As most Ken-Caryl residents have discovered, usually to their delight, we have an abundance of wildlife in and around our residential areas and Open Space. From time to time, however, that wildlife — which includes coyotes, deer, elk or even the bears that have made some appearances this summer — become a bit too accustomed to people. In these rare cases, residents are allowed, and encouraged, to practice what’s known as “hazing” — activities that discourage wildlife from behaviors that indicate they are not threatened by humans.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (formerly Colorado Division of Wildlife) sent a letter to local agencies to help inform residents about hazing procedures and techniques. The Ken-Caryl Ranch Ranger staff is in full agreement with these procedures and techniques. The letter also points out the difference between harassing and hazing wildlife. While this letter specifically identified coyotes, the procedures and techniques can be applied to any wildlife in Ken-Caryl Ranch.
The following definitions and guidelines, taken directly from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife letter, were developed by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife to assist government agencies when advising residents on hazing activities or when agencies are exploring or developing formal hazing programs.
Habituated Coyotes: Coyotes that have lost their natural wariness of people due to routine proximity to people without negative consequences/stimuli.
Harass: To unlawfully endanger, worry, impede, annoy, pursue, disturb, molest, rally, concentrate, harry, chase, drive, herd or torment wildlife.
Hazing: An activity, or series of activities, conducted in an attempt to change the behaviors of habituated coyotes or to establish or maintain a healthy wariness of humans in local coyote populations.
Hazing can be performed by everyone at the community level. Residents should be encouraged to participate when coyotes are on their property or when coyotes approach too closely. Hazing activities can include:
• Yelling and clapping
• Banging pots and pans together
• Throwing rocks and sticks
• Spraying with garden hoses, water guns and sprinklers
• Utilizing noise-making devices (air horns, whistles, cans filled with pennies, etc.)
• Using motion-sensor lights
• Using motion-sensor sprinkler systems
• Using deterrent sprays
Hazing versus Harassment: The Colorado Parks and Wildlife supports and recommends hazing activities on coyotes and other wildlife in order to instill or maintain acceptable behavior. Hazing activities should not be misconstrued as harassment. Harassment is unlawful. However, it is lawful for residents to haze wildlife from their yard; it is also lawful for people to haze wildlife away from them when wildlife approaches too closely, regardless of where they are.
Below are some examples:
Scenario 1: Harassment: A coyote den is located in Open Space and a citizen approaches the den and begins throwing objects at the coyotes or into the den. Hazing: A coyote den is located on private property and the landowner begins hazing the coyotes to encourage them to move off of his land.
Scenario 2: Harassment: An unauthorized, untrained citizen routinely visits an Open Space area and indiscriminately shoots paintballs at the coyote pups outside their den. Hazing: Citizens are walking in the Open Space and notice a coyote walking toward them. They yell, pick up rocks and throw them at the coyote.
The Ken-Caryl Rangers believe that if residents become familiar with proper hazing techniques, and carry them out in a consistent way, we will be better able to co-exist with the wildlife that makes Ken-Caryl their home. We encourage parents to talk to their kids about hazing techniques so they can feel secure as well. If you have any questions please call the Ken-Caryl Ranch Ranger Staff at 303-979-1876, ext. 170.