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August 26, 2013

Fake coyotes do the job in Atkinson

Coyote decoys can be part of the solution

ATKINSON — There are a few coyotes hanging around the Bryant Woods Condominiums — and residents are happy about it.

In fact, residents moved the coyote decoys in, all in hopes of scaring off the unwelcome Canada geese, which foul the grass all around the neighborhood.

So far, it’s working.

The population swelled to more than 100 earlier this summer, according to Peter Gargas, a resident and chairman of the condominium finance committee.

Now, there are about seven stubborn geese left.

“We had a number of ideas of things we could do to keep them out,” Gargas said.

First, they tried letting the grass close to the pond higher, but that proved no obstacle to the nuisance fowl. Then they looked into installing a fountain in the middle of the pond, but it proved too pricey at $30,000.

They settled on three coyote decoys. Two look fairly realistic from a distance. They’re about 3 feet long and made of polypropylene. The decoys are attached to stakes in the ground. When there is a breeze, it looks like they are moving.

But the third decoy is less realistic.

“It basically looks like a piece of cardboard with a picture of a coyote on it,” Gargas said. “We thought about returning it, but we decided to just put it up anyway.”

Since he put them up two weeks ago, Gargas said, he has noticed fewer geese near the pond.

But some geese aren’t as easily fooled.

“There were about seven geese in the pond who saw us putting them up,” Gargas said. “I still see them around the area, so I think they may have figured it out.”

In order to keep them on the geese on their webbed toes, Gargas said, they move the coyotes to a different location every three or four days.

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