Saturday, April 21, 2012

Set aside fear of wolf, coyote attack on hike

Coyote. Photo courtesy of
Michigan DNR.
Among the most common excuses given by parents for not taking their children on day hikes into the wilderness is encountering dangerous animals – like wolves and coyotes.

Wolves really aren’t a danger to hikers. They are highly reclusive and being endangered you are very unlikely to ever encounter them unless heading deep into the backcountry.

Coyote attacks also are rare and – ironically – are more likely to occur in built-up areas where their habitat has been wiped out. Should you see a coyote in the wilds, don’t try to get any closer. Don’t run either, especially if a child, since that may invite an aggressive coyote to strike. Should it attack, yell at it. If bitten by a coyote – even if just a nip – get immediate medical attention.

Read more about day hiking with children in my guidebook Hikes with Tykes.