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Coyotes and Fences: Understanding Their Invasive Behaviors

Coyotes and Fences: Understanding Invasive Behaviors and How to Keep Them at Bay

Coyotes are fascinating creatures that have a remarkable adaptability to different environments. They are found in various habitats, from the forests and plains to urban areas, proving their versatility.

Coyotes are cunning and intelligent, attributes that have made their survival possible in various settings. However, as their population continues to expand, they have become a menace to humans, pets, and livestock.

In this article, we will explore the behavior of coyotes regarding fences and the negative impacts they have on our daily lives. Coyotes’ Ability to Get Through Fences

Most people erect fences around their homes, farms, and gardens for various reasons, including privacy, decoration, security, and animal control.

Fences have proved a useful tool in keeping out unwanted animals, including dogs, cats, deer, and rabbits. However, it is not uncommon to see coyotes jumping over or burrowing under fences.

Coyotes are known to exhibit adaptability in their fence-crossing behavior, which can be quite frustrating for homeowners trying to keep coyotes out.


Coyotes have a knack for adapting their behavior to overcome any obstacles that prevent them from accessing food, shelter, or mating partners. Fences are no exception, and they use different techniques to surpass them.

Coyotes are known to jump and climb fences, burrow under them, or squeeze through gaps and holes.


Coyotes are territorial creatures and use familiar routes to move between their dens and hunting grounds. Some fences may interfere with their usual movement pattern, forcing them to seek alternative paths.

Therefore, it’s essential to understand the areas coyotes frequent, the reasons they are there, and the routes they follow. This knowledge can help in constructing barriers that will prevent them from accessing an area.

Stalking Prey

Coyotes are opportunistic animals that take advantage of any opportunity to feed. They can climb or jump over a fence in pursuit of prey or to access food on the other side.

Sometimes, coyotes may stalk pets in the yard and scale the fence once they spot an opening. They are not afraid of humans and may even approach them if they deem it necessary.

Urban Adaptation

With urbanization and suburbanization comes human encroachment into areas that were once natural habitats for coyotes. As a result, coyotes adjust their behavior to the new environment and exploit the available resources they find there, including pet food, garbage, and fallen fruit.

Moreover, urban coyotes have less space to roam, forcing them to find ways to navigate different barriers, including fences.

Reasons Why Coyotes Jump Fences

Coyotes can jump over fences, sometimes reaching heights of up to 7 or 8 feet. This height is quite impressive, especially considering that coyotes are not large animals.

Some of the reasons coyotes may decide to jump over fences include:


Coyotes take their territoriality quite seriously, and a fence may be perceived as a boundary to their territory. Some coyotes may jump over a fence to pursue a rival coyote or to defend their territorial boundaries.

Chase Prey

Coyotes are known to hunt small animals and may scale a fence to chase prey or to access an area where they can find food.

Escape Predators

Coyotes may jump over fences to escape bigger predators, such as bears or cougars. In such instances, their survival instinct kicks in before they even think about the height of the fence.

How Coyotes Jump or Climb over Fences

Coyotes use different techniques to jump or climb over fences, depending on the height, type, and construction of the fence. Some common methods include:


Coyotes use their powerful rear legs to jump over fences. A typical coyote can jump up to 4 or 5 feet when in pursuit of prey, and when it spots an opening in a fence, it will use the same strength to leap over it.


Coyotes can climb over fences, especially chain-link fences, using their claws and front legs to scale the fence. Sometimes they may also use a tree or other nearby structure to climb onto the fence before jumping over from there.


Coyotes can burrow under weakened or damaged fences, especially if they already know there is food or shelter on the other side. They use their strength and long snouts to dig under the fence, and once they create an opening, they squeeze through it.

Squeezing Through Bars

Coyotes are flexible animals that can compress their bodies to fit through narrow openings. If a fence has widely spaced bars or slats, a coyote may use its thin body to squeeze through.

Coyote-Proof Fencing

To keep coyotes from accessing an area, you have to construct a fence that is coyote-proof. A coyote-proof fence should be tall enough, long enough, and strong enough to deter a coyote from jumping or climbing over it.

Here are some tips to create a coyote-proof fence:


A fence that is at least 6-feet tall will deter most coyotes from jumping over it. However, some coyotes are capable of clearing even higher fences.

Therefore, adding a height extension of at least 12 inches, such as chicken wire, to the top of the fence can make it more challenging to climb over.


The material of the fence is also essential in deterring coyotes. Chain-link fences are easy to scale, and wooden fences offer enough purchase for a coyote to jump over.

Therefore, choose a material that a coyote cannot grip easily, such as smooth wood or vinyl.


