Coyote Stick

About: I like to DIY and I hate to waste anything.

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.

Duct tape

(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!

That's it, you're done!

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.

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    14 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Coyotes are NOT being crowded by humans. Their population and range have increased dramatically across rural, suburban, and urban areas where they never lived before. They're adapting and increasing, and one of the smartest, most adaptable wild animals.
    The other commenters are wrong about many things: coyotes can and do attack humans occasionally; also they hunt both singularly or in groups, and there are countless situations where it varies. Anybody who sees one likely doesn't see the other 1-3 that are usually accompanying them while hunting.


    I love the fact that ypu found a non-lethal method to help your problem! I too live in a suburban/country district, and I know that coyotes can be an issue, but I still think that there has to be a better solution than flat-put extermination.

    Great work! This 'Ible was so good that I gave you a sub!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    you know what would be better is washers or penny's in an aluminum pop can or tin can. I use them to keep my dogs off of my couches. Also the shinier the better.

    3 replies

    5 years ago

    my dog was going crazy and I find gunshots scare them to but not the bullet


    5 years ago

    I live in omak Washington. And I my dog was barking at a coyote, it went back into the bushes where other coyotes waited, dog came in and a few of them jumped right on her. So I'm not wrong about luring. Maybe your right , but in my community, where coyotes out number deer ( and our county is famous for its deer hunting) I have never heard of a coyote attacking a human one on one. I have personally been 5 yards from two coyotes and I just spooked them away by waving my arms a little. Lack of food can definitely make a difference witch could explain your experiences but not here..

    1 reply

    OK, but I didn't mean coyotes don't lure, I meant they will and often do, stalk and a cat. Also, that they will just trot up and grab a pet without any hubbub or notice, ie an opportunity kill. This is what we have experienced...and am still experiencing, as the same adult coyote came into our yard today again for the 4th time. He/she is getting bolder.

    And from what I have seen and read, coyotes usually hunt alone, not in packs.

    Thanks for your comments and interest. :)


    Thanks! Yes, I am against automatically killing native wildlife too. I this think this rattle stick would scare any animal away...except maybe a bear or mountain lion but thankfully there are none in this immediate area.

    Interesting Instructional, Thank you
    Not sure if it would well here in a more urban area like where I live in. The local coyotes are generally nocturnal and stay away from humans. They seem to live on the local military bases and use the riverbeds and railroad right of ways like highways. There was a recent attack and some reports say 3 coyotes were killed by California Fish and Wildlife that were acting boldly and without fear of humans. I hope it isn't a case of people feeding them, similar to black bears becoming bold and a danger to humans because of people feeding them up in Northern California. So I'm all for negative reinforcement, since they can help keep the local population of rodents and the like down.


    5 years ago

    A coyote will not attack a human.... Your dogs, probably not . They will try to lure them away so that a pack can surround it. They always hunt in packs. And never attack humans!! A coyote 1 on 1 would never happen

    2 replies

    I live in Southern California(Orange County/Los Angeles border) and there was just a coyote attack on a 2yo girl in a local cemetery in July. Also coyotes have been snatching cats and small dogs for years. As far as I can tell coyotes don't hunt in packs, not like wolves anyway. I'm not overly concerned, but I try to stay aware(much like sparkleponytx's disclaimer above) .
    Google the term "Urban Coyotes"


    Reply 5 years ago

    First of all, you must have missed my (in bold) disclaimer in the intro. Second, you are wrong. Coyotes have and do attack humans. Check out what is happening in CA. Google it. Still, I'm not worried about that. The stick is just meant to startle. And you are wrong about the "lure away" part too. They will come right into your yard and snatch a dog. I know because it happened to our dog. She got attacked and carried away by a lone coyote...from our backyard.