Co-Existing with Wildlife
As most of you already know, we share the wooded areas with a multitude of wildlife in Trophy Club, ranging from field mice to white-tailed deer. Living next to the Corp of Engineer property and the golf course allows foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and all wildlife easy access to our yards and properties. Most of these animals will hunt or stalk bird feeders for birds, squirrels, or other small rodents that come after the birdseed. Most of our experiences will be sightings, or occasionally some first-hand contact with some of the animals that show up around the house, dig in our flowerbeds and lawns, or get into our trash.
Common Sense Rules
Existing alongside these animals can be quite a chore at times but following a few simple rules will help lessen the chance of wildlife coming around your property. This will allow us to enjoy the wildlife and they, too, can enjoy us at a distance.
Keep pet food up and inside. Do not leave food or water outside for your animals to eat. Food will attract fur-bearing animals that you do not want around your home.
Trash should be kept inside or in tightly closed containers. Trash will attract raccoons, opossums, crows, stray cats and dogs, and all other types of wildlife. Raccoons, skunks, and opossums will make their way into the garage after the family pet food or trash. Trash and food items also attract rodents into your garage or deck area, and rodents, in turn, will attract snakes, coyotes, foxes, and bobcats.
Cats & Small Dogs
Do not allow any of your cats or small dogs to roam freely, even while in your presence unless very close to you. Coyotes have been seen as close at 30 yards, sitting and watching people with pets in the backyards. While they are not likely to attack your pet with you standing there, rest assured it may come back later to see if the pet is out by itself.
Dogs should always be on a leash. Coyotes are dogs, too, and they attract one another. Some coyotes have been seen around the Harmony Park area in the evening. Coyotes are curious by nature, and they will come to see what the noise is when children are playing in the park and will sit and watch as you walk your pet past them.
Do not try to approach them, but rather yell loudly, clap your hands, and if possible, throw a rock or stick at them. Coyotes are becoming far too accustomed to us and no longer receive a negative reaction from us when we do see them. Always shout loudly or throw something at them. This action will condition them to stay away from humans.
Generally, coyotes are reclusive animals who avoid human contact. Coyotes who’ve adapted to urban and suburban environments, however, may realize there are few real threats and approach people or feel safe visiting yards even when people are present. These coyotes have become habituated (lost their fear of humans), likely due to the ready availability of food in our neighborhoods. Sometimes, this food is deliberately provided by people who like to watch wild animals or misguidedly feel they are helping them by offering food. These bold coyotes should not be tolerated or enticed. Instead, they should be given the message that they should not be so brazen. See how to haze for effective reshaping of coyote behavior HERE.
Should you encounter any sick or injured animals/wildlife, always call Police dispatch at 972-434-5500.