City’s Coyote Attack Advice Silent on Personal Defense

Coyote iStock-Takennnn 484218198
Coyote iStock-Takennnn 484218198

“We are currently in the height of coyote mating season when coyotes become more active and are seen more often,” a Monday email from the City of Hudson advises. “Check out our Yard Audit Checklist to assess if you need to make property modifications to discourage coyotes from your yard.”

It’s no surprise to residents. The Northeast Ohio town is situated just to the east of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, “a refuge for native plants and wildlife,” with much of that wildlife, notably deer, raccoons, foxes, and even an occasional bear finding themselves in residential yards looking for food. Of note is the “advice” given if attacked, which doesn’t include being as serious about and capable of prevailing as the bear.

Simple precautions like those listed in the Yard Audit Checklist can reduce the attractions for animals that can prove dangerous in a human encounter, particularly for homes with small children (don’t leave food out, fill in standing water holes, remove brush piles, etc.), albeit the very first tip makes fair the question “What kind of utter moron would intentionally feed/hand-feed them?”

While coyote attacks are relatively rare, we can’t ignore reports that they do occur:

  • Woman attacked by coyote in Fall River
  • Growing concerns over coyote attacks
  • Coyote’s attack on toddler caught on camera
  • 3 coyote attacks on people reported within just days
  • A rabid coyote likely attacked 2 Rhode Islanders just a day apart
  • 9 coyote attacks in 5 days

And as things go, the accompanying “Action Plan” for coyotes works to a point for nonaggressive animals just passing through. But it’s worthless for more pressing scenarios:

“Coyote acting bold, aggressively or exhibiting uncharacteristic behaviors. Examples: Pets or humans being approached or followed; coyote falling over, injured. Coyote closely blocking your path; lunging at pet or human. Coyote present on property day and night and returning regularly; growling. Coyote attacks/kills pets or livestock [and] Physical human encounter. Example: Seemingly intentional attack on a human being.”

The reason it’s useless and even dangerous to heed should be self-evident from the “Actions” assigned to “Residents”:

“Report incident to the police department by calling (330) 342-1800. (In the event of a medical emergency, please call 911).”

Sorry, but if anything four-legged (or two) is threatening citizens on their property, the truism “When seconds count, police are minutes away” takes over, and the only rational and effective “Action Plan” is “Stop the Threat.” If a coyote is aggressive or rabid, shouting and grabbing a garden tool may not be enough. That’s why Hudson citizens would do well to understand what their town’s Code of Ordinances has to say about DISCHARGING FIREARMS AND OTHER WEAPONS:

“No person shall discharge or fire any cannon, gun, rifle, air gun or rifle, revolver, pistol, cross bow, bow and arrow or other weapon or firearm within the Municipality. However, this section shall not be construed as applying to the use of any of such weapons in the lawful defense of any person, or the property of any person…”

That first part is overkill because it effectively prohibits teaching kids safety with BB and pellet guns. It wouldn’t disturb neighborhood peace with noise, and it wouldn’t be hard at all to set up a safe backyard range with adequate backstops, where the projectiles wouldn’t cross property lines and hurt anyone or damage anything. There’s really no justification for government to get involved unless they do.

The second part, fighting back if needed and winning, is what needs to be added to the “Action Plan.”

Also See: Three Attacks by Coyote(s) in Arlington, Texas in Five Days

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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