Do coyotes climb trees? The short answer is no coyotes cannot climb trees.
Lets dig into this more as it is a nuanced answer. Coyotes cannot climb trees like a squirrel or even a black bear when the tree trunk is vertical. Often pictures you see on the internet where a Coyote is standing on a tree branch is where a rather large branch is low to the ground where a Coyote can jump directly from the ground or sloped ground to the branch.
Coyotes lack the flexibility and claws that can dig into tree bark where they can actually climb.
Why Coyotes May Attempt to Climb a Tree?
Coyotes are very food motivated. They spend a lot of time looking for and chasing food (this is normal behavior), they are a predatory animal that will go to great lengths to pursue a small critter they are interested in for food. If a fence or barrier gets in the way of a hunting coyote often the coyote will try and leap over the structure or utilize something to help get over the structure.
Often when a tree is present with the low hanging branch the coyote will jump from the ground onto the branch then use that to to assist it in getting over the fence or structure.
Since fences and other structures are usually near houses where people reside many people have pictures of coyotes on a tree branch. It may be easy to assume that the coyote climbed the tree, when in reality it is the coyotes leaping ability that allowed it to get onto the branch in the tree.
Overall, coyotes have excellent vision, by gaining a higher vantage point they can see potential food targets easily.
Coyotes may also utilize a tree surrounding your yard to help scale a chain link foot fence and leap into your back yard. This may be especially true if you keep small animals in your backyard.
What Are Some Other Reasons You May See A Treed Coyote?
Coyotes may perch in a tree if they are being pursued by another animal, but generally that wouldn’t be the case. Usually like we stated above it is to pursue food or to overcome some type of barrier by jumping over the barrier in question.
How Do You Prevent Coyotes Climbing Trees To Get Into Your Yard?
Often people are concerned about Coyotes climbing when they have a fenced in yard with trees on the perimeter. Coyotes have really good leaping ability to prevent a coyote leaping from the ground to a low hanging tree branch then into your yard you should trim low hanging branches.
What other ways can you protect your pets and family from coyotes?
If you are concerned about Coyotes around your property and interaction with your family and or family pets there are a number of things you can do.
First cut back and tall grass near your property, this will create a more exposed area with coyotes may be more hesitant to cross as they are out in the open.
Secondly, keep family pets on a tie out or leash when outside, often a single coyote will bait out a pet then lead them to a secluded area where other coyotes will help take down the animal.
Lastly, if coyotes are a problem see your state and county regulations regarding hunting and or trapping coyotes. This unfortunately is different depending on where you live and the local laws within that area.