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Discussion Starter #1
Going backpacking with my 18 month 75 lb male GSD on padre island national seashore. I'm a little worried about coyotes. We will share a small tent. I originally wanted to do tent-less but I figure with the coyotes better to keep dog contained with me.

I've heard they tend to approach in remote areas on the seashore, but that generally yelling at them and acting threatening will get them to leave you alone.

Planning to carry a firearm (legally), mace, and a knife for protection.

Not sure whether I will have cell reception the whole way yet but going to drive it beforehand (4wd) to see. It's about 60 miles out and 60 miles back. He's well-conditioned for the hike and I'm going to cache water along the way on the drive.

So any coyote tips? Bite triage if one of us happens to get bitten?
 

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I would find another place to go. You might be able to fend off me or two coyotes but not a pack. Especially if it is just you and your pup. If you're with a group of people that would be different.
 

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Where are you going that you think coyotes may be an issue? I live in the north west US and our coyotes tend to be small and usually keep their distance, however there are other places in the US and Canada where they're larger and more aggressive so my experiences may differ from what you'll encounter.

How is your dogs recall around wildlife? or will he be kept on leash? Loose dogs can sometimes attract problems so it's something to keep in mind.

Our "city" coyotes can be habituated enough to human activity to be something of a nuisance and on rare occasions be a real problem. Out in the sticks coyotes tend to be more wary and keep their distance or at least that's been our experience. If you are going somewhere other hikers have encouraged interaction, fed them, or left food unsecure you may find coyotes that have associated people with food. Keeping a clean camp, tying your food supply up and out of reach and you'll likely minimize the potential for encounters. Bear spray and perhaps a boat horn would be worth taking along. Hope you have a good trip!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Where are you going that you think coyotes may be an issue? I live in the north west US and our coyotes tend to be small and usually keep their distance, however there are other places in the US and Canada where they're larger and more aggressive so my experiences may differ from what you'll encounter.

How is your dogs recall around wildlife? or will he be kept on leash? Loose dogs can sometimes attract problems so it's something to keep in mind.

Our "city" coyotes can be habituated enough to human activity to be something of a nuisance and on rare occasions be a real problem. Out in the sticks coyotes tend to be more wary and keep their distance or at least that's been our experience. If you are going somewhere other hikers have encouraged interaction, fed them, or left food unsecure you may find coyotes that have associated people with food. Keeping a clean camp, tying your food supply up and out of reach and you'll likely minimize the potential for encounters. Bear spray and perhaps a boat horn would be worth taking along. Hope you have a good trip!
Going to padre island national seashore, it's a barrier island on the Texas coast near Corpus Christi. Park website says 20-50 lb coyotes if it's accurate. Some of the beach is well traveled but the last 50 miles or so of beach is remote and 4wd vehicle only.

I seen quite a few stories of people online that claim the coyotes will bother you. I'd imagine a lot of them are familiar with people and handouts. The impression I get is that they are rarely aggressive.

Horn is a good idea. Will pick one up.

I checked and park permits off leash dogs in the 'primitive' area of the park. His recall is great and i will have him off leash most of the time. He sticks so close to me he might as well be leashed.

Thanks!
 

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Get a bear banger. I have one and commonly carry an airhorn on remote hikes. Be cautious with off leash around coyotes as one of their favorite tactics is to bait dogs away from you. Don't wait for them to become an issue, run them off on sight.
My thoughts have always been that the best trained dog is going to disobey once in it's life and it is going to happen at the worst possible moment.
 

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See if you can find some local regulars who frequent that stretch (backpackers/hikers, preferably dog owners) to give you the current rundown.

Most of the time coyotoes honestly are not an issue in the backcountry, but I’d trust local feedback above most else.
 

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I've never heard of coyotes attacking an adult human and I've been around them all my life. I can't imagine they'd attack a 75lb GSD either, more likely to lure your dog away from you into a pack trap. So either a long drag line or e collar for recall, I can't imagine a driven 18 mo pup has a bomb proof recall. Keeping your dog in the tent with you at night is a great idea, hope he doesn't knock it down like mine did when she was that age. A lighted collar is a good idea too for evenings. Not sure any of those weapons will do you much good as you are unlikely to get close enough to a coyote to use them.
 

