Broomfield will begin "high-intensity hazing" of coyotes after reports that aggressive coyotes have come close to residents and their pets.
Broomfield Open Space officials on Friday announced they would use rubber buckshot over the next few days to scare off coyotes who have gotten too close to people near Spader Way and Midway Boulevard, which is near The Field open space.
The rubber buckshot is an alternative to using paintballs. The buckshot is meant to scare coyotes, not injure or kill them, according to a news release.
Broomfield has organized hazing efforts against coyotes in the past, but typically does not use rubber buckshot. Open Space officials decided to use the more aggressive form of hazing because of two incidents in the past week in which a coyote bared its teeth and growled within about 10 feet of a person was with a leashed dog.
Although the dogs and owners were not bitten, the aggressive coyote report "is of great concern," according to the release.
Open Space and Trails director Kristan Pritz said aggressive coyote behavior was typically related to the breeding season, and coyotes can become more aggressive if they are protecting their pups.
In the two recent cases, however, pups did not appear to be near the aggressive coyote, according to the news release.
Pritz said the aggressive behavior is believed to come from just one male coyote in the area, who came in contact with humans early in the morning on July 5 and Thursday.
The coyote does not appear to confront residents who walk through the area without dogs, she said.
There have been no reports of pets or people who have been harmed, and Open Space and Trails will continue to assess the area on a weekly basis.
As of Friday, no coyotes had been shot with the rubber buckshot, but officials were tentatively hoping to use the hazing technique in the early morning Saturday or today, when coyotes tend to come back to their dens after hunting, Pritz said.
The rubber buckshot is meant to allow Open Space officials to target the coyote more accurately than using a paintball gun. The paintball gun is typically used at a closer range, she said.
Officials will not use the rubber buckshot when other residents are in the area, she said.
This is not the first time Open Space has had to keep an eye on coyotes in the area near The Field open space.
On May 27 several trails at The Field were closed because of reports of coyotes coming close to on-leash dogs. The coyotes bared their teeth or displayed other aggressive behavior, because there were young pups nearby.
The trails were slowly reopened when officials felt there was no longer a threat.
After the aggressive coyote incidents this week, trails in the northeast area of The Field have been closed, Pritz said.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said the department has asked residents to haze aggressive coyotes if they get too close.
A CPW official has been advising Broomfield on how to handle the coyote-human interactions, Pritz said.
Contact Enterprise Staff Writer Megan Quinn at 303-410-2649 or firstname.lastname@example.org