What to Do When Encountering a Coyote

You may have noticed an increase in coyote appearances lately. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) says that coyote breeding season runs from January through March, and litters are born in April and May.

The coyote is generally a slender animal, very similar in appearance to a medium-sized dog. The majority of coyotes are gray, though some show rusty, brown or off-white coloration. They have a bushy tail, which is usually tipped with black.

What to do if you encounter a coyote

ODNR says that coyotes prey primarily on small mammals, such as rabbits and mice. Small pets may also be taken. It is best to keep small dogs and cats inside. Coyotes are curious, but generally fearful of humans. Clap your hands and shout in a stern voice to scare off coyotes that are investigating your yard.

Do not let pets run loose

The Urban Coyote Research Project offers the following tips regarding pet safety:

  • Pet owners should not to let their pets run loose.
  • When hiking in parks, keep dogs on leashes.
  • Pets left outside, even with fencing, remain at risk for conflict with coyotes. Do not leave your pets unattended outside, not even for a second.
  • Electric fences may keep your pets contained but do not keep other animals away.

Make your property less welcoming for coyotes

If you do have a coyote on your property, remove all “attractants” to possibly deter the coyote from returning. This includes removing garbage and pet food before nightfall and cleaning up around the grill. For recurring issues and sightings, call the Ohio Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-WILDLIFE or 1-800-945-3543.

You can learn more about coyotes from ODNR by clicking here.

You can access more safety tips from the Urban Coyote Research Project by clicking here.