West Seattle coyotes: Sighting in the alley

July 1, 2013 at 2:02 am | In Coyotes, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 14 Comments

Someone asked us recently about the Schmitz Park coyotes, saying they hadn’t heard (much less seen) them lately. This sighting report received late Sunday night suggests they’re still around

I live near Schmitz Park Elementary on 50th and Spokane St. I was sitting on our patio in the back of our house at about 10:45 pm tonight and saw a single adult coyote heading north in our alley. 50th street “T” ‘s in to Spokane street at the front of Schmitz Park Elementary. Schmitz Park Preserve comes right up to the street in between the school and a residential property. Many homes border the preserve and there are no fences to keep coyotes from coming up to hunt in the neighborhoods. If anyone has pets that go out at night, please consider having them come in at night. I know how much we treasure out pets and I would not want any one to lose one to a coyote or raptor. Domestic pets don’t have a healthy fear of wild animals and large raptors that hunt in the nights and early morning hours. I was stunned to see one out in my neighbor’s yard. I have heard them but never actually seen them. One day they howled at the edge of the park around midnight and then another time at 9:30 in the morning. That was an odd time to hear them. I thought they were nocturnal. Hope this is helpful to those walking with pets in the evening as well.

There’s more you should know about co-existing with coyotes – read the state’s advice here.


  1. I spotted one crossing the street in the Wallingford area about a week ago, as I was driving to work. It was just off Stone Way, not far from Gasworks Park. I didn’t think they were that far inside the city, but apparently they are.

    Comment by Ray West — 4:11 am July 1, 2013 #

  2. Schmitz Park has always had Coyotes, nothing new to report here….

    Comment by West Seattle — 9:17 am July 1, 2013 #

  3. They are all over. The West Seattle blog has a map showing where they have been spotted. Perhaps they can provide the link once again?

    Comment by Faith4 — 9:42 am July 1, 2013 #

  4. I live a few blocks from Schmitz, and I did not know this West Seattle. The original post may not be new to you West Seattle, but others may not be aware of it…so for us, it is something new to report.

    Comment by Bill — 9:49 am July 1, 2013 #

  5. Faith – we haven’t updated the map in a while, though it is helpful as a reminder that they are everywhere. And Bill’s comment is exactly why we realize it’s time to get back in the groove with these reports when we receive them … NOT to say “oh, be afraid, these are dangerous animals,” but to help educate so we have the best chance of coexisting for their sake, ours, pets, etc. Until you either read a report like this OR see one yourself, you might not know. Despite living near Lincoln Park and hillside greenbelts, for example, we have only seen one ourselves – and that was more than five years ago! – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 9:57 am July 1, 2013 #

  6. Okay, can we avoid the usual round of thoughtless comments that come with this topic?

    Evil humans are not encroaching on the habitat of coyotes. I grew up here and we never heard of coyotes around here twenty years ago.

    If a person’s cat is outside and it gets killed, that doesn’t mean the owner was careless. Some cats are harder to keep indoors than others. Sometimes you come home with things in your hands and they run out. And if a cat gets killed, it is not divine retribution for the cat killing birds. In all cases this is animals doing what animals do. Nothing to get so worked up about.

    Comment by Robert — 11:56 am July 1, 2013 #

  7. Thanks. I’ve seen several & family has seen them. Walking a dog in the morning by one of the water towers, one sitting on the corner in Admiral District, several down on Alki & up above Lincoln Park + sighting just recently a few blocks below TruValue. Plus the time I reported about the poor cat & could not rescue. Thanks WSB for keeping us advised and educated.

    Comment by Faith4 — 12:12 pm July 1, 2013 #

  8. I just heard one howling last Saturday morning around 430am when my cat decided to wake me and tell me it was time to get up and feed him his can cat food (he only gets it in the morning) but that one howling sounded like a pup and we live in the N.Shorewood area just above Seola Beach.

    Comment by nemobeansmom — 4:24 pm July 1, 2013 #

  9. Are there laws against killing coyotes? Without a gun of course. Like….. Ninja star and a Rambo knife?

    Comment by Tim — 6:54 pm July 1, 2013 #

  10. It’s possible they have exhausted food sources in certain areas (sorry, cat owners) and are moving into other areas. Just speculation.

    Comment by G — 8:42 pm July 1, 2013 #

  11. I think they are arriving early from Phoenix. Are they wearing hockey helmets?

    Comment by Andrew — 7:28 am July 2, 2013 #

  12. I saw three coyotes on our street, 26th Ave SW near SW Findlay St last night (7/1), at 11:30 PM. I’m assuming it was a mother and two young ones – there was a difference in size between one and the other two. They were crossing the street and when I approached (in my vehicle) scooted into one of the yards. The Longfellow Creek trail is right behind our homes, so they must have headed to that.

    Comment by Jeffrey Robert — 10:47 am July 2, 2013 #

  13. My cat was killed last Tuesday night right in our yard on our fence line. We live in the Belvedere/Admiral area. My cat is brought inside every night at dark but she ran out at 10:15pm. I could not find her or get her to come back inside. I believe she was killed shortly after she ran outside. She was killed close to my window on the fence line and I did not hear a thing.

    My only reason for this post is to let others know about the risks to our pets. I would never wish this on anyone.

    Please spare me all the mean comments about what bad owner I am and how I deserved this. If I knew what I know now about the huge coyote population in WS I would have done things differently. I loved my cat. We are heartbroken about what happened to her.
    I have learned that coyotes will continue to revisit the area where they found easy prey. They will attack cats, dogs, and even dogs on leashes. They are fierce predators. I will be taking my dogs outside to do their business with a baseball bat in hand from now on.

    Comment by ST — 11:57 am July 2, 2013 #

  14. ST – that is heartbreaking. I’m so sorry.

    Comment by Jeffrey Robert — 9:15 pm July 2, 2013 #

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