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Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Wiley Coyote ()
Date: August 09, 2013 04:35AM

Coyotes in Fairfax County - Fact and Fiction
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resources/archives/coyotes.htm

Coyotes play a big role in American culture, whether they are wreaking havoc in Native American folk tales or baying at the moon in the movies. In mythology, coyotes are ever the clever mischief-maker, a reputation earned from their real-life stealth, swiftness and adaptability.

There has been some press lately about coyotes in the county. But what's the real story? Is it just a lot of hype? ResOURces spoke with FCPD wildlife biologist Earl Hodnett to straighten out some of myths and realities surrounding our very own county coyotes. Still rare and with a relatively small population, coyotes aren't more or less a concern than any other wildlife we have in the county, be it bears, raccoons, deer or snakes.

What's the big picture?

The big picture is that coyotes are now in every county of the nation, except maybe Hawaii. They're hardly unique to this area. Everybody's got them.

Are there benefits to having coyotes?

The good news for Fairfax County is that coyotes will help normalize two animal populations that have overgrown due to the lack of a natural predator, and have presented a nuisance problem for citizens. These are rats and Canada geese.

Coyotes will help clean up the high rat population and other rodents as well, which is a welcome activity. In the case of Canada geese, coyotes like eating goose eggs (and occasionally a goose dinner), which should help to mitigate the big soiling problem the county has when geese overrun sports fields, parks, school grounds and lawns.

Are we likely to see a coyote?

Probably not. Coyotes are smart, secretive and nocturnal. They also tend to avoid humans.

What do they look like?

The Eastern coyote is different from the Western coyote. They're bigger for one thing, having cross-bred over recent decades with wolves. They're brownish-gray with an average weight of about thirty-five pounds. Although you might hear one, they are not as vocal as their Western cousins.

What do you do if you actually spot one?

Nothing. The county knows they're here so you shouldn't do anything more than you would if you saw a skunk or raccoon. Often, people call saying they've sited a coyote when in fact, they've seen a gray fox or a mangy red fox.

Should we be concerned?

Not really. They're part of our wildlife now. Coyotes, just like in the old Western movies, are primarily a concern to farmers. For Fairfax County citizens, the big concern is letting out pets at night -- cats or small dogs, which could be killed if they wander into coyote territory.

It's also very important that you don't leave food sources out at night, like dog food or food on compost piles, and secure garbage can lids.

Can coyotes be scared off?

Yes. Just yell at them. Coyotes generally aren't confrontational and would rather avoid humans and run away than get in a fight, although they might get into a tug-of-war if you tried to grab away their catch.

However, if a coyote is behaving abnormally or aggressively, like a rabid dog, then call the county police non-emergency number -- 703-691-2131 -- and they will dispatch an animal control officer.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Snake in the grass ()
Date: August 09, 2013 04:33PM

About a month ago saw carcass of coyote in the road over in Dunn Loring. Two black crows were feasting on it. Caw! Caw!

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Yes ()
Date: August 09, 2013 05:39PM

We have one here in Clifton.

Nasty looking thing with a long tail.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: LOUIE ()
Date: August 09, 2013 05:48PM

I guess it wasn't technically Fairfax but I was near the end of the W&OD trail and saw what was a wolf or coyote run into the woods.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: asdfadsfadf ()
Date: August 09, 2013 06:22PM

There are probably small packs of them out in those wooded areas.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: They are all over ()
Date: August 09, 2013 08:39PM

Yes and in several locations.

