Coyotes invading north side neighborhoods

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Richard Essex/Eyewitness News

Hamilton County - Some people on the north side are concerned about the increasing threat of coyotes in their area, threatening people and their pets.

The coyotes are aggressive, becoming more common and right into the backyards of suburban neighborhoods.

"I had a guy come in here and bought a 17 HMR rifle just for that reason, because they got the wife's dog twice, she lost two dogs to 'em. He has already killed 11 coyotes," said Marshall Starkey at Second Amendment Guns.

It is the scent of food that is bringing them closer. Too close for Angela Gutt, who came face-to-face with a coyote.

"I ran out and they were coming and one came within five, five-ish feet of my pug and myself, they actually circled us, bared its teeth and growled at me," she said.

"They don't eat chicken too much, they don't like it too much, I don't think. They usually go [after] cats, dogs, any small animal they can get ahold of. Rabbits, squirrels," said Starkey.

As their habitat changes, so does their diet.

"They are slower. They are fed, so they are slower, so it is easier for a coyote to get fed," Starkey said.

One of the reasons that coyotes have been so active this time of year is because it is mating season. On Friday night, they will be particularly active with a full moon. It is the night that brings the coyote out to hunt.

"At this point, it is either me, my family, my animals versus the coyotes," Gutt said.

Their population is growing. Gutt is dealing with a small pack of coyotes most every night, at times fighting and howling into the early hours of the morning.

"But it has gotten to the point and I'm scared to walk out my back door," she said.

According to DNR spokesman Phil Bloom, "Coyotes are wild animals regulated by the DNR, which has established hunting and trapping seasons for coyotes. The dates for both seasons are Oct. 15 to March 15. A license from the DNR is required for either activity - hunting or trapping.

"In addition, a landowner can kill coyotes on his/her own property year-round without a license, or he/she can give written permission to another person to do it."

Related links
DNR information about coyotes
Coping with Coyotes