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I've never heard of coyotes attacking an adult human and I've been around them all my life. I can't imagine they'd attack a 75lb GSD either, more likely to lure your dog away from you into a pack trap. So either a long drag line or e collar for recall, I can't imagine a driven 18 mo pup has a bomb proof recall. Keeping your dog in the tent with you at night is a great idea, hope he doesn't knock it down like mine did when she was that age. A lighted collar is a good idea too for evenings. Not sure any of those weapons will do you much good as you are unlikely to get close enough to a coyote to use them.
Yeah, backpacking tent i have is so flimsy he could tear a hole in it without even trying.

I've seen two 'crazed'? coyotes in my life. Neither attacked anyone but ran around in an unpredictable fashion, confused. Rabies or something? I'm not sure.

His recall is really robust and his personality and record of behavior makes him running off after a coyote extremely unlikely. I've had two other dogs that I wouldn't trust at all in such a scenario. But, if we are just walking for hour on end, there's not really any reason for him not to be on a leash anyway. So I will exercise caution.

I am maybe being overly cautious. But I like to be as prepared as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
See if you can find some local regulars who frequent that stretch (backpackers/hikers, preferably dog owners) to give you the current rundown.

Most of the time coyotoes honestly are not an issue in the backcountry, but I’d trust local feedback above most else.
I'll try to get some feedback from a park ranger or someone like that and see what they say.
 

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I've never heard of coyotes attacking an adult human and I've been around them all my life. I can't imagine they'd attack a 75lb GSD either, more likely to lure your dog away from you into a pack trap.
Not sure any of those weapons will do you much good as you are unlikely to get close enough to a coyote to use them.
Coyotes aren't likely to attack, but they are famous for luring dogs and I have seen some pretty seasoned dogs fall for their tricks.
I carry a bear banger and airhorn because I don't like harming things. The bear bangers can be used from a fair distance and coyotes scatter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Coyotes aren't likely to attack, but they are famous for luring dogs and I have seen some pretty seasoned dogs fall for their tricks.
I carry a bear banger and airhorn because I don't like harming things. The bear bangers can be used from a fair distance and coyotes scatter.
I have no desire or intention to harm any creature unless absolutely necessary. I like the idea of a bear banger and/or horn and I'll get one.
 

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Coyotes aren't likely to attack, but they are famous for luring dogs and I have seen some pretty seasoned dogs fall for their tricks.
I carry a bear banger and airhorn because I don't like harming things. The bear bangers can be used from a fair distance and coyotes scatter.
We see them quite often on our walks/hikes. They typically watch or trot off if they feel they're too close. Even though my dog has a decent recall I hook her up to a leash as I can see her wanting to chase and getting lured into a trap and seriously harmed before I can get there to help. Don't know what a bear banger is but if it fits in a pocket I'll check it out.
 

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A bear banger is a small gun similar to a starter pistol but it fires a very loud flare type thing. Basically a blank shotgun shell. They make a pen style one as well but it needs two hands to fire. Mine looks like a little orange pistol. Cabella's sells them here.
 

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I'll try to get some feedback from a park ranger or someone like that and see what they say.
See if there's a group on Facebook or Meetup (or anywhere) for South Texas hikers, or Corpus Christi campers, or anything like that. You can sometimes get the candid rundown on what the deal actually is, well in advance of arriving.

Park Rangers can be great, but sometimes you'll just get the official (canned) response "Do not feed or harass wildlife on National Park Service Lands" and not much else. JME.
 

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From Urban Coyote Initiative:

"Fun fact, or rather, clarification: It is a myth that coyotes "lure" dogs into an ambush by the pack.

This is a common myth stemming from a misinterpretation of behavior. We see it pop up often in comments on articles about conflicts between coyotes and pets. Though many dog owners spread stories that they've watched this situation happen to their dog, it is not a planned ambush by coyotes and it is not luring behavior -- it is dog owners misinterpreting coyote behavior (and forgetting or ignoring the role their dog plays in such situations). A dog may engage with or chase after a coyote, which runs back toward its pack and the pack comes to that coyote's rescue against the pursuing dog.