1) Springfield / Franconia area, off of Park Terrace

2) Bush Hill, back near the Beltway

3) Huntley Meadows, northeastern section

4) Huntley Meadows, off the unofficial trails in the southwest

5) Ft. Belvoir, in the Accotink Wildlife Refuge

6) Mason Neck, in Mason Neck SP / Potomac Shoreline Park. And Pohick Bay RP

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Yes ()
Date: August 09, 2013 08:48PM

Yes, early morning in the Fairfax Station area. We have foxes, too, and is was definitely a coyote.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: asdfadsfadsf ()
Date: August 09, 2013 09:34PM

They are all over Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes and in several locations.
>
> 1) Springfield / Franconia area, off of Park
> Terrace
>
> 2) Bush Hill, back near the Beltway
>
> 3) Huntley Meadows, northeastern section
>
> 4) Huntley Meadows, off the unofficial trails in
> the southwest
>
> 5) Ft. Belvoir, in the Accotink Wildlife Refuge
>
> 6) Mason Neck, in Mason Neck SP / Potomac
> Shoreline Park. And Pohick Bay RP

Holy crap! What do they do, come down from the mountains?

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: cowabunga ()
Date: August 09, 2013 11:04PM

I've seen 3....all in Lorton. Got a pic of one too.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: nnv7H ()
Date: August 10, 2013 10:10AM

I saw one at the i95 landfill complex (sometimes called the dump by less informed people).

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Fairfax Boy ()
Date: August 10, 2013 10:20AM

I saw one riding in a new Dodge Challenger - Years ago they were strictly into Plymouth Road Runners.....and that free bird seed thing.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Sanitation Engineering #101 ()
Date: August 10, 2013 10:27AM

nnv7H Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I saw one at the i95 landfill complex (sometimes
> called the dump by less informed people).

I have never called the landfill a dump. I reserve the word to describe Fairfax County.
And I have seen many coyotes in the eastern part of "the dump" during the last three years. Coyotes are a positive asset to region.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: curious ()
Date: August 10, 2013 12:32PM

I saw one on the side of the road at dawn eating roadkill. I was heading out camping at the time so I took it as a good omen. . .

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: They are all over ()
Date: August 10, 2013 02:15PM

asdfadsfadsf Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They are all over Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Yes and in several locations.
> >
> > 1) Springfield / Franconia area, off of Park
> > Terrace
> >
> > 2) Bush Hill, back near the Beltway
> >
> > 3) Huntley Meadows, northeastern section
> >
> > 4) Huntley Meadows, off the unofficial trails
> in
> > the southwest
> >
> > 5) Ft. Belvoir, in the Accotink Wildlife Refuge
> >
> > 6) Mason Neck, in Mason Neck SP / Potomac
> > Shoreline Park. And Pohick Bay RP
>
> Holy crap! What do they do, come down from the
> mountains?


You could say so, yeah. They returned to their historical range very quickly over the past couple of decades. There are a bunch in DC, too, living along Rock Creek Park.

Want your mind blown? There are bobcats in Fairfax County, too.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: ffxres2 ()
Date: August 10, 2013 02:49PM

Hear them at night in Burke all the time.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: asdfadsfadsf ()
Date: August 10, 2013 02:50PM

They are all over Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You could say so, yeah. They returned to their
> historical range very quickly over the past couple
> of decades. There are a bunch in DC, too, living
> along Rock Creek Park.
>
> Want your mind blown? There are bobcats in Fairfax
> County, too.

Interesting, I didn't know that. That seems far too close for comfort. Probably slim pickings for food in the higher elevations.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Unbelievable1 ()
Date: August 11, 2013 09:48AM

Wow! Where are they coming from?

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: a biologist ()
Date: August 11, 2013 02:56PM

asdfadsfadsf Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Interesting, I didn't know that. That seems far
> too close for comfort. Probably slim pickings for
> food in the higher elevations.

The bobcats? They are very wily critters. Yes, there are some in Fairfax County, but you'll probably never spot one. As for being "too close for comfort?" He said bobcats, not mountain lions. There's a big difference.

I know of a few local neighborhoods that had bobcats literally living right behind McMansions and none of the McBlond Soccer McMoms in the mansions had any clue.

They scratch out an existence and keep away from people.

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/?s=050051

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Wolfman ()
Date: August 11, 2013 04:32PM

When the moon is full(teahouse of the august moon) I like to sneak on the Army/Navy golf course in Fairfax City and start howling like a wolf. A large pack of coyotes have been reported to exist in Daniels Run park yet they never respond to my howls. Why?


