By BRIAN WALKER
COEUR d'ALENE — Road Runner isn't the only bird Wile E. Coyote is on the prowl for.
Coyote and a pack of other canine decoys have invaded the front lawn of The Coeur d'Alene Resort and the docks near Cedars Floating Restaurant, to scare off those nagging geese notorious for leaving behind their messes on walkways and lawns.
So there's no need to notify Idaho Fish and Game about these coyotes.
John Eloe, facilities director for The Resort, said the durable resin coyotes are the latest attempt to have the geese move on to alternative greener pastures. Geese have long been a nuisance in North Idaho parks and other high-traffic public places.
"Geese sure love to hang out on our lawn, but they also like to walk on the sidewalks," Eloe said. "When they leave their extras that can't be cleaned fast enough, people walk on those extras."
Coyote decoys were placed on the docks at Cedars about two months ago and a couple arrived at The Resort this week.
"We've had some success, but we're still analyzing how well they're working," Eloe said. "We want the public to have a nice area to walk so there's not a health hazard."
Eloe said it hasn't been determined how long the decoys will be guarding the properties.
"As soon as the geese fly south for the winter, we'll let the coyotes come inside and warm up," he said with a laugh.
Geese were seen about 25 feet from the coyotes at The Resort on Wednesday afternoon.
"We'll likely have to move the coyotes around to a new position so the geese don't catch on," Eloe said.
Eloe said it appears the birds know great food when they see it.
"We take such good care of the grass that it's green until it's covered with snow," he said. "The landscaping team does a job that's incomparable to anybody in the country."
Eloe said some boaters by Cedars have inquired if the decoys are real as they pass by, but such curiosity hasn't reached The Resort yet.
Previous methods used to prod the geese into moving along include audible devices that make the sound of a hawk and owl decoys. Neither method worked well, spurring the coyote attempt, Eloe said.
"I wish I had photos of it, but we've had birds on top of the owls before," he said.