Hole Under a Fence a Coyote Squeezed Through

I watched as a coyote squeezed through this hole under a cyclone fence. The hole under the fence had been dug at some previous date.  I measured it — it was about 7″ down under the fence, and 7″ beyond the fence line — I think this might be the size of their den openings. However, this opening had an angle involved. The coyote slowly went up to the opening, stuck its head under it, and withdrew several times to look around before proceeding through. Finally it slid its head in first — down then up — then arched its back and slithered right through — down and up like a snake. I don’t think a domestic dog would have made it through because of the bend. I saw this coyote’s amazing ability to twist and compact itself. I know that humans, unless they are overweight, can fit through any space that their heads can fit through — I wonder if this is the criteria for coyotes? The opening I saw today required fantastic flexibility, from “through” the hole to “up and out of it”. Hmmm. The bend was the interesting part. It was fun to watch the coyote slither through after scrutinizing its surroundings first.

I’ve made another observation which I wanted to put in here: I’m seeing that individual coyotes actually have habits and routines specific to themselves and not to other coyotes! These habits occur over a period of time, then may change for a while, and then may return. This confirms what I have heard so often: that coyotes are so very individualistic in their behaviors. In fact, aside from facial characteristics, it is the behavior of a coyote which will help me identify it. For example, the way one plays, which ones play, which ones are curious, favorite spots, etc.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen
    Jun 29, 2018 @ 19:51:19

    I am a remote Arizona property caretaker. Recently, picked up two feral young cats from HS to help with rodent control. They are extremely feral and very good at hiding. I set up a game camera to make sure they were still around the building and still going inside the upstairs apartment of an old log cabin. (Outside stairs with a cracked door.) They are there but a small and very healthy looking coyote is too. I knew another animal was coming into the apartment, no crombs left, but was expecting a raccoon or something similar. Now trying to figure out how to coyote proof the area and wonder if it might be denning under the building.


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jun 30, 2018 @ 05:07:06

      Hi Karen —

      Thank you for contacting me. Sealing out the coyote can be done by coyote-proofing the outer fenced area with coyote-proof fencing made for that purpose — see this information on fencing. But you wouldn’t want to do this if there is any chance that young pups are within. You might be able to drive the coyote away by creating a ruckus with loud noise and by walking around where the den area is, if there is a den. Done over several weeks time, this might get the coyote (and older pups) to leave.

      Before you go that route, know that a coyote coming into the property is a rodent controller — that’s what you wanted in the first place! Would you be willing to explore a number of unconventional options before sealing the coyote out? It’s something to think about, especially if residents are able to overcome any negative perceptions of coyotes. Many areas are developing very positive perceptions of coyotes these days! You said you only found this coyote because of a trap-camera, so it sounds as though this animal stays out-of-the-way. The main thing you would have to do if you follow this route is to educate your tenants and I can help with this. Please let me know your thoughts about this! Janet

    • Karen
      Jun 30, 2018 @ 06:25:21

      Thankyou for the fast reply. We have had a dog rescue on the property for a number of years and do know how to dog proof fences and will look into the coyote fencing. But I do know they can climb and he may be coming and going at will. Also, the neighboring cattle break down sections on occasion and we have javalinas that burrow under a couple of horse wire sections to get to the artesian well run off a few times a year, we have allowed that in summer but may need to make them a puddle outside the fenced area. We’ll certainly reinforce for the coyote. I seen many but this one seems small, maybe still young. Yard is about a third of an acre and he must have slipped in at some point and made himself at home. I was surprised he was going upstairs and inside the apartment. It is a 1890’s log/mud building with denning possibilities under main section.
      The owners have several small dogs, some at 9 lbs and we want the cats to be safe as well. They love all animals and have helped coyotes in the past. I will ask but think the little guy will have to be relocated but know he is perfectly welcome in the barn and surrounding area.
      Will it be ok to release him just outside the fence? We have 160 acres and no neighbors within eight mile radius with creeks in area. It is possible to take him further if we have to trap him.
      The previous caretaker lived in that building with dogs so they never came in quite so close and this is a bit of a surprise.
      Thank you again and for helping to educate and sharing ideas about our four legged neighbors.

    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jun 30, 2018 @ 21:19:03

      Hi Kathy —

      Thank you for your detailed and very caring explanation of the situation. There’s a big problem with any kind of relocating: other coyotes. Coyotes are very territorial and they don’t let other coyotes into their claimed territories. That little coyote may have found a refuge in your fenced area. I don’t know this, but it’s very possible that this is the case. If this coyote is so small, it also could be that it was abandoned by a mother (mother nature working to improve its gene pool) but managed to find a place to survive: it would not be welcomed back into the family. It’s one of the reasons that, in most places, it’s illegal to relocate them: that would be cruel and unusual punishment. It’s an overall very difficult situation. It seems to me that if it can find its own way out of there, it would be better off: you could encourage this by disturbing the area where he/she is hanging out, making her/him as uncomfortable as possible. These are my thoughts. Janet

    • Karen
      Jul 01, 2018 @ 02:05:47

      Thank you. I’ll do my best to encourage him/her out of the house area. It’s true, animals, though they can be close to humans, are a different realm and exist by different rules.

    • yipps:janetkessler
      Jul 01, 2018 @ 04:01:31

      Good luck, Karen, and down the line, please let me know how it goes! Thanks for being concerned about them! :)) Janet

  2. Karen
    Jun 29, 2018 @ 19:52:46

    Forgot to mention, the building is inside a fenced yard.


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