Clap for The Wolfman

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Wiley Coyote ()
Date: August 11, 2013 05:09PM

Wolfman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When the moon is full(teahouse of the august moon)
> I like to sneak on the Army/Navy golf course in
> Fairfax City and start howling like a wolf. A
> large pack of coyotes have been reported to exist
> in Daniels Run park yet they never respond to my
> howls. Why?
>
>
> Clap for The Wolfman

Wolves and Coyotes just don't mix.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: MWAA=DC ()
Date: August 12, 2013 08:30AM

Dulles Airport

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: kindful ()
Date: August 12, 2013 03:05PM

Foxes yes, coyotes no. Most likely foxes.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Archie Bunker ()
Date: August 12, 2013 05:01PM

YES! Inside the beltway. In the McLean/Falls Church area near the West Falls Church Metro. Multiple foxes,deer and other varmints that were not seen around here 25 years ago

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Animal Lover ()
Date: August 13, 2013 09:21AM

Seen them many times in Fairfax Station.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: mantutian ()
Date: August 13, 2013 12:58PM

Mantua: there are foxes, coyotes, and even cougars...its unreal.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Potomacfisher ()
Date: August 18, 2013 12:23AM

I have seen probably half a dozen in fairfax station. some of them had been in a collision with a car and left on the side of the road. others more recently i have seen up around the mount vernon area (dogue creek), especially a pair on fort belvoir who me and a friend nearly hit with our car (completely unexpected) and it was 2:00 in the after noon. we are not to sure if it was the same one, but we have seen one on route 1 before. and trust me when i say this it wasn't a fox. there is a population of foxes on and around fort belvoir and they are completely different. honestly i feel like there are more coyotes in this area then most people realize, it sure surprised me!

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: seen some with mange ()
Date: August 18, 2013 12:26AM


Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: 239 ()
Date: August 18, 2013 12:44AM

Fairfax Station resident and I've seen a few in my back yard. They normally appear around dusk. I wish they were better at catching squirrels.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: john shmuck ()
Date: August 18, 2013 05:34PM

When I was homeless, living in a tent near Fairfax, I saw a few. Some people thought they were just big foxes. They used to hunt raccoons at night. You could hear them fighting.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Carl Spackler ()
Date: August 18, 2013 09:33PM

I've seen Foxes and Coyotes at the golf course in the late dawn hours hunting squirrels and rabbits.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: rstnwlf ()
Date: August 19, 2013 12:08AM

Don't coyotes howl at the moon? If so, I haven't seen or heard them in Reston.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Ranger Hal ()
Date: August 20, 2013 07:21PM

Saw what I believe to be another coyote carcass on chain bridge road near Vienna. Large grey body with white coloring on the hindquarters. Too big for a fox. now squashed into road bed due to all the traffic.

The above picture is a fox,yes? or some kind of hybrid fox/coyote?

Been seeing lots of deer lately. Took a drive down Pleasant Valley(how did this road get a scenic designation?) one night and saw about 8-10 deer along the way. Its nice that the deer look both ways before crossing the road these days. I hate running into deer. Ran into one on route 7 a few years back at 60 mph. I shit my pants

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: rpspeng ()
Date: August 21, 2013 06:50PM

I was hiking in the woods and saw this family or pack of them down near a stream. They seemed kind of bold and sat still long enough for me to get a couple shots before they ran off.
Attachments:
coyote_family.jpg

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: The pack is back ()
Date: August 21, 2013 07:11PM

rpspeng Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was hiking in the woods and saw this family or
> pack of them down near a stream. They seemed kind
> of bold and sat still long enough for me to get a
> couple shots before they ran off.


Healthy looking Coyotes.
Good photo.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Date: August 21, 2013 08:42PM

The trails around Lake Accotink, you can hear them howling in the evenings see them wandering during the day. I saw one chasing a doe and her fawn once.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Esther ()
Date: August 21, 2013 08:58PM

rpspeng Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was hiking in the woods and saw this family or
> pack of them down near a stream. They seemed kind
> of bold and sat still long enough for me to get a
> couple shots before they ran off.


