Coyotes and Other Wildlife

from West Chester, OH, Wildlife Management

The Division of Wildlife recommends many techniques for discouraging wildlife interaction with humans. The most basic of these are:
-Don’t leave pet food outdoors or accessible from the outdoors on a screened porch
-Keep yards well lighted, especially if your yard is used by a household pet
-Monitor household pets when they are outdoors, especially at night
-Attracting birds to your yard may make for enjoyable viewing, but attracting birds may also attract predators that see them as a food source.
-Do not approach a wild animal, even if they appear injured or sick.
***Discourage wildlife approaching your property by throwing rocks or making loud noises from a safe distance. Most animals would not approach if they felt threatened.

Coyote – What do I need to know?

(information provided by The Ohio Department of Natural Resources)
Coyote are not native to Ohio, but are now prevalent throughout the region due to the disappearance of their primary predator – the wolf.
The average coyote is 30 to 40 pounds, has pointed upright ears and a pointed snout. His tail is typically down and he walks in a loping fashion. October and April are the coyotes most active months due to their mating cycles. Coyotes are omnivores meaning they eat what is available to them. The typical coyote food source is small mammals such as rabbit, voles, shrews and mice. They are typically night-time hunters, but in a secure environment they will hunt during daylight. Coyotes prefer areas with plenty of cover from trees and shrubs. They build dens when their young are born and then will stick close to their dens as they bring food back for pups. Once pups are on their own, coyotes move about without a set “home.” They remain in areas where there is a ready food source. They are highly adaptable which has promoted their survivability in developed suburban and even urban areas.

Over the years, some coyote have adopted new “learned behaviors” which make them more brazen and visible in urban settings. These coyotes will approach occupied properties offering possible food sources such as unsecured trash, food left outdoors for pets or wildlife, and even small household pets or pets that pose no threat to the coyote.

In recent times, residents have experienced increasing conflicts with urban coyotes. There have been multiple reports of household pets killed by these coyotes. While there are many coyotes in the region, wildlife experts maintain that it is most likely just a few coyotes who have adopted these “learned behaviors.”  Some coyotes roam freely during daylight hours and approach homes where there is a potential food source. They are adaptive and opportunistic hunters.

It is strongly recommended that if you have seen or heard coyotes in your area that you monitor your pets and children carefully. Educate your children about coyotes and instruct them to never approach any wild animal, even if it appears sick or injured. Homeowners whose property is adjacent to wooded areas should monitor the tree lines and monitor household pets carefully when outdoors, especially in the early morning and evening hours. Smaller dogs and cats are most likely to be attacked. Making loud noises and even throwing things at the animal from a distance will discourage its approach in most cases, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources indicates that a concerted effort of residents and property owners will be required to eliminate these coyotes from neighborhoods. The wildlife experts indicate that education is key to understanding these animals.  Just a few residents providing food outdoors for squirrels or other small mammals provides the coyote with a readily available food source and attracts them to residential properties.

***Keep in mind that some animal populations help control other animal
populations. Ex. Bats control the mosquito population, foxes and coyotes help control the population of geese and small mammals.

More reading: How to Co-Exist with Wildlife
The call of the wild: Wildlife + dogs can be a formula for disaster
Learning to Live with Coyotes in Metropolitan Areas