DNR: Get ready for more coyote activity

(file photo courtesy Pixabay)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Winter can be a busy time for coyotes, and DNR biologists say people can expect to see more of them in the coming months.

“Most young coyotes leave their parents to start looking for new homes during winter," says Megan Dillion, DNR south region urban biologist. "In addition, coyote breeding season starts in January, and coyotes may be more mobile during that time as well.”

Coyotes are common to Indiana, and it is normal for them to show up in rural environments but also in urban areas.

“Coyotes thrive near people because they like to eat the rodents and rabbits that thrive near people," explains Geriann Albers, a DNR furbearer biologist. "Seeing them in urban areas happens pretty regularly and is not unusual."

Coyotes are an important part of Indiana’s environment because they help control rodent populations and clean up dead animals.

Coyotes will eat almost anything, including fruit, insects, pet food and garbage. That’s why it’s important to keep garbage secure and make sure pet food is not left outside and fallen fruit from trees is picked up.

Coyotes may be attracted mice and squirrels that hang around bird feeders. "If you start seeing a coyote and you have bird feeders up, taking them down for a few weeks may encourage a coyote to move on,” says Jessica Merkling, DNR north region urban biologist.

If you see a coyote and want it to go away, try to make it uncomfortable. Yell, wave your arms, spray it with a hose, or throw tennis balls or small stones—but don’t throw anything that it may think is food. Noisemakers such as a jar of coins or a small air horn can also scare away coyotes and are good to carry when venturing out.

Never corner or chase a coyote. Make sure they always have a clear path to get away from you.

Learn more about coyotes.

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