Those look like the same ones I have been seeing. They are big and healthy looking. The deer are skittish now and people have mentioned small dogs and cats are missing. No way they could be mistaken for foxes, they are probably 3x the size, maybe bigger than my german shepherd.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Jeff Davis Hwy Blues ()
Date: August 21, 2013 09:29PM

rpspeng Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was hiking in the woods and saw this family or
> pack of them down near a stream. They seemed kind
> of bold and sat still long enough for me to get a
> couple shots before they ran off.


What park is that? Those are some healthy and fat looking coyotes. The ones I've seen along the eastern side of the county are generally scrawny.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: newgatedenizen ()
Date: August 21, 2013 10:15PM

Hmmm... that sure does look like a Fairfax County stream valley. But I agree that only 2 coyotes I have actually seen in our area (Prince William and Montgomery Co.s) were much leaner and rough looking than these.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: svennestle ()
Date: August 22, 2013 05:35PM

yes saw one go through the back yard. only 1x. a couple years back.

lotta foxes. don't get bit by one there's rabies to worry about. ticks too!

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Wiley E. ()
Date: August 22, 2013 06:21PM

The coyote lying on the ground sort of has a german shepherd face(multicultualism amongst the coyote and dawgs)

frankly, if I'm hiking thru the woods and came upon a pack of these critters I'd be concerned if I wasn't a vampire


Has anyone seen bobcats in this area?

a most elusive animal

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: RRunner ()
Date: August 22, 2013 07:27PM

Wiley E. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The coyote lying on the ground sort of has a
> german shepherd face(multicultualism amongst the
> coyote and dawgs)
>
> frankly, if I'm hiking thru the woods and came
> upon a pack of these critters I'd be concerned if
> I wasn't a vampire
>
>
> Has anyone seen bobcats in this area?
>
> a most elusive animal

I haven't seen any bobcats but I have seen those big coyotes that look like long-legged German Shepherds or Alsatians, just like in the picture above. They actually look a lot like wolves due to the cross breeding. It didn't have the sloping back of a German Shepherd, and it looked a little taller than most Shepherds. Had the bushey tail as well. Last time I saw one was in May around the end of Huntsman Blvd.

I'd love to see a bobcat.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: nature bob ()
Date: August 23, 2013 09:23AM

Supposedly, the reason that the coyotes on the east coast are so large is because they have interbred with wolves on their way across the US from the West coast. The coyotes in the photo above definitely look a lot like wolves.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: coyote ugly ()
Date: August 26, 2013 10:50AM

Although it wasn't in Fx Co I did see one last Saturday night while driving on the Loudoun County Parkway (near Redskins Park) around 10pm. It was just off the road and was much bigger than a fox, grey and what gave it away was the ears pointing straight up that were much longer than fox ears could be. Looked pretty mangy and not as healthy as the ones in the above pictures.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: blanche ()
Date: August 26, 2013 12:58PM

I'd love to see coyotes in my neighborhood. We have a feral cat colony that the county won't do anything about...

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: abelard ()
Date: August 27, 2013 07:21PM

>I'd love to see coyotes in my neighborhood. We have a feral cat colony that the county won't do anything about...

That'd do it. Back in Colorado we had tons of coyotes. You'd be lucky to catch a glimpse of one but putting your cat outside was a good way to get rid of it, especially at night.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/2013 03:39PM by abelard.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Maggie ()
Date: November 16, 2013 12:13PM

Yup. Saw one on our property in Clifton. We also have a few foxes and this was definitely NOT a fox as some suggest above. Beautiful gray, tall and lanky animal with thick coat. Would love to see it again.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: FFXugly ()
Date: November 16, 2013 12:25PM

Never seen any Coyotes in Fairfax but I've seen a few Cougars hanging out in bars that I'd like to hit..

