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Idaho Fish and Game: Avoid Hulls Gulch if hiking with dogs

Idaho Fish and Game have received reports of coyote encounters in the past few weeks and say they're showing more aggression towards dogs.

BOISE, Idaho — Less than a week after a coyote killed a dog in the Boise Foothills, another close encounter has at least one hiker second-guessing the Hulls Gulch area. 

Idaho Fish and Game have posted warnings that caution people about coyotes in the area that have been showing more aggression toward dogs. 

"What we've been repeatedly warning folks is to avoid that Lower Hulls Gulch area if they're hiking with dogs," said Roger Phillips, a spokesperson with Idaho Fish and Game.

It's not just wildlife agencies asking hikers to avoid the area, but a Boise woman who experienced a coyote encounter first-hand also warns people about hiking in the area with dogs.

Andrea, who asked for anonymity, was hiking with three dogs when a coyote approached them on Monday morning. She said when she heard barking and saw the coyote, she began to head back to the trailhead. However, the coyote continued to follow them and even lunged at two of the dogs. 

Andrea said she feared for the dog's lives. She grabbed the smallest dog and ran down the hill while the two other pups followed close behind.

"It's not entirely surprising if we have a coyote denning in the area with their pups, they're very territorial," said Phillips and adds they can be very aggressive.

Signs posted around the Hulls Gulch area remind people to keep their dogs on leashes and give a heads-up of coyotes in the area. A few yellow signs near trailheads even include the Fish and Game's current advice and warning of coyotes showing more aggression to dogs lately.

"We just have to be careful, these are wild animals," Phillips said.

Andrea admits she should have taken the signs more seriously but was unaware of the extent of the dangers. She would like to see more signage and more detailed warnings posted. 

"I am beyond relieved that the risk I took yesterday didn't end up in tragedy," Andrea wrote to KTVB. "I didn't take the warnings seriously enough and would strongly advise people not to take their dogs, leash or no leash, on Hulls Gulch trail until these coyote pups have weaned."

She added that she is grateful for the two women who saw she was in distress on the trail and safely helped walk her and the dogs back to her car. 

"This is a temporary situation, these things usually don't last indefinitely," Phillips said. "These are wild animals and they don't operate on a certain schedule, but typically weeks or a month and it will resolve itself."

In the meantime, Idaho Fish and Game reminds hikers there are plenty of other areas in the Boise Foothills to use that are safe to walk dogs right now.