West Seattle coyotes: Evening encounter in Arbor Heights

From an anonymous tipster in Arbor Heights:

A friend was just (7:30 p.m. Thursday) walking her dogs between 34th SW and 35th SW where SW 108th is a narrow path, and encountered a coyote. The coyote went nose-to-nose with one of the dogs, who was in full attack mode towards the coyote. Happily, the person was able to get herself and the dogs away before the situation escalated, but the coyote only moved back into the bushes– the friend could still see the eyes, so the coyote wasn’t scared away by the commotion! Please be very careful if you are in this area.

As always – here’s the advice on what to do (including trying your best to scare a coyote away).

27 Replies to "West Seattle coyotes: Evening encounter in Arbor Heights"

  • tk November 3, 2011 (8:29 pm)

    Big or small dogs? That should always be detailed!

  • tk November 3, 2011 (8:31 pm)

    Also, would love to know how large they coyotes are. Been watching youtube vids and sometimes they look as big as German Shepherds!

  • tipster November 3, 2011 (9:11 pm)

    Good point about the size of the dogs, sorry about that!
    The dogs are 40-ish and 50-ish pounders, several years old, very familiar with the area as they walk that path daily.

  • wagglehound November 3, 2011 (10:40 pm)

    We ourselves had a coyote encounter (trick or treat?!) on Halloween morning, at 8 a.m., up on Pigeon Point. Standing on our porch, readying children to walk to school when a coyote came trotting down the middle of the street. Our two mixed-breed dogs were in the front yard and barked like mad at it. It glanced over at them as it passed our house but just continued on unaffected. I’d say in terms of size it was smaller than our shepherd mix (who’s 70 pounds) and yet bigger than our cattle dog, who’s a true “medium sized dog” at 50 lbs. The coyote was a truly beautiful creature!

  • m November 4, 2011 (6:02 am)

    Go coyotes!

  • pigeon hill jim November 4, 2011 (8:20 am)

    Pigeon Point also received the following email about the above mentioned “beautiful creature”:

    “DEar Pigeon Hill Neighbors
    On Jim’s way off the hill this morning at about about 7:30a he saw a coyote on 20th in the street in front of Robert’s house with a black & white cat in its mouth. There were kids nearby on their way to school. The coyote was running back & forth, not sure where to go. Kids should be warned to not go near coyote’s and give them plenty of room to make their escape. I’m very sorry about someone losing their pet. I know I was devastated when I lost mine.”

    We have since had missing cat notices sent to us. It’s clear that the coyotes are becoming less “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” and more of a dangerous nuisance. I grew up on a farm in Redmond, and coyotes frequently killed our lambs and sheep. We dealt with them in a way that is not possible in the confines of the city, nor am I suggesting any one go that route. The city will soon need to deal with this problem. Our pets are beautiful creatures as well.

  • Jim November 4, 2011 (8:28 am)

    These coyotes are becoming tame. Don’t just stare at them (in either fear or admiration) – go after them and put some fear into them.

  • T-Rex November 4, 2011 (8:44 am)

    Tipster, I woud say you are very lucky that your situation did not turn out badly, coyotes are wild animals and their attacks are nothing like a domestic dog. You yourself could have been hurt as well. Be careful everyone and I agree with Jim in making them fear us.

  • Stella's mom November 4, 2011 (9:07 am)

    The dogs were a 65 pound german shepherd mix and a 55 pound hound mix. The coyote was about 20 inches tall, maybe 25(?) pounds…possibly adolescent sized. He or she was quite different than other coyotes I’ve seen who usually ignore you and go about their business. If he responded that way towards 2 good-sized aggressive dogs and an adult, I am concerned as to how it might respond around a child.

  • The dogs owner November 4, 2011 (9:11 am)

    The dogs were a 65 pound german shepherd mix and a 55 pound hound mix. The coyote was about 20 inches tall and about 25(?) pounds. This coyote did not act like coyotes typically do, either shying away or ignoring you all together. My concern with this one is that if it acted that way towards two good-sized aggressive dogs and an adult, I worry how it might act towards a child.

