Cheyenne residents report that Wile E. Coyote and his pals have been spotted in city limits recently. Last Friday, Cheyenne resident Ryley Hardy caught a coyote on film near Whitney and Dell Range. You can clearly see the critter trotting along, unfazed by the traffic around it.

Credit: With Permission from Ryley Eaton Hardy

Is this a normal occurrence in Cheyenne? Should residents be concerned? Keep reading for tips on handling coyote visits in town.

How Common Are Coyotes in City Limits? Why Are They Here?

If you're new to the area or haven't heard much about coyotes, you may be surprised to find out that those wild canines are commonplace in rural cities like Cheyenne. The critters are no stranger to exploring larger urban centers like Los Angeles, reports Live Science.

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But why are the coyotes heading into town in the first place? The answer is simple - convenience. Coyotes are resourceful scavengers, and though they usually prefer to hunt rodents, they aren't above eating dog food or garbage scraps when the situation arises.

Are Coyotes Dangerous to Humans?

Any wild animal can pose a threat to humans in the right circumstances. But usually, they avoid human contact. Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, according to the Humane Society of the United States. They are more of a threat to a household's pets and livestock. Nevertheless, it's important to take caution when coyotes are in the area - like any animal, coyotes can and will attack if they feel threatened or provoked.

So what do you do if you see a coyote nearby? How can you handle the situation safely?

What To Do If You Encounter A Coyote Up Close...

Say you're out walking in the evening to enjoy the sunset, and that's when you stumble right into the path of a coyote.

1. Don't Turn Your Back. Never turn your back on a wild animal.

2. Get Loud. Coyotes seldom attack humans, but it's important you make yourself big and loud. Wave your arms, shout, clap, anything you can do to be loud. If the coyote doesn't run away immediately, get louder, stomp your feet, and repeat. Watch this video by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department on scaring off a coyote for further tips.

3. Pick Up Your Pet. If you are out walking your pet, pick them up.

4. Back Away From the Area. Keep an eye out for the coyote until you get to your vehicle or home. Once you scare off the coyote, vacate the area. Coyotes usually travel in pairs.

5. Report the Animal's Presence. If the coyote is near highly populated areas or public centers like a park or school, report it immediately to Animal Control. This is critical because coyotes can grow fearless of humans over prolonged exposure, adding to the chance of more encounters.

If You See Coyotes on Your Property...

As properties continue to expand through the more rural parts of Laramie County, coyote sightings become more frequent. If you spot a coyote near your property, you can take steps to protect your household and deter the coyotes from returning:

1. Remove all attractants. Understand that coyote usually roams human properties looking for a quick bite to eat. Dog food, bird feeders (and the rodents they attract), and trash cans create a welcoming environment for coyotes. By keeping these attractants out of reach - either locked up or placed inside at night - you can reduce the chance of coyotes finding food on your property.

2. Keep pets and children supervised when outside. Don't let them wander if coyotes are in the area. Additionally, keep your pets indoors during peak coyote activity times from dusk until dawn.

3. Consider using deterrents. Pest companies have designed several products for coyotes and similar animals that use strobe lights and loud noises to scare them off. You can also try scent-based deterrents like ammonia-soaked rags or human cologne to deter coyotes. Check out a full list of coyote deterrent recommendations from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife service by clicking here.

Can You Shoot a Coyote on Your Property?

You don't need a license to shoot coyotes in Wyoming - you don't need tags, stamps, or any other permissions to hunt them, according to Wyoming Game & Fish. However, and this is a big however, you cannot shoot them on your property if you live in city limits. City Ordinance 9.24.030 disallows firing any firearm in the city unless you're in an indoor range. The ordinance extends to bows, airsoft rifles, and paintball guns. Click here for the full ordinance.

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