Will an Air Horn Scare a Coyote? Here’s What to Know


Coyotes can become a huge nuisance if left to roam free around your property. If coyotes get too close to you and your family, you’re often left wondering how you can scare them away as quickly as possible. One way to keep coyotes at bay is to use an air horn.

Coyotes typically get scared of air horns and dislike the loud noise that they produce. Most portable air horns can be heard from up to a mile away, making them an effective tool for keeping coyotes away without having to get too close.

While almost any type of air horn can get the job done, your surroundings and the quality of the air horn itself play a huge role in knowing if an air horn is the right tool for you to use against coyotes. If you’re thinking about getting an air horn to ward away coyotes, then there are several essential things you should know before using one.

Why Air Horns are Effective at Scaring Coyotes

Coyotes are known to be extremely skittish creatures and are easily frightened. They are generally hesitant to come into contact with humans due to their anxious nature.

Since coyotes are so easily frightened, they can often be scared by using methods of hazing – which involve making loud noises in the direction of a coyote or coyote pack.

However, methods of hazing a coyote, which include loud noises such as whistling or yelling, are only really effective when a coyote is clearly visible and close to your home.

The problem is – we want to avoid the coyote from EVER getting that close to your home, family, and pets. This is where air horns can become huge game changers in the defense against coyotes.

A telltale sign of knowing there are coyotes in your area is that they can be heard “yipping” or howling in a high pitched manner. Often, hearing this means that the coyotes are in the woods nearby or in their pack’s den. If you’re close enough to listen to the coyotes, then you should be within distance to use an air horn.

The sound blast of an air horn will travel the distance to where the coyotes are located and be enough to spook the animals – all without you being anywhere near them.

As soon as you use an air horn to ward off coyotes, it’s essential to make sure that they don’t start yipping or howling again. If you only use the air horn once and then let the coyotes continue to make noise, then they may not heed your warning to stay away.

That is why it’s crucial to monitor the situation and blow the air horn as necessary incase the yipping or howling starts again. Reminding the coyotes that you have an air horn every time they start making noise will train them to stay away from your property in order to avoid the air horn sound.

If you live in the country or don’t have any close-by neighbors, then you likely won’t have an issue of blasting the air horn at will.

However, if you live in a suburb like many other homeowners, then you’ll want to be conscious of using your air horn – especially at night when coyotes are most active. While air horns are effective at keeping coyotes away at longer distances, they may not be as helpful when you get a costly noise complaint fine.

The best course of action is to talk to your neighbors and tell them of the coyote problems you’ve been experiencing.

Explain to them the issue you’re having, and they’ll likely convey that they’ve been hearing and seeing coyotes too. This way, you can make sure you and your neighbors are all on the same page and work together to keep coyotes away from your neighborhood.

Coyotes May Eventually Get Used to The Noise

Now, unfortunately, coyotes may get used to the noise of the airhorn and no longer be scared of it. It’s beneficial to get a loud air horn that spooks them enough to where they won’t want to be in the same area as the sound again.

Additionally, you can try out some longer-term tactics to repel coyotes in another article that we wrote here.

The Strength of the Air Horn

One of the most important factors in determining whether or not your air horn will be useful in scaring coyotes away is by looking at the strength of the air horn.

In the case of keeping coyotes away, the louder the air horn is – the better. The reason you’re going to want a louder air horn is because the coyotes will more often than not be a half-mile or mile away from you.

Air horns work by forcing compressed air through a cylinder and causing a vibration inside the horn itself. The mechanics work similar to that of a trumpet, but instead of blowing air through a mouthpiece, the noise of an air horn is determined by the amount of compressed air left in the canister.

If you were to go and blow a trumpet as loud as you could, you would get a deafening, ear-piercing noise as a response. Air horns work the same way – except that the sound of an air horn is determined by how much-compressed air is packed into the canister.

The bigger the canister is on an air horn, the more pressure can be compressed inside the canister. Added pressure inside the canister leads to a more significant vibration inside the horn itself and will lead to a much more effective coyote repellent.

The Canister Size of the Air Horn

So, the canister size of an Air Horn plays a significant factor when purchasing an air horn. If you have frequent visits from nearby coyotes, then you’ll want to opt for a larger size air horn canister because it will be louder due to the increased amount of compressed air inside the can. However, that isn’t the only reason why larger sized air horns are better.

Most smaller portable air horns usually are sold in either 1.4 ounce and 3.5 ounce canisters, while the larger sized portable air horns are sold in 5.5 ounce and 8 ounce canisters. This is widely important factor in choosing an air horn because if you have frequent coyote visits, you don’t want to end up having to refill or replace your air horn every time you use it.

Even if you only end up having to use the air horn once to scare coyotes, it will still be worthwhile to invest in a larger 8 ounce air horn incase the coyotes ever return.

However, if you feel that you still need an even louder sound – something more than what a handheld portable air horn can offer, then you can purchase a train horn.

Do you Need a Train Horn to Scare Coyotes?

Train horns can be beneficial because they offer a significantly louder sound than what a portable air horn can provide because of the amount of air that the compressor tank can hold. This can be extremely a beneficial tool to have when coyotes are even remotely close to your property, but it may not be completely necessary.

The benefit of having a train horn is that you can scare coyotes away from farther distances. However, these compressors are much more expensive than portable air horns and are much more of a nuisance to deal with as well.

If you do decide on getting an air horn compressor to scare coyotes, lookout for a 3-liter sized tank, this is generally considered a smaller size for a train horn and should save you some money.

If you live in the country or a rural area with no neighbors, then getting a train horn to scare away coyotes may be a better option for you.

Coming from someone who grew up in the country, I can say that most portable air horns should do the trick to keep coyotes away from your home.

Having a train horn shouldn’t be a huge need in scaring away coyotes unless you can hear some faint yipping in the distance and you really want to make sure that the coyotes don’t come any closer.

Only purchase an train horn if you live in a very rural area with few neighbors and absolutely need to scare coyotes from over 2 miles away. Otherwise, a standard portable air horn should do just fine.

Related Questions:

Will an air horn scare a dog? Air horns can startle dogs and make them stop whatever they’re doing as they dislike the loud noise. However, air horns generally won’t make dogs scare and run away. If you’re using an air horn to make your dog stop barking, be sure to be a good distance away to avoid damaging their hearing.

Are coyotes scared of light? Coyotes are incredibly skittish and anxious creatures by nature. They will be less likely to approach a well lit area. Installing motion sensor lights may be a good way to help combat coyotes from creeping onto your property.

What to do if coyotes are near your house: Methods of hazing including yelling, clapping, and making loud noises, can be effective in getting rid of coyotes within eyesight. If you only hear the coyotes, blast an air horn to give them a warning message that will help scare them away.

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