Date of this Version
Domestic sheep ranching is an important agricultural industry in the United States and coyote (Canis latrans) depredation on lambs and ewes continues to challenge ranchers and agencies responsible for protecting sheep. Lethal methods used in controlling coyote depredation include aerial gunning, toxicants, trapping, and calling and shooting. Nonlethal methods include frightening devices, fences, livestock protection animals, and stringent husbandry practices. Ranchers and agencies responsible for controlling coyote depredation need frightening devices that are more effective than those currently available. We describe a field evaluation of 2 animal-activated frightening devices: an acoustic device and an acoustic device with a pop-up scarecrow and strobe light. We conducted the evaluation on open range in western Wyoming during the lambing period. No coyote kills were reported during 6,087 sheepnights at 3 sites protected by the acoustic devices or during 6,598 sheepnights at 3 sites protected by the acoustic scarecrow devices. Our devices show promise for reducing predation during the lambing period and merit further evaluation.