BOISE, Idaho — Ridge to Rivers is urging those heading out in the Boise Foothills to be vigilant with their pets after a coyote killed a dog in the Lower Hulls Gulch area Sunday. The attack happened about half a mile above the Red Cliffs Trail junction, according to a Facebook post.
Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers received the report that a teenage girl was hiking with a small dog in the area where the dog was attacked and carried away by a coyote. Officials are aware of another potential attack on a dog that was not reported to IDFG directly.
Sadie Shelton said she was walking on the trail with her dog, Tucker by her side when she heard him yelp.
"The coyote grabbed him by his little scruff because he’s only about six pounds, and just started running off into the foothills," She said. "I was just sprinting out and I ran and ran and ran and chased him until I couldn’t see him anymore.”
Shelton said she brings her dog to the Hulls Gulch trails multiple times a week and never saw a coyote until Sunday.
Fish and Game officials are encouraging people to walk their dogs in another area for now. If you do recreate in the Hulls Gulch area, keep your dog under close control to reduce the chances of a coyote attack.
“It’s always good to keep dogs close and under control to minimize the risk,” said Southwest Regional Supervisor Jon Rachael. “Being in close proximity to a leashed dog is a much greater deterrent to a coyote, but being on leash doesn’t absolutely guarantee a territorial coyote won’t cause problems with a dog.”
While this type of attack is not common in the Boise area, coyotes have attacked and killed domestic dogs before, even in city limits. It is not uncommon for coyotes to be territorial with domestic dogs, especially when raising pups in the spring and early summer.
IDFG says it is possible there is a pair of coyotes with a litter near where these incidents happened, but that is not confirmed yet. IDFG says it is clear there is at least one coyote in the Hulls Gulch area that is being aggressively territorial with dogs, and that is advisable to avoid that area for a while.
“We don’t want this to develop into a situation where coyotes continue to pose a threat to dogs, or potentially people. We will continue to watch closely for any further conflicts,” Rachael said.
IDFG also says if anyone else experiences a similar incident with a coyote in the area to report it to the southwest region of IDFG at (208) 465-8465.