Coyote a late-night visitor - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Coyote a late-night visitor

Elusive creature wanders into Rathdrum home

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Posted: Friday, July 13, 2012 12:00 am

RATHDRUM - Curiosity, they say, killed the cat. But the coyote? He ran away to live another day.

Lee Gibson found himself eye to eye with a coyote when one wandered in his open back door about 1 a.m. Thursday.

Yep. Just waltzed right in and stared at the Rathdrum man for a few seconds before fleeing when he reached for a gun.

"I did a double take," he said. "Sure as hell, it was a coyote standing there looking at me."

Gibson, who lives alone in a ranch house behind the main home off Meyer Road, was sitting in his recliner, a lamp on, watching TV, recording a show, when "the volume zapped out."

There was silence.

That's when he noticed, out of the corner of his eye, a small critter creeping into the room.

Gibson first thought it was a dog. He has six, five small, that sleep in the main house. Then, he took another look. This was no dog on all fours.

"It took me a second to realize it was a coyote," he said.

It was brown and gray, average size, perhaps a few years old.

For a few seconds, their eyes locked, not 15 feet between them.

"He definitely wasn't afraid," Gibson said. "He walked in there and looked right at me."

Not afraid, and not dumb, either.

Gibson, unsure of the coyote's intentions, reached for a .22 handgun.

It was then the notoriously shy creature darted away.

"As soon as I moved, he was gone," Gibson said.

The man relaxed and wondered, what the heck just happened? He wasn't really scared, he said, because he knows coyotes don't attack people.

Still, to have one wander into your living room, well, that's cause for concern.

"That kind of freaked me out," he said.

Rightly so.

According to, coyotes are very elusive.

"They are nocturnal, which means that they only come out to hunt and thrive during the evening hours," the website said. "Coyotes are afraid of humans and this makes them even harder to observe ..."

Gibson said he has lived in his home on the Rathdrum Prairie for seven years. He has routinely sees coyotes around, but not on the property where he lives.

Gibson's family and coyotes have a history together.

His great-grandfather, Henry Lee Morris, was a renowned coyote trapper, and Gibson has many of his old traps. He was, Gibson said, one of the last real cowboys.

"I'm Lee Morris Gibson," he said proudly.

He said he might consider putting out traps if coyotes continue to come close to his home, but would have to check to see if their use was allowed. As well, traps would pose a danger to his dogs. Traps, he added, "seem kind of cruel to me."

But of this he is sure: It was a coyote that paid him a visit.

"I know a coyote, I've been hunting all my life," he said.

Then, the man's whose CB moniker is "Wiley Coyote," added, "I've never seen one come into my house."

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  • concernedcitizen posted at 9:04 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    OMG people. The coyotes were here long before you. I would LOVE to see a pack be allowed to run through the cities and towns to rid us of YOUR stupid feral cat problem that you have created.

  • DeNiles posted at 2:20 pm on Fri, Jul 13, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    @3GenNative....... There are several animal species known to thrive in rural areas. Raccoons, rats, possums, most birds and even black widow spiders do better where humans live. Why? Because humans offer what they or their food requires. Plentiful waste (food) and water, warmth and shelter. What we like they like, and they're not dumb. Naive pampered pets are finger food for certain predators. Coyotes and foxes are much more adaptable to cities than say wolves or bears. Bobcats do better in cityscapes than cougars for the same reason, size and shape. I am not suggesting that they must be hunted to extinction for this attribution. It is just something to be recognized, understood and respected.

  • Idahogerbear posted at 11:32 am on Fri, Jul 13, 2012.

    Idahogerbear Posts: 2

    I grew up just 2 miles down the road from where I live now. I realize that the housing & civilization growth has pushed coyotes, along with deer & moose to live amongst us. I just want to let people know just how close the coyotes are to us so they keep their critters in.

    You could be right about the cats being in heat. Whatever was happening, I scared them off when I went out on the deck & yelled at them.

  • 3GenNative posted at 9:28 am on Fri, Jul 13, 2012.

    3GenNative Posts: 204

    Have heard Coyotes in that area for years, houses and civilization moved to them, not the other way around. As far as cats in distress, it probably had nothing to do with the Coyote you heard. This is the time of year cats are in heat, nothing sounds more distressing, and it usually happens that you hear this at night. Of course people need to keep their critters close and up at night. That's just being a good responsible pet owner!

  • Idahogerbear posted at 8:56 am on Fri, Jul 13, 2012.

    Idahogerbear Posts: 2

    I believe the coyotes are getting braver as to dare to come into civilization. I live on Prairie Avenue, between Ramsey & Atlas. Two weeks ago, I heard a coyote out in our field. The next evening as my husband & I were sitting in our dining room, we heard a cat in great distress right under our dining room window! Thank God our cat was indoors. Other cats do like to frequent our property to hunt mice. I don't mind them being here at all but I do wish their owners would try to contain them for their own safety. Prairie Avenue is a very busy street, we have seen several dead cats along the road. Now we have the threat of the coyotes. Please keep your little critters indoors!

  • 3GenNative posted at 8:27 am on Fri, Jul 13, 2012.

    3GenNative Posts: 204

    Give me a break! How is this a story, a full grown (we might call him a man) deciding he will trap, shoot kill a simple little Coyote, because it was curious and unfortunate to cross his path. Savor the moment and tell the story and experience. Ignorance, should not live in rural areas where Wild life happens if they're not willing to coexist. Did this story say his 6 dogs were harmed? The follow up will be one of his dogs was maimed by one of his 'traps'. The previous posts, also just ad exaggerated and hysterical thinking,

  • DeNiles posted at 6:46 am on Fri, Jul 13, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    "Coyotes are shy and afraid of humans'? Not in my experience. They are bold animals that do not hesitate to prey in urban environs. They are brash and cunning, displaying a kamikaze mentality. "I dare ya - come and get me - make my day." They'll take pets off of leashes with the owner present. Once I witnessed a scruffy coyote strut into my backyard and take a neighbors cat - while adjacent 50 partygoers watched in horror. The animal blithely walked between 2 guests to approach its target.

    If there's any trait of curious interest it seems that they know their size and appearance allows them to be confused with domestic dogs. They understand how they can blend into a cityscape and they employ enough stealth to get close enough to attack. They appear calm and nonchalant until the very moment they strike. They do not act that way in the wild. In the wild they hunt in packs. And the sounds they make when they make a kill would curdle your skin.

  • idahoguy posted at 6:23 am on Fri, Jul 13, 2012.

    idahoguy Posts: 932

    wrong. coyotes have been on record as having attacked children and adults. we have a pack out here by our ranch and it has a new litter. i am going to hook up my caller and waste a few to thin the ranks and get them top move on.

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