A coyote-proof fence should also be strong enough to prevent a coyote from pushing or breaking it down. Use sturdy posts and secure the fence with high-tensile strength wire or cable.

Also, the fence should be sunk deep enough into the ground to prevent burrowing.

Weakness Identification

Coyotes are crafty animals and will exploit any weakness they find on a fence. Inspect your fence regularly for holes, gaps, or cracks that coyotes can use to get through.

Seal any openings or fix any parts of the fence that seem weak.


Adding visual, auditory, or scent deterrents to your fence can help in keeping coyotes at bay. For instance, you can hang shiny, noisy objects such as wind chimes or aluminum foil strips that will scare off coyotes.

You can also sprinkle predator urine or any strong scent around the area to discourage coyotes.

Negative Impacts of Coyotes

Coyotes can have significant negative impacts on humans, pets, and livestock. Their varied diet and behavior around people make them a menace that requires proper management.

Some of the negative impacts of coyotes include:


Coyotes are opportunistic predators that hunt prey opportunistically. When hungry, they will attack anything that seems easy to take down, including pets and livestock.

They can kill or maim small animals such as cats, rabbits, and chickens.

Urban adaptation

Coyotes that live in urban areas have become more adapted to human presence and thus more comfortable around people. They have lost their fear of humans, making them bolder and more assertive in their harassment of pets or humans, which can result in tragic outcomes.


Coyotes can be quite a nuisance to humans as they can cause property damage and create a general disturbance. They may knock over trash cans, spread litter, or dig in gardens, making them less appealing.

Moreover, they can make loud noises at night, which can disrupt our sleep.

Livestock predation

Coyotes are a significant threat to the livelihood of farmers and ranchers as they can kill livestock such as goats, sheep, and calves. They often target young or weak animals, and if left unchecked, they can cause significant financial losses to the livestock industry.


In conclusion, coyotes are fascinating creatures that have shown remarkable adaptability in different environments. Their fence-crossing behaviors are part of their survival strategy, and understanding them is essential in keeping them away from our homes, gardens, and farms.

Coyote-proofing your fence is a worthwhile investment in protecting our loved ones and preserving our property. Additionally, the negative impacts of coyotes on humans, pets, and livestock underscore the vital need for proper management of coyote populations.

Coyote Behavior and


Coyotes are highly adaptable animals renowned for their survival instincts. They have proven their ability to live in various environments, including forests, deserts, plains, and urban areas.

Coyotes are flexible in their use of resources, making them easy to find and survive in both natural and human-made settings. This adaptability is a hallmark trait that has enabled coyotes to thrive despite many challenges.


One of the most remarkable things about coyotes is their extraordinary ability to adapt to new environments effortlessly. Coyotes are opportunistic animals that take advantage of any available resources, making them successful in different places.

This adaptability allows coyotes to occupy areas others could not, and also helps them overcome barriers such as human activities, diseases, and environmental changes. Coyotes’ Diet and Hunting Behavior

Coyotes have a varied and opportunistic diet, feeding on whatever is available, including small mammals, birds, fruits, vegetables, carrion, and insects.

They carefully select their prey depending on season, location, availability, and vulnerability. Coyotes have also developed an incredible ability to adapt their hunting behavior to take advantage of different prey.


Coyotes’ opportunism is one factor that makes them highly adaptive. Coyotes have a flexible diet and hunting behavior and can adjust their feeding habits depending on the availability of food.

For instance, coyotes living in cities or suburban areas may feed on small mammals and birds that are abundant in such areas. However, if the prey is scarce, they may change their diet to include garbage and other human waste materials.

Varied Diet

Coyotes are incredibly adaptable when it comes to their diet. Coyotes have been observed feeding on snakes, fish, frogs, insects, and even fruit.

Moreover, they are not above scavenging for food, and will readily feed on the carcasses of other animals if the opportunity presents itself. This versatility in their diet makes them capable of withstanding any changes in the food supply.

Hunting Routes

Coyotes are also skilled hunters who use different hunting strategies depending on the habitat and prey. In rural areas, they form family groups and cover vast territories to find prey.

At the same time, in urban environments, coyotes may use familiar routes to move between different resources.

Coyote Territorial Behavior

Coyotes are highly territorial, and their behavior revolves around protecting and defending their territories. They use specific vocalizations and body language to communicate with other coyotes, and this behavior intensifies during pup-rearing seasons.

Understanding coyote territoriality is essential in protecting your property and ensuring safety around coyotes.

