As wolves are getting more accustomed to humans, there is more chance of finding one closer to your house. Please read on if you want to know how to deal with wolves.
If you think you may have had a wolf in your yard, there may be ways to tell. Tracks left in your yard and scat can tell you if a wolf has been around your property.
I am writing this article because I have had a few people contact me asking me the best ways to tell if there has been a wolf around their house, as they are worried about their pets. I will also give some helpful hints and tips on how to keep wolves away.
How To Tell If A Wolf Has Been In Your Yard?
A fundamental way to tell if a wolf has been in your yard is by looking for tracks. If you have found traces, you may not know how to describe them apart from a dog or a coyote.
Gray wolf tracks are more comprehensive than coyote tracks and broader than most dogs. The way of a gray wolf can appear up to 5 inches wide. The outer toes of a wolf splay outwards, and all four claws show in the way that has been left. The inner toes on the course are pretty significant.
The coyote track is about half the width of a gray wolf’s way, with a 2.5 inches wide diameter. The claws on a coyote claw are pointed and sharp, but on hard surfaces; they barely make contact. Coyote tracks are oval rather than round, making them easy to spot.
Most dogs are used to walking on hard surfaces such as pavements or indoors. Due to this, the claws of a dog are blunt. Compared to coyotes, dogs have a round shape, with the second and third toes sitting close to the heel’s pad.
If you cannot see the whole track in your yard but can see the walking pattern of where the animal has been, you may tell what the animal is. Wolves have a giant stride of 60 – 70 cm and walk in a straight line.
Coyotes also walk in a straight line but have a much smaller stride than wolves. Dogs run in many directions, so if the trail pattern is not linear, the animal is probably a dog.
Wolves howl for several reasons, and if you have heard wolves howling in the area, they may have come into your yard.
Wolf scat is quite large, up to 1.5 inches in diameter. The waste is cord-like and tapers to a point. The debris may contain hair and bone fragments from its prey, such as bison, deer, elk, moose, and mountain goats.
Coyote scat is smaller, with a shinier appearance, tapering to a point at one end. The waste is more negligible at 1 inch in diameter. As with wolf scat, they may contain hair and bone fragments, usually from rodents and rabbits.
Are Wolves Dangerous?
North America has had two fatal wolf attacks in the 21st Century. Wolves fear humans and tend to run away rather than attack. A pack of wolves can be dangerous, but it is unlikely a pack of wolves will come that close to your property.
However, wolves are wild animals, and care must be taken around them.
How To Stop Wolves Coming Into Your Yard?
Clear Up Any Available Food Sources
Wolves are most likely coming close to your property to seek out food. The first step to stop them from coming into your yard is to clear up any food sources in the area.
Coyotes are scavengers and will seek out food where they can get it. You will need first to clear up any food sources.
- Clear up any garbage in the yard.
- Stop feeding your dogs and cats outside and keep their food indoors. Wolves will steal their food off the porch at night.
- Reduce the rodent population. Take away any food sources from the rodents.
- Secure any trash cans in a garage or particular shed.
- Keep fallen and rotten fruit off the ground.
Make Your Yard Wolf Proof
- Keep the grass trimmed. Wolves prefer longer grass for shelter. Keeping the grass short may stop a wolf from entering.
- Build a fence to keep wolves out. Build the wall, so it angles outwards, making it harder for wolves to get in. The wall should be at least 5 to 6 feet tall.
How To Safely Get Rid Of Wolves In Your Yard
If you want a non-harmful deterrent to keep wolves out of your yard, I use flashing lights to keep them away. I use the Uviverayo deterrent, which is solar-powered. It charges up during the day, then uses flashing lights to keep coyotes, deer, and other animals away. They come in packs of four or eight. You can find them at Amazon here.
There is a method called hazing that is used when dealing with coyotes. Wolves are different animals from coyotes, and if a wolf is coming into your yard, there is a chance that they may have already become habituated to people. It is not recommended to have a wolf in your yard.
How Do I Protect My Pets From Wolves?
Avoid letting your dogs off-leash when walking them if you think you have had a wolf around your property or have heard them in the area. Try to keep cats inside at night and clear up any dog and cat poop from your yard.
Wolves are unlikely to come into your garden unless they are looking for food. Keep your yard tidy and your pets indoors, and repair fences to keep wolves out.
If you have a wolf that comes into your garden regularly, it is best to contact your local removal expert.
Bryan Harding is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and a member of the American Birding Association. Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Bryan serves as owner, writer, and publisher of North American Nature.