  • Wiley E. November 4, 2011 (10:05 am)

    It is always saddens me to hear of pets being taken by coyotes, racoons, dogs & predatory birds. Please value your pets by keeping them safe inside or in a secured yard.

    Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, with only a couple documented bites recorded in Washington. Statistically, dogs are far, far more of a threat to humans, with thousands of bites and a few deaths documented.

  • Patrick November 4, 2011 (10:23 am)

    Coyote’s are definitely around this area.

    What I find interesting is that I can hear them howling whenever the fire dept leaves the fire house off of 35th ave sw.

    Additionally I came home from a night out 2 weeks ago and as I approached home I encountered what appeared to be a dog laying in the middle of my street ( 26th Ave sw/ Sw Alaska st ) honked my horn to no avail. I got out of my Jeep to see if the dog had been hit, when I approached said ” dog ” I realized that it was in fact a Coyote at which time it became alert VERY quickly and challenged me. I at that point slowly backed away while keeping eye contact and tying to find the door handle while facing the coyote. I struggled for what seemed an eternity to open my car door when the coyote started to advance on me and just as I opened the door the coyote laid down on the ground 2 feet from me and began whimpering. This struck me as odd b/c at no time did the coyote seem threatening in nature and never once charged me or made any motions as it were going to attack. I got back into my jeep and pulled into the driveway about 50 feet south of this encounter, I got out only to see the coyote walking towards my driveway. I opened the gate to the front yard and separated myself from the coyote. however at this point it is becoming increasingly evident that this coyote is either brave or stupid as it approaches the gate of the yard stands on it’s hind legs with it’s front legs straddling the gate, looks at me and sticks it’s tongue out and begins to whimper again, at this point I am completely befuddled as to what this coyote’s intentions are and as I look back on the situation now, I would say with some degree of certainty that this coyote was young in nature and age and probably had quite a bit of human contact and wanted nothing more than either food or attention but I am not one to interfere with Mother Nature, So I looked into it’s eyes, apologized for not obliging and went inside. I came back out about an hour later and the coyote was gone and I have not seen it since.

  • boy November 4, 2011 (11:43 am)

    To bad she did not have a conceild weapons permit. This was a good chance to get rid of this problem. It is time to take action.

  • lt fd November 4, 2011 (12:30 pm)

    “To bad she did not have a conceild (sic) weapons permit. This was a good chance to get rid of this problem. It is time to take action”.
    Are you writing about the loose cats entering other yards and hunting there, the loose dogs roaming neighborhoods and knocking over trash cans & pooping in yards, or the coyotes interacting with the loose cats & dogs?

  • tk November 4, 2011 (1:12 pm)

    OH MY GOSH! between Cattle Dog and GSD!?!?!?! Thanks for filling in the details about the size of these suckers.

    I took my large (80lbs) Husky mix and my 4 year old son on the start of a trail on the SE side of Highland Park Way down in the greenbelt. It begins on 5th ave SW and SW Kenya. My Husky was SPOOKED then I realized she might be sensing something that I couldn’t and I decided to turn around and head home before we ran into a Coyote Den. I don’t know what I would have done to help save both my 4 year old boy and dog! I think I may try again with just the dog and a pistol. (I have a CPL) That was why I was watching youtube videos trying to get a good idea of the size of coyotes.

    Now if they were 40lbs or less I think I’d feel better just kicking them off of me if they were to get aggressive. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. I’m super curious where this trail leads to as I haven’t been able to find any maps for this particular trail.

  • Boy November 4, 2011 (2:52 pm)

    fd, You are comparing apples and oranges to pets and a wild animal. And tk you may kick it off you maybe after a few bites, or you might find yourself at the vet having your dog checked for rabbies after a coyote bite. Just pull the triger.

  • tipster November 4, 2011 (4:05 pm)

    the trail is just a tiny pathway where SW 108th doesn’t connect through, between 34th SW and 35th SW. There is a large ravine that runs parallel to 35th, and this is the path that crosses it to connect foot traffic to both legs of SW 108th.