We have confirmed that this "ambush" behavior is a myth with two highly respected biologists studying urban coyotes. So if you hear that coyote packs "lure" dogs into an ambush, rest easy knowing that this is entirely false information. That said, do not let your dog interact with coyotes because the result can be serious."

https://urbancoyoteinitiative.com/what-to-do-if-you-encounter-a-coyote-while-walking-your-dog/

I don't worry about coyotes too much, but do prevent my dogs from chasing them and make sure they have a solid recall. If your dog(s) are close to you and you are a "pack" of two or more (dogs and human) it is unlikely and would be extraordinarily rare to have a coyote attack you and your dog. Same holds for many wild animals, including bears and cougars. It is the lone off and running lose dog with no recall that may find himself in trouble. And even then, most GSD-size dogs would be quite a match for a coyote.
 

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From Urban Coyote Initiative:

"Fun fact, or rather, clarification: It is a myth that coyotes "lure" dogs into an ambush by the pack.

This is a common myth stemming from a misinterpretation of behavior. We see it pop up often in comments on articles about conflicts between coyotes and pets. Though many dog owners spread stories that they've watched this situation happen to their dog, it is not a planned ambush by coyotes and it is not luring behavior -- it is dog owners misinterpreting coyote behavior (and forgetting or ignoring the role their dog plays in such situations). A dog may engage with or chase after a coyote, which runs back toward its pack and the pack comes to that coyote's rescue against the pursuing dog.

We have confirmed that this "ambush" behavior is a myth with two highly respected biologists studying urban coyotes. So if you hear that coyote packs "lure" dogs into an ambush, rest easy knowing that this is entirely false information. That said, do not let your dog interact with coyotes because the result can be serious."

https://urbancoyoteinitiative.com/what-to-do-if-you-encounter-a-coyote-while-walking-your-dog/

I don't worry about coyotes too much, but do prevent my dogs from chasing them and make sure they have a solid recall. If your dog(s) are close to you and you are a "pack" of two or more (dogs and human) it is unlikely and would be extraordinarily rare to have a coyote attack you and your dog. Same holds for many wild animals, including bears and cougars. It is the lone off and running lose dog with no recall that may find himself in trouble. And even then, most GSD-size dogs would be quite a match for a coyote.

All fine and well, glad the government wastes money studying coyotes of all things. But as someone who has watched it happen a few times and lost a dog to it I can tell you that it is no misinterpretation. Further while a GSD sized dog may be a match for a coyote, the dog we owned was a big farm mutt, probably a Newf cross and far larger then the shepherds and they took him out in a matter of a couple minutes.

I do agree that people misunderstand coyotes. Yes they are skittish and shy. They are also skilled and savage predators who routinely stalk and hunt other predators in their territories. Urban coyotes have been problematic for grabbing dogs, cats and even children in some cases. The city I just left routinely released warnings to walk small children to school when the local coyotes were on a spree. And since they target dogs on leash it cannot be said that they act in defense.
 

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All fine and well, glad the government wastes money studying coyotes of all things. But as someone who has watched it happen a few times and lost a dog to it I can tell you that it is no misinterpretation. Further while a GSD sized dog may be a match for a coyote, the dog we owned was a big farm mutt, probably a Newf cross and far larger then the shepherds and they took him out in a matter of a couple minutes.

I do agree that people misunderstand coyotes. Yes they are skittish and shy. They are also skilled and savage predators who routinely stalk and hunt other predators in their territories. Urban coyotes have been problematic for grabbing dogs, cats and even children in some cases. The city I just left routinely released warnings to walk small children to school when the local coyotes were on a spree. And since they target dogs on leash it cannot be said that they act in defense.
:frown2: probably my biggest fear, that and stupidly engaging a bear.
 

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I don't consider it a waste of resources to study urban coyotes and coy-wolf-dogs. I think it is fascinating that nearly wolf-sized predators can survive relatively undetected in the largest metropolitan areas along the East Coast. If nothing else, there is a human health element to it, as the extirpation of large predators like wolves, and cougars from the northeast is responsible in large part for the Lyme disease epidemic. Coy-wolves are part of the ecological chain, and play a role in tick populations, (and deer, and mice) and a really unique human-assisted species that is somehow thriving, where wolves and other large predators can not.

I do believe people misinterpret coyote behavior, giving them far too much credit for "luring" dogs. However, the results of a dead or injured dog are the same, so it hardly matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I lived on a fairly remote ranch in southern Texas as a kid. We had a GSD mix and a lab mix likely killed by coyotes at different times. They were killed out of our sight as they had the run of the whole place.

We also had a very large great pyrenees that was never hurt badly but seemed to get in fights with coyotes a lot.
 
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