We live in an older home, in a suburban area with a little bit of wilderness nearby (sadly it's shrinking quickly). The nights are quiet and often filled with the sounds of coyotes yapping (except in the heat of summer). I love the sound and spotting a coyote can be a thrill. They are very beautiful animals.
Recently, however, we have been seeing a coyote coming near or into our backyard. I feel sorry for coyotes because they and their prey are being crowded out by human "progress," but we can't ignore aggressive animals.
We worry for the safety of our 2 small dogs. We keep a close eye on them.
One day my 11 year old granddaughter had a brilliant idea. She created what she calls a "Coyote Stick." When raised and shaken it makes a loud, threatening sound which scares away any coyote. It can also double as a weapon for self protection, if necessary. (Though we feel pretty certain that it won't be necessary.)
The materials required to build one are minimal. Since most of it comes from things found around the yard and recycle bin,the cost is pennies--a small amount of duct tape is the only real cost. It takes just a couple minutes to put one together and is so simple little kids can do it.
**And before you leave a comment about the dangers of coyotes, we already know. We've lived around them almost 4 years. Both my grandkids have been trained in what to do if they see any wild animal. Back away. Don't run. Don't touch. Get an adult. And grab a coyote stick!
Coyotes are generally afraid of people, so a loud noise and threatening posture will usually scare them off. And to my knowledge no one in our area has ever been attacked by a coyote--chickens, cats and small dogs, yes, people no.
Step 1: Supplies and Tools
For one coyote stick, you will need the following:
2 empty plastic water bottles, lids removed.
(optional) Scissors or knife, to cut tape.
15 - 20 small rocks or a handful of pebbles, marbles, etc. They must be small enough to fit down neck of water bottles.
A good, sturdy branch, between 36-48 inches long and no bigger around on each end than the neck of the water bottle. It has to fit inside the bottle neck. You do not want the branch so skinny the bottle will wobble or not stay on once attached.
Where to find sticks? We found ours in a pile of tree trimmings and also we collect straight branches from areas nearby or in our backyard. Some nice sticks can also be found on the curbside after neighbors trim their trees. (That's also how I get leaves for composting and mulching as well.)
And finally, the branch should be relatively straight, trimmed of all leaves and off-shoots.
Step 2: Assemble
Place several, maybe 10 or more, rocks inside each bottle.
Insert end of branch into neck of bottle about 3 or 4 inches. The stick needs to fit snugly at the mouth of the bottle. If it is too skinny, wrap the end of branch with duct tape several times (at each end), until it is thick enough for the bottles to make a tight fit.
After inserting stick into bottle; anchor and seal by wrapping tape firmly around the neck of the bottle several turns. Continue wrapping tape tightly about 3 inches up branch.
Flip branch to other end and repeat process.
Step 3: Now Shake It!
Now if a coyote...or stray dog or cat, come in your yard, just grab your coyote stick and SHAKE IT! (And yell and jump around!)
Here's a video of my granddaughter explaining how to make and use the coyote stick.