  • wswildlife November 4, 2011 (4:26 pm)

    “I think I may try again with just the dog and a pistol. (I have a CPL) That was why I was watching youtube videos trying to get a good idea of the size of coyotes.”

    If you are concerned that you might encounter a coyote you might want to seriously consider changing your route and go to some location other than the greenbelt and near their den. Coyotes are protective of their dens, if it is being occupied. Hopefully then you won’t feel the need to carry your gun. It is against the law to hunt or trap them without a license, and if you observe a problem coyote, you should report it to Dept Fish & Wildlife.

  • Wiley E November 4, 2011 (5:44 pm)

    For those who have a Concealed Weapon Permit or anyone else with a gun, can you tell me whether it is legal to discharge a weapon within the city?
    To shoot a dog, a coyote, a cat or any vermin either within your own property or on public property?

  • Mike November 4, 2011 (9:30 pm)

    Discharging a concealed weapon for any purpose other than defense of human life is illegal. If I ever see anyone shoot a coyote just because it’s near by and not in full attack biting a human, I will be sure to have that person thrown in jail and fined. Fire a weapon around me and I take it as a threat on my life.

  • Wiley E. November 4, 2011 (11:18 pm)

    Thanks Mike.
    I feel all guns in the city are a threat to our lives. Statistics bare this out.

  • tk November 5, 2011 (12:04 am)

    Wiley? Wanna go w/ me w/out a gun? Rapist, coyotes, and lefties, oh-my!

  • tk November 5, 2011 (2:23 pm)

    Trail starting on 5th ave sw and sw kenya, just awesome! The fall colors were glorious! The trail is VERY difficult. No coyote sightings. I made sure to make a lot of noise while on the path. That may have helped. Apartments are dumping garbage down there. I will call the manager on Monday. Whooo! That was a workout and my Husky was in 7th heaven!

    PS, I’m not a trail walker, I just moved from Admiral dist to Highland park and live on a boring dead end street so needed to find a good way to exercise my dog. Think I’ll even let my kids walk it in the summertime.

  • datamuse November 6, 2011 (6:45 pm)

    tk, you’re my neighbor then. Have you explored the trails on the north side of Highland Park Way? Lots of paths. (Unfortunately, garbage isn’t uncommon, either.)
    You probably already know there’s a dog park about half a mile south of us at Westcrest, too.
    I see coyotes around this neighborhood occasionally, but raccoons and loose dogs are much more common sights.

  • lowkey November 8, 2011 (8:37 am)

    I seen two BIG ASS coyotes Sunday night, they were around cooper elementry, … I think its pathfinder now…. but f**k they were hella big, and those basters didn’t even care that we were there…it was me and my homie. We were just chilling outside his grandmas house, just sippin… all of a sudden.. I see what I thought was a dog, but it looked hella big… then another one came down the street.. man it was about 5to 10feet aways, VERY CLOSE… what really freaked us out, was that we kinda paniced.. and we scrambled to the front door, cuz we were unarmed…. and even thogh we made a big ass comotion. The coyotes wernt even phazed my us… they just left calmly, but I pesonaly think that if we wouldn’t of got up quick, they would’ve attacked ! Us…. so everybody plz be careful, and bring a big ass stick, knife, or a gun, only if allowed to own one,… cuz I’m tellin u I have a fullgrown 110pound red nose pitbull, and I’m tellin u they were bigger, or at least the same size…. I’m not saying to get up and got hunt these animals, just be careful, cuz they ARE WILDANIMALS… and very unpredictible….

  • Nefertiti November 10, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    Thanks for the tip, bro.

  • MarcieWK November 16, 2011 (4:17 pm)

    Twice in the last ten days I have spotted a coyote on Marine View Drive as I was coming home at night. Seemed unafraid of my car, and thank goodness I wasn’t walking. He dropped down toward the Arroyos. I have lost my cat to a coyote, and am hoping you will keep yours inside and safe, Arroyo and Arbor Heights residents. They hunt night and day!

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