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Yep, they're around ()
Date: November 16, 2013 12:50PM

Two to four sometimes during early morning in the yard.
Eastern Fairfax.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Clarence ()
Date: November 18, 2013 01:03PM

Saw a coyote close up in the Fairfax Station Subdivision this morning. Looked like a skinny German Sheppart, about 2/3 the size of a G Sheppard, about 60 pounds. Looked like mange on the rear quarters.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: JP ()
Date: December 03, 2013 09:09AM

I have 4 dogs weighing between 12 and 17 lbs. and a doggie door. I saw somethign like a bigger fox brownish show up on two Mondays at 11pm and 3am (motion detector light went off) and I scared him off. Much skinnier and browner. Any advice?

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Maybe... ()
Date: December 03, 2013 09:23AM

JP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have 4 dogs weighing between 12 and 17 lbs. and
> a doggie door. I saw somethign like a bigger fox
> brownish show up on two Mondays at 11pm and 3am
> (motion detector light went off) and I scared him
> off. Much skinnier and browner. Any advice?

I have a friend who was in the military for several years. He told me that some kind of piss will ward off coyotes. I can't remember if its bear piss or something else. I seem to recall him saying that they recognize and fear the scent of a larger predator.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: ....Not ()
Date: December 03, 2013 01:21PM

Maybe... Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> JP Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I have 4 dogs weighing between 12 and 17 lbs.
> and
> > a doggie door. I saw somethign like a bigger
> fox
> > brownish show up on two Mondays at 11pm and 3am
> > (motion detector light went off) and I scared
> him
> > off. Much skinnier and browner. Any advice?
>
> I have a friend who was in the military for
> several years. He told me that some kind of piss
> will ward off coyotes. I can't remember if its
> bear piss or something else. I seem to recall him
> saying that they recognize and fear the scent of a
> larger predator.
Collecting a gallon of bear piss. Have fun with that...

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Maybe... ()
Date: December 03, 2013 02:09PM

Curiously, Coyotes and other large predators are not deterred by human piss. As humans, we are the ultimate predator of all animals here on Earth.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: RLSM ()
Date: December 13, 2013 09:48PM

All this past week while walking our two dogs (9 and 23#s each) after dinner we've heard howling and barking in the wooded area near Belvoir. We've seen single coyote in our yard during the daytime, as well as at night but different area than the woods where the howling is coming from past two years, but we've never heard howling/barking like this at night. Could this mean they are picking up our scent, or that there's tons more of them than in previous years? I bet it's going to be an interesting spring when they start to mate!

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: LOLz ()
Date: December 14, 2013 06:26PM

RLSM Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> All this past week while walking our two dogs (9
> and 23#s each) after dinner we've heard howling
> and barking in the wooded area near Belvoir. We've
> seen single coyote in our yard during the daytime,
> as well as at night but different area than the
> woods where the howling is coming from past two
> years, but we've never heard howling/barking like
> this at night. Could this mean they are picking up
> our scent, or that there's tons more of them than
> in previous years? I bet it's going to be an
> interesting spring when they start to mate!

That's just all the milfs in South Riding.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Road runner ()
Date: December 14, 2013 07:49PM

Visited the park around the old Lorton prison complex last year and ran into one of the workers. He said there are two distinct packs of coyotes on the property.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: KayNine ()
Date: December 15, 2013 08:29AM


Encroaching coyotes in Northern Virginia
Posted by: InsideNova ()
Date: December 16, 2013 05:17AM

Encroaching coyotes
http://www.insidenova.com/news/local/northernva/encroaching-coyotes/article_f1218aec-37a4-11e3-b74b-001a4bcf887a.html

Yes, Northern Virginia, we have coyotes. Get used to it, they’re here to stay.

“Coyotes are well established here and the population is growing,” state wildlife biologist Kevin Rose said. “They are good at adapting to the environment we create.”

Though typically elusive, over the past year or so coyotes have become an almost regular sight, and sound, in Northern Virginia, particularly in southeastern Prince William County.

Several people have snapped photos of them strolling across crowded residential neighborhoods, or hanging out in backyards.

