In my previous post, I wrote about a hike I had taken the day after a snowfall. What I did not mention was the number of coyote tracks, which were all over the snow in the area where this photo was taken.
My dog does not go far from me, but she is still small, and therefore, vulnerable to coyotes. A few days after our hike, I spoke with a man who had watched as his dog was killed and taken away by a coyote. He decided to design body armor for dogs; a Kevlar coat, with spikes on the sides and around the neck. He calls it the Coyote Vest. I tried and tried to insert a photo of the vest here, but for some reason, (why?why?why?) I could not, so here’s a link to the page:http://www.coyotevest.com/collections/coyotevest-starter-pack/products/coyotevest-starter-pack
After speaking with the Coyote Vest designer, I contacted Dr. Numi Mitchell, a biologist who has been studying coyotes in RI for many years and leads the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study. Mitchell had heard of the vest, but she wasn’t convinced it would be enough of a deterrent, especially at this time of year, when every member of the pack is hunting throughout the day and evening to feed young. She also wondered whether a coyote could get a grip on the Kevlar fabric if it were lose enough to form a fold.
Her advice for people with pets is :
“Dogs smaller than 40 pounds are often regarded by coyotes as prey. They should never be left outside unattended, especially after dark. Larger dogs may also be attacked if they intrude on a pack’s territory and are seen as a threat or competitor. All dogs should be walked on a leash, which increases the owner’s control, but never tied up alone in the yard, which increases their vulnerability.
Special tips for cat owners: A safe cat is an indoor cat. Period.
I will have to be more careful in the woods.