ERIE - Nearly two dozen volunteers met at the Erie Community Center on Tuesday evening to learn about coyote behaviors and tactics to scare them off from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Erie, like so many towns up and down the Front Range, is seeing explosive growth which likely plays a role in the more frequent coyote encounters and attack of pets.

“Historically, coyotes went after livestock and so ranchers and farmers typically shot at them,” said Kristin Cannon, District Wildlife Manager for CPW. “For a long time, coyotes had a really good reason to be afraid of us.”

But it appears families in tract homes don’t scare coyotes as much as a rancher with a rifle. Cannon says she’s heard of at least 17 pets being killed by Coyotes since May of 2017. The coyotes have even gone after kids.

“We had four children who were contacted by coyotes, three of those were bites,” said Cannon. “I don’t have any great explanation for those coyotes behaving the way they were.”

Volunteers like Blaine Tritt have several animals and see the coyotes daily. Tritt has chickens, alpacas and three dogs, one who almost became coyote dinner.

“My wife ran out, yelled and screamed, waved her arms, basically tried to get the little one back and that was it,” said Tritt.

Even so, he says he understands the value of coyotes.

“We have a problem with rabbits. We have a problem with mice. Without the coyotes, it would be really difficult.”

So he’s at the meeting to take the education back to his neighbors and to tell people how to properly scare the animals off, how to make their yard less attractive to the coyotes and help notify the Coyote Crew where the animals may be hanging out.

For more information on how to deter or scare the animals off head to this link.