With warmer weather comes an increasingly common sight, coyotes. They will be setting up dens for their soon-to-arrive pups, and after they are born, will forage almost constantly to provide food for their young.
For the most part, coyotes tend to avoid contact with people. However, conflicts can still happen as they can be extremely territorial, especially around their den sites. Worried? Don’t be! We’ve gathered some great tips below for avoiding potential conflicts with coyotes this spring and summer.
Photo Credit: Gerry Lemmo
The main focus of these tips is to ensure that coyotes’ natural fear of humans is maintained. If this fear is lost, the potential for close encounters or conflicts with people increases dramatically.
- First off, if you have pets, keep them safe! Cats are typically allowed to roam free more often than dogs are. It’s important to keep in mind that aside from cars and domestic dogs, coyotes are now a threat to your feline friend during the warmer months, as well. Keep them indoors or only let them outside under your supervision to lower the risk of a coyote conflict.
- Smaller dogs are also at risk for being harmed or killed when coyotes are being territorial during their pup-rearing period. Don’t leave small dogs unattended at night and take precautions such as carrying a flashlight on a nighttime walk to deter coyotes.
- Do not feed coyotes and discourage others from feeding them, as well. If coyotes begin to associate people with food, whether it be intentional feeding, garbage or left-out pet food, it may cause them to lose their natural fear of people.
- Make garbage or compost piles inaccessible to coyotes by enclosing or fencing them in. Also, be wary of your bird feeder – it can indirectly attract coyotes by increasing the number of birds and rodents that will regularly visit it.
- You may consider fencing your yard in to help keep coyotes at bay. Fences should be tight to the ground extending six inches below ground level and at least four feet high.
- Remove tall grass and brush from around your home to reduce places coyotes can hide.
- If you come across a coyote, be aggressive. Stand tall, hold your arms out, make loud noises and wave your arms to scare it away if it lingers.
If you notice a higher number of coyotes during the day time or in close distance to residences, follow the above tips to help prevent potential issues.
If the coyote behavior remains the same or becomes threatening, report it to your local DEC office immediately by calling 518-623-1240 or 518-623-1200.