As residential development expands, suburban areas become more urban and new suburban areas take over wildlife habitat. More and more of us are living in wildlife areas and encountering wild animals. And many of those wild animals have adapted their lifestyles to ours. You may never see a coyote in the wild but you may find their tracks.
Here’s how you can tell if the tracks you see are coyote tracks.
Coyote tracks front prints are larger than the rear ones. The front paw prints are about 2 1/4” to 2 3/4” long, and about 1 3/4” to 2 3/8” wide. The footpads are smaller in the back prints.
Check for claw marks. Coyote tracks have claws, but they don't show if the ground is too hard.
Overall the footprint is oval shaped. If it is round you are tracking something else, perhaps a bobcat.
If dogs come through the area, compare the tracks to dog paw prints. Coyote tracks will be more oblong, the claws less prominent and overall more compact.
Remember that coyotes are wild animals. Never feed or try to pet one.