The City of Pullman is located in a unique area within the State. With farm fields surrounding the City and several streams running through it, many different types of wildlife are often seen in the City limits.
The most common wildlife encountered in Pullman are deer, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, beavers, and coyotes. We do occasionally have moose in town, and cougars and bears have also wandered into town on occasion. However, it should be noted that an overwhelming majority of cougar sightings are unfounded.
Racoons & Skunks
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WADFW) has some great information on dealing with skunks and raccoons:
Deer are another common wild animal seen in Pullman. There is no real way to keep deer out of the area, but commercial deer repellant sprays are available to deter deer from feeding on flowers and gardens. The City of Pullman Police Department receives several reports of deer in town every year. The only thing the police department can do is make sure the deer are not loitering in the main thoroughfares and causing a traffic hazard. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WADFW) will not respond to reports of deer in the city limits.
On average we receive one or two reports of coyotes in town every year. When we have experienced a high incidence of coyote sightings in past years, it was due to people feeding a female with pups. This desensitized the animals and the steady food source supplied by humans encouraged them to remain in the area. Coyotes are curious but timid and will most likely run if scared. As with raccoons and skunks, coyotes will eat garbage and animal food so be sure these items are properly stored.
Moose sightings also occur a few times each year. Moose don’t usually stay in the area for long, but they have on occasion moved from one hill to another. Moose can be very aggressive if they feel pressured by humans. If you see a moose do not approach it. Do not try to get closer or follow the animal. Attempts to scare a moose away are rarely effective. In early spring, cow moose often have a calf with them. Even if you do not see one assume there is one close by. Remember, all wild animals are more apt to be aggressive to protect their young and this can be especially true of moose. The most important thing to remember is that the moose, who appears to be a gentle giant, is wild and will charge if stressed or threatened. If you see a moose, make sure to bring children and dogs inside and watch the animal from the safety of your home. Notify the Pullman Police Department and an officer will respond to monitor the animal.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife indicates that there has been an increase in wolf sightings in the Pullman area. A recovering endangered species, the gray wolf is a carnivorous predator. Usually feeding on ungulate mammals, wolves are also ready scavengers that may eat smaller animals, livestock, and garbage.
If you see a wolf in or around the City of Pullman, please report it to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.
For detailed information and advice on living with other Washington wildlife, visit the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/