Family Groups

Coyotes form family groups consisting of a monogamous breeding pair and their offspring from the previous year. These groups usually stick together during the breeding season and when raising young.

They defend their territory fiercely and can attack other animals that come near it.

Pup-Rearing Season

Territorial behavior intensifies during the pup-rearing season. This period is usually between April and August, and coyotes become more aggressive in defending their territories.

They may attack other animals, including pets, that come too close to their den or young.

Territory Defense

Coyotes defend their territories using various methods such as scent marking, howling, and body language. They may also dig around their habitat and create shallow pit-like structures to mark their territories.

Understanding these traits can help you recognize a potential coyote encounter and take appropriate measures.

Coyotes and Human Interaction

Coyotes may be adaptive animals, but their proximity to humans has resulted in increased interaction, sometimes leading to conflict. Unfortunately, this interaction has not always been peaceful, and people have reported coyote attacks or harassment while carrying out their daily activities.

Urban Adaptation

Coyotes are increasingly adapting to urban environments where food and shelter are abundant. They are familiar with human structures such as houses and gardens and have learned how to extract food from them, often leading to conflict with humans.

As coyotes become more accustomed to human activities, they may lose their fear of people and become bolder, leading to increased harassment of humans.

Lack of Fear

Coyotes are naturally wary of humans, but due to living in urban environments, they may lose this fear as they become more accustomed to people. This lack of fear often leads to one-on-one interaction between coyotes and humans, with humans becoming targets of harassment.



Coyotes can also be a nuisance to humans, harassing them in their neighborhoods. They often knock over trash cans, dig in yards, or make loud noises at night, disrupting human activities and sleep patterns.

Fences and Their Weaknesses

Fences are invaluable tools in keeping coyotes and other animals out of yards and homes. Coyotes have, however, shown an incredible ability to get around and through them.

Therefore, understanding how fences work, strengths, and weakness could mean the difference between success or failure in keeping coyotes and other animals out.

Different Types of Fences

Fences come in different types, including residential, decorative, chainlink, vinyl, and wood. Choosing the right type of fence is crucial in keeping coyotes out of your property.

A good fence should be sturdy, tall enough, and have no gaps or holes where coyotes can enter. Coyotes’ Ability to Get Through or Under Fences

Coyotes can burrow under fences, often exploiting weak points in the fence.

They can also jump over fences or climb them, moving from one side to the other. Coyotes are intelligent and will exploit any weakness in the fence to achieve their goals.

Fence Inspection and Repairs

Inspecting your fence regularly and repairing any weaknesses is crucial in keeping coyotes out. Weaknesses may include holes, cracks, or gaps along the fence line.

Repairing these weaknesses can help you keep the coyotes out and prevent any potential damage that may occur.

Electrified Fence Effectiveness

Electrifying your fence can be an effective deterrent against coyotes. While it may be a bit expensive to install, it is a powerful and humane method for keeping coyotes away.

Coyotes will avoid areas that have electric fences as the shock they receive may cause them to become afraid of the area. However, proper handling of the shock is critical as it can be harmful to both humans and animals.


Coyotes are highly adaptive animals with an incredible ability to survive in various environments. Their opportunistic diet and hunting behavior make them successful in both natural and urban settings.

Understanding their behavior and weaknesses is crucial in keeping them out of our homes and communities. Coyotes’ proximity to humans has increased human interaction, leading to conflict and harassment.

Therefore, adopting better safety measures around coyotes is advisable, and it’s essential to remember that prevention is key to avoiding unwanted interactions with coyotes. Taking the appropriate steps to secure your property and avoid any interaction with these animals can coexist with humans.

Coyotes are incredible and versatile animals known for their ability to adapt and survive in various environments. Their adaptability has earned them both admiration and criticism as they have negative impacts on human and domestic animal health as predators.

Balancing the benefits and downsides of coyotes is essential in managing their populations, which, like any other animal, is an essential issue in ensuring environmental and ecosystem management and balance.

Environmental Impact

Coyotes play a crucial role in controlling populations of rodents and small mammal populations, which helps to balance the ecosystem. Coyotes are apex predators, which means there are few animals that prey on them, and this places them at the top of the food chain.

As keystone predators, their presence in an ecosystem can control food chains, essentially controlling an ecosystem.

Predation Control

Coyotes have also been used for predation control purposes on farms and ranches. For instance, they have been used to keep rodents, rabbits, and other pests under control on farms, leading to increases in agricultural productivity.

However, there is a fine balance between reducing pest population and preventing overpopulation that can occur in an ecosystem.

Seeking Professional Assistance

Coyotes’ adaptability and predatory nature make them particularly difficult to deal with in residential

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