Idaho Fish and Game ‘strongly’ encourage residents to keep dogs on-leash

Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 11:04 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —Amid increasing reports of coyote and fox activity around Twin Falls and as well as other areas of the Magic Valley, Fish and Game reminds recreationists to take additional precautions with their pets to reduce the risk of potential conflicts with coyotes and foxes, especially during denning season.

Fish and Game officials in the Magic Valley Region were recently made aware of two non-fatal coyote incidents with off-leash dogs. The first encounter with an aggressive coyote occurred near Hagerman near Justice Grade when an off-leash dog was bitten by a coyote. Fish and Game also received a report that a hiker, along with her unleashed dogs encountered aggressive coyotes along the Auger Falls trail system in the Snake River Canyon.

A third encounter involved a fox that aggressively approached a man walking through a large vacant lot near Fred Meyer in Twin Falls.

The report also noted that domestic cats have disappeared from the neighborhood.


  • Remove or secure coyote attractants — such as pet food, trash or dog feces — as well as attractants for native species that coyotes are known to prey on. Coyotes typically eat small animals such as mice, voles, squirrels, gophers, raccoons, skunks and foxes.
  • Enclose backyard poultry, livestock, or other small animals that live outside with secure fencing and a roof.
  • Don’t leave your dog outside unsupervised, particularly in areas where coyote conflicts have been known to occur.
  • If possible, ensure your property boundaries are secure by keeping fences in good repair and letting your dogs out for bathroom breaks only in fenced areas, particularly at night.
  • If your property is not fenced, turn on outside lights and make noise before letting your dog outside, and consider taking your dog out on a leash for nighttime bathroom breaks.
  • Clear away brushy areas around your property that coyotes may see as safe denning or hiding spots.


  • Keep dogs on-leash when using trails.
  • Consider bringing a loud noisemaker with you – a whistle, bell or horn – which can be helpful in scaring off a coyote.
  • Carrying bear spray and know how to use it. It’s not just for bears and can also be used as a highly effective tool against other wildlife if an unsafe encounter occurs.
  • When hiking, make noise to announce your presence.
  • Be present in the moment, and aware of your surroundings and your dog. Don’t use earbuds or headphones while hiking.
  • If you know that an area has recently experienced dog-coyote encounters, consider using a different trail system or an entirely different recreation area in the Magic Valley.

For more information, contact the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.