How to identify coyote tracks?

Real estate development in and around the city has allowed wild animals to roam and find their new home. The sprawling landscapes from these new houses after all have everything they need (Food, water, shelter etc). Sometimes, even pet owners blame their own pets for the damages in which the wild animal had actually caused. Only to find out later that it was after all a coyote. Maybe it’s about time to go outside and look for some clues?

First track indicator: The footprint of a coyote

The first thing you should look for when identifying a coyote track is to observe the size and shape of the paw prints. Some dog owners can hardly tell the difference between their dog’s footprints and a coyote. Add to that, a big cat (e.g. bobcat) would also show an almost similar (rounder) shape of a footpad. But if they try to look a bit closer, they would see that a coyote’s footprint is much narrower (oblong) and also much longer than the one coming from a dog.

• The shape of a coyote’s foot pad is always oval
• There will be visible claw prints if the ground is soft to touch
• The hind part of the footprints will show a much smaller foot pad
• A coyote’s front paw measures between 2.14-2.34 inches long and 1.34-2.38 inches wide

Second track indicator: the gait of a coyote

If there is more, coyotes have this very peculiar style of walking. They trot, lope and gallop in such a way that their front foot overlaps the left foot before it lands on the surface. What you will see on their tracks are usually two straight lines that are so close to each other.

• A coyote’s foot at the back lands before the front foot does
• The set of trailways can be measured according to the distance of each step from the other (15-22 inches far)

Third track indicator: A coyote’s scat

The easiest indicator if a coyote happen to pass by your own front yard is by looking at the (alleged) coyote’s scat. Since coyotes feed on rodents, it’s very easy to identify because you will see hairy parts and even bones around their droppings. Surprisingly, a coyote’s scat doesn’t have any foul odor.

• The shape is like a rope
• The color is grey
• Looks tapered and a bit spongy
• It measures about ½ in diameter

How to identify coyote tracks?

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