There have also been rumors of missing cats and small dogs, thought to have become meals for the feared canines.

“Last week they took two little dogs in my neighborhood in Triangle, near Quantico. We saw a huge one carrying a little animal about 20 feet away from usin the middle of the street!” Carla Aikens said on InsideNoVa.com’s Facebook page.

State and local officials say we are seeing many more of them, and they have become comfortable enough – or brazen enough – to claim our territory as theirs.

Despite some rumors to the contrary, coyotes weren’t introduced to the east to control deer populations. They slowly migrated here, and were first observed in western Virginia in the 1950s.

“Coyotes were not moved here by the [Marine Corps] or anyone else,” Rose said.

As the nation’s populations of other top predators, like wolves and mountain lions, declined, the cunning coyote moved in to fill the void.

“Wolves tend to limit coyote abundance because they see another large ‘dog’ as a threat,” Rose said.

Coyotes in Northern Virginia followed a specific route to get here from the north, and they had some encounters with wolves along the way, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Mammalogy.

Researchers with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute studied the scat (or feces) of the area’s coyotes and found that they bred with the wolves of the Great Lakes.

Thanks to their wolf DNA, Northern Virginia’s coyotes are larger than their western counterparts, said Paul Petersen, a wildlife biologist and chief of resource management at Prince William Forest Park.

And while wolf populations in the country continue to decline, the coyote population is booming.

Coyotes are omnivores. They east small mammals like mice and groundhogs, and native fruits like blackberries and blueberries. But we may be seeing more of them because – like black bears – they also enjoy trash, pet food, bird seed and meat in compost piles.

“Opportunities for those kinds of meals are common around human populations,” Rose said.

While it doesn’t happen often, coyotes are opportunists and will eat cats and small dogs.

“They are not vicious evil animals, but will make an easy meal of pets if given the chance,” Rose said.

Prince William police advise people who live in neighborhoods where coyotes have been spotted to bring their pets inside at night.

Even more rare are coyote attacks on people, though the animals are very territorial and will defend their dens.

“Coyotes defend their territories and especially their den areas from all other animals,” Rose said. “Therefore, if they set up a den, they would attack animals larger than they see as prey in order to defend their family and territory. This accounts for most attacks on larger dogs and adults.”

The state has deemed coyotes a “nuisance animal,” and there are no bag limits or hunting seasons for the canines.

Coyotes can be “killed at will,” but not in areas where shooting is prohibited, and not on Sundays, Rose said.

“Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries regulations, such as the designation of coyotes as a nuisance animal, do not supersede local ordinances regulating discharge of firearms,” Rose said.

Shooting is prohibited in most of Prince William County, said police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Some counties in the state will pay a bounty for dead coyotes. But no jurisdictions in Northern Virginia do not, and there is no statewide bounty.

Rose says hunting coyotes out of existence isn’t going to work anyway. “Living in an area that has coyotes is a lot like living in areas with bears. Do not leave attractants out that encourage the animal to come onto your property. Without the promise of food, they generally don’t have an interest in hanging around,” he said.

And while you might successfully shoo them from your backyard, expect it to be an ongoing battle.

“Just like with bears, humans are going to have to learn to live with our wildlife, not expect that to live separate from it,” Rose said.
Attachments:
5260ab425d20b_image.jpg

Re: Encroaching coyotes in Northern Virginia
Posted by: Tough One ()
Date: December 16, 2013 05:29AM

They are literally everywhere. Just roll out at night, and I guarantee you'll see one of these vermin.

Re: Encroaching coyotes in Northern Virginia
Posted by: Meow ()
Date: December 16, 2013 08:21AM

I seriously doubt the so called hunters in NoVA could track a cat much less a cougar while strolling thru Virginia bush.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Restonite ()
Date: December 17, 2013 12:02AM

I just heard one calling out in the backyard. I think my neighbor with the wildlife association is back to feeding them under her porch.

Re: Encroaching coyotes in Northern Virginia
Posted by: Ranger Rick ()
Date: December 17, 2013 06:48AM

Meow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I seriously doubt the so called hunters in NoVA
> could track a cat much less a cougar while
> strolling thru Virginia bush.

Wrong thread, this thread is for Coyotes. For Cougars and Mountain Lions, go here...

http://www.fairfaxunderground.com/forum/read/2/1273129/1390594.html#msg-1390594

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Restonite ()
Date: December 17, 2013 12:41PM

I went outside at midnight to check on the animal which I couldn't see from inside. It was standing outside in front of their house and looking at people as if it was waiting for someone.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Yikes! ()
Date: December 17, 2013 12:48PM

Restonite Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I went outside at midnight to check on the animal
> which I couldn't see from inside. It was standing
> outside in front of their house and looking at
> people as if it was waiting for someone.

Probably, you said your neighbor feeds them?

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: perry ()
Date: March 04, 2014 04:02PM

Where was this?

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Transplant ()
Date: March 05, 2014 09:29PM

Heard them at the border of FFX city and County, right near main street. Ive seen a good size domestic cat back down a fox, but a coyote is twice as big and anything under 25 lbs is fair game. They can tolerate pretty close human interaction if you are not shooting them or poisoning them. Otherwise shy.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: A-YEP ()
Date: March 07, 2014 12:16AM

I saw one in Reston the other night around 11:30 pm crossing Lawyers Road. Lots of deer in that area.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Doug M ()
Date: March 25, 2014 11:10PM

Saw one in my back woods (Centreville, Gate Post Estates) this evening around 6pm. It was trotting after two yearling deer. I think their presence is a good thing if they'll reduce the deer population, that is the true nuisance species that propagates tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme's disease.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: ISEENACOYOTE ()
Date: March 26, 2014 01:04AM

My husband was confronted by one in the woods of the county parkway - Gambrill/sydenstricker exits. It came out of no where, growling and confrontation, but stayed on the other side of the creek. We called animal control and they said it probably had a litter of babes nearby. I've also seen two meandering behind my house during the snow storms. I am thinking if we are seeing them, there must be many more out there that we aren't seeing.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: iknow ()
Date: March 26, 2014 07:43AM

Seen a few in Lorton,springfield area while walking the county trail.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: ttFek ()
Date: March 29, 2014 09:01PM

Now that people will be outside more, you can bet there will be more sightings.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Mama B ()
Date: March 30, 2014 04:22PM

I'm a vienna resident and I've seen one in my backyard & our neighbors had a problem with one living under ther deck. So yes there are coyotes in fairfax county.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Zippy ()
Date: June 02, 2014 02:41PM

I live next to West Potomac High School (Alexandria part of FFC) and have one come through at least twice a day (morning & night).

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: GUEGY ()
Date: June 02, 2014 07:32PM

yes they circle like hyena making false claims to undermine you and steal. their called "county supervisors"

-----------------------
the cyotes never bothered me. they keep a distance when going by respecting territory, as animals passing by while hunting are apt to do.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Face the Facts ()
Date: June 02, 2014 07:49PM

GUEGY Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> yes they circle like hyena making false claims to
> undermine you and steal. their called "county
> supervisors"

Too bad right-wing goobers are not an endangered species. Coyotes are meanwhile an established part of the environment throughout Fairfax County, just like foxes and deer. Coyotes do not like humans and they do not like confrontation. If you wave your arms and yell at one, it will turn and run.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: lou ()
Date: June 04, 2014 09:28PM

We have some in Lake Accotink, West Springfield side, along with fox. We hear them often at night. We see them in our backyard at dawn and dusk. Will the wolves harm the foxes? In past years I have seen many kits but not so many this year.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: ACP ()
Date: December 14, 2014 09:10AM

We back to Huntley Meadows and around 2am last night there was a terrible fight w a pack of coyotes & something. Maybe 4 or 5. Sounded horrible. We see all kinds of things out there but this sound was horrible.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Annadalian ()
Date: December 14, 2014 06:56PM

Saw one on Wakefield Chapel Rd going up soneones driveway about 6 months ago...seems consistent as that is not far fron Accotink.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Animal man ()
Date: December 14, 2014 07:16PM

lou Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> We have some in Lake Accotink, West Springfield
> side, along with fox. We hear them often at night.
> We see them in our backyard at dawn and dusk.
> Will the wolves harm the foxes? In past years I
> have seen many kits but not so many this year.

Coyotes are not wolves. They do compete aggressively with foxes for dens and hunting territory and often kill the smaller foxes. Coyotes chirp, bark, growl, and howl. Blood-curdling shrieks and screams are more likely to come from foxes.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: newgatedenizen ()
Date: February 07, 2015 11:07AM

Sorry about the gore.

Roadkill coyote at E.C. Lawrence Park in Centreville 7 Feb 2015.
Attachments:
eclawrenceroadkill.jpg

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: to get rid of humans ()
Date: February 07, 2015 11:21AM

Only humans are deterred by human piss.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Mr. Miyagi ()
Date: February 07, 2015 12:27PM

Coyote makes a fine meal.

Those two would be delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




rpspeng Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was hiking in the woods and saw this family or
> pack of them down near a stream. They seemed kind
> of bold and sat still long enough for me to get a
> couple shots before they ran off.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: CX ()
Date: February 07, 2015 04:41PM

Nah...But I've seen Chupagabras at Kilroys. Wed nite.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Fairfax Conservative ()
Date: February 07, 2015 05:16PM

I saw a coyote in Reston in 2000.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Oldvirginian ()
Date: February 07, 2015 06:17PM

Not sure if the road kill pic is from ramp onto 28 off 66 west but saw a dead one there this a.m.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Newvirginian ()
Date: April 22, 2015 08:40AM

Saw a road kill coyote this morning on Rt. 28 north near the Sully Historic Site.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: KcnD7 ()
Date: April 23, 2015 09:24AM

JP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have 4 dogs weighing between 12 and 17 lbs. and
> a doggie door. I saw somethign like a bigger fox
> brownish show up on two Mondays at 11pm and 3am
> (motion detector light went off) and I scared him
> off. Much skinnier and browner. Any advice?


In close 12 gauge. Far away 22/250 or 223. Hope that helps...

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: VDdtd ()
Date: April 23, 2015 02:06PM

Actually, saw a coyote, 5 years ago in DC!!
5 blocks south from Cap. Hill, on the streets under, the SouthWest Freeway.
They scavenge through trash around dumpsters, etc.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. It jotted right past me about 5 feet away.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Donn Stewart ()
Date: July 29, 2019 10:01AM

Saw a mangey coyote today off Sully Station Road, looked just like the photo from the post Aug 18, 2013

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: They are here to stay ()
Date: July 29, 2019 10:53AM

Saw one trotting along Shirley gate Rd last year. Sure as hell wasn't a dog or a fox

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Look closer ()
Date: July 29, 2019 10:56AM

Donn Stewart Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Saw a mangey coyote today off Sully Station Road,
> looked just like the photo from the post Aug 18,
> 2013

That is a fox with mange in the picture you referenced

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Park Ranger ()
Date: July 29, 2019 11:20AM

Foxes and coyotes do not get along. If you have one near you, you likely do not have the other.

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Bullshit detector ()
Date: July 29, 2019 01:14PM

Park Ranger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Foxes and coyotes do not get along. If you have
> one near you, you likely do not have the other.


Blatantly false. Where do you get this crap? Your bunghole?

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Meade, why? ()
Date: July 29, 2019 01:19PM

Meade this post is 6 years old why are you such a loser that you bring up old post instead of posting on more important and worthwhile posts? Did you complete high school or are you just picking your nose? This site is a joke!

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
Posted by: Dog ()
Date: July 29, 2019 10:45PM

Yes they were spotted in Vienna off the bike trail at a park .

Re: Has anyone ever seen Coyotes in Fairfax County?
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