatened, it may attack also. Once a mountain lion attacks a human and realizes how easy it is to kill one, then it will likely attack another. That's one reason why almost any wild animal that has attacked a human must be killed. They learn what a bunch of sissies humans are.

  14. #14
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    I chase coyotes on my bike, frequently.

    They are surprisingly fast, and I have seen them just lope along at 22 MPH.

    They always try to expand the closing distance once they see me - and always run away, leaving me in their dust. (ESPECIALLY, IF YOU ARE VOCAL.)

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  15. #15
    Pat
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    Mountain lions, Felis concolor, are quite capable of attacking and killing humans. They generally do not. I read that some wildlife management people put some radio tracking collars on some mountain lions in San Diego. They wanted to find just how close the mountain lions would go to human habitation. They were shocked by the results. At night the mountain lions, moved through back yards with impunity. Mountain lions are extremely stealthy and can hide almost anywhere.

    I would think that if you are on a road, you should be pretty safe. The mountain lion's favorite prey happens to be deer. Lions also prefer sneak attacks preferably from the rear. So a mountain bike trail could be a good place for an ambush especially if deer use the trail also. I would think that if you do not go out alone, you should be ok. It would take a pretty desperate mountain lion to attack a novel prey of human size especially if there is a group of riders. Also I would think that the noise and strangeness of the bike would put off a mountain lion. I person on a bike looks a lot bigger than a person just walking along.

  16. #16
    Pat
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    One thing to look at is the relative risk of large predators. I believe that alligators, sharks, bears, and mountain lions altogether in a year account for about 6-7 fatalities. Lighting strike fatalities are around 30. Domestic dogs get about 5 times that number per year. Bees do even better at around 50. About 800 cyclists perish per year. But their fatalities pale next to auto fatalities which are around 40,000 per year.

    Getting killed by a large predator is pretty cool and every paper in the country will run the story. If you get killed by a drunken driver, the story is buried in the back pages of the local news. People tend to perceive the risk to predators as far larger than it really is. If you are up in the high country of the west hiking, you are probably about 100 times more likely to get nailed by lightning as by a lion or a bear. In Florida, it is the same, about 100 times more likely to get nailed by lighting than killed by a shark or gator.

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