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Coyotes: How Fast? How High Do They Jump?

A coyote wandering in the forest.

Ever wondered if you could outrun a coyote or if your fence is high enough that one couldn’t jump over it? These are questions I’ve often wondered about myself, so I decided to research the matter and found some interesting information! So, how fast can coyotes run, and how high can they jump?

A coyote can reach a maximum speed of 43mph; studies on injured or crippled coyotes recorded maximum speeds of 32mph. They have been recorded to jump distances of 14 feet and over obstacles 8 feet high. They are also known to be able to climb 14-foot fences using their back legs.

Coyotes are found in most states in Northern America, from Canada down to Central America, and have spread into urban areas. Due to this, humans come into contact with them more often as they go about their daily lives. Now that we know that coyotes can run pretty fast and get over high obstacles, it’s a good idea to take a more informative look at coyotes’ speed and jumping abilities.

How Fast Can Coyotes Run and How High Can They Jump?

A coyote jumping in the field.

How fast a coyote can run will depend on the age, health, and physique of the animal in question, it will also depend on the situation at hand. Is the coyote being chased, or is it hunting?

Studies conducted in 1976 by BC Thompson showed that crippled coyotes could reach speeds of just under 32 mph.

The test subjects were three injured coyotes caught in steel traps and, as a result, could not use one of their feet. The studies included releasing the injured coyotes, singularly, into a fenced-off area and then chasing them on foot. They might have reached higher speeds if they were chased by a car.

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Uninjured coyotes can reach maximum speeds of 43 mph. Many of these speed recordings have been made by people driving in their vehicles next to coyotes, and they have been able to check their cars’ speedometer to see how fast they are going. In these instances, you could probably say that the coyote is putting on an extra burst of speed to protect itself from the danger of the vehicle’s proximity.

Coyotes can jump about 8 feet in the air, which is 96 inches high, and effortlessly leap an 8-foot wall or fence. Many homeowners have recorded that coyotes have managed to jump over their 8-foot fences to get into their gardens.

They can climb just about any fence as they are excellent climbers. They use their back legs to hook into the fence and climb their way up. Records show that coyotes have been seen climbing over a 14-foot cyclone fence.

Propelled by their speed, coyotes have been known to jump distances of around 14 feet in length and would probably be the overall winners in a long-jump competition.

How Can You Prevent a Coyote From Getting into Your Yard?

A coyote trying to pass through the wired fence.

If your fence is 8 feet or higher, you can employ some methods to keep coyotes out. One of these methods is to install a 1.5 – 3 inch PVC pipe with a metal bar inside it at the top of your fence, between two fence poles. This way, when the coyote gets to the top of the fence, the PVC pipe will roll around the metal bar causing the coyote to fall backward.

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Other ways to prevent coyotes from getting into your yard include:

  • Strobe lights and sirens around your property, run by a timer
  • Using human scent, e.g., Cologne or perfume, reapplied often and especially after rainfall
  • Devices that emit different noise frequencies
  • Ammonia soaked rags strategically placed around your perimeter
  • Motion detector sprinklers
  • Add a buried apron under your fence so that coyotes cannot dig their way in
  • Add an outward extension to the top of your fence approximately 15 inches in length

How Can You Make Your Yard Less Attractive to Coyotes?

A coyote wandering in the yard.

There are some other preventative methods you can use to try and make your yard less attractive to coyotes. These include ensuring that all pet food, garbage, water bowls, and any other edibles are out of sight or in an enclosed/ caged-in area. Any form of feeding coyotes, whether intentional or unintentional, will only attract them to your house in search of food.

Keep your pets inside, especially at night; also, it’s a good idea to keep your dogs on a leash or supervised if they have to go out at night. Keep all livestock and poultry in secure enclosures with rooves. Do not feed birds as the bird food attracts coyotes into your garden.

Ensure that you keep your fences in good repair with no holes or easy climbing or jumping access to them. Employ preventative measures to stop them from climbing your fences, such as the PVC pipe mentioned above.

Keep your bushes and trees tidy, get rid of anything around your home that coyotes could hide in, or use to set up a den. Coyotes are territorial and will protect their dens from what they perceive to be a threat.

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What Can You Do if You Come Into Contact with a Coyote?

Close-up of a coyote walking on the road.

Firstly, if you encounter a coyote, try and remember not to run away from it or turn your back on a coyote. Instead, be as big and loud as you possibly can.

You could use a hazing or scare technique to frighten them away. Hazing can be explained as making eye contact with a coyote when you see them yelling and waving your arms. Also, try to make yourself look bigger than them; this will keep them away from you.

You could also bang pots and pans if you have any available, any way to make a loud enough noise to frighten them off. You can also keep a whistle or air horn on your person so that you can blow it if you find yourself near a coyote.

You can spray the coyote with pepper spray or citronella spray; make sure you read all the warning labels before using the pepper spray. You can also use a paintball gun or a slingshot to scare them away from you.

Conclusion

A coyote’s speed will depend on their age, health, and the reason they are running. A coyote can run as fast as 43 mph, and even injured can reach speeds of 32 mph.

Coyotes can jump at least 8 feet in the air and have been seen jumping fences of this height. They can also climb fences easily using their back legs. Their speed helps propel them forwards to leap distances of around 14 feet in length.

References:

City of Dublin, Ohio USA: How high can a coyote jump?

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The Guardian: Improbable research: even crippled coyotes will leave you in the dust

Orange County Register: How high a fence can coyotes jump?

Quora: How high can coyotes jump?

MOconservation: Coyotes: How Fast Can They Run?

predatorstrikeforce: Coyote running @ 45 MPH! Predator Strikeforce

KPRC 2 Click2Houston: Coyote jumps fence, attacks family dog

Colorado Parks and Wildlife: Coyote Exclusions Deterrents Repellents