As I was sitting watching television my wife comes through