I was asked by a Foothills Area Command citizen today about the legality of shooting coyotes in a residential neighborhood. Here’s my answer in bullet points for easy reading:
- This is cruel and inhumane. Coyotes are afraid of humans and really don’t want to encounter you.
- If a coyote is watching you or walking parallel to you, they most likely are afraid for their pups nearby or a food source nearby. Just calmly walk out of the vicinity.
- If you shoot a coyote, you have now put that animal in a position of fighting for it’s life.
- There is a City Ordinance prohibiting the propulsion of missiles within city limits.
- You are responsible for every projectile you fire. Along with the right to own a firearm also comes responsibility.
- Are you prepared to harm another animal, a person, or damage property and pay the price and live with that?
- This is a potential officer safety issue: if you are hiding behind a wall or in the bushes to kill an animal and are reported to 911 because a citizen is alarmed (as they should be), are you prepared to have officers surround you and order you to put down the weapon peacefully? If it’s a toy gun or BB gun, it will look just like the real thing.
- Contact the City’s Animal Welfare department or the Open Space unit via 242-COPS (2677) if you have questions.
- Contact the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game if there is a rabid or aggressive coyote (or other wildlife).
- If you see or hear firing, please report it to 242-COPS or 911 from a safe place and we will dispatch officers.
- Per the Humane Society (www.humansociety.org), more people are killed by errant golf balls than coyotes.
Thanks for the great question and I hope I was able to provide helpful information.
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, APD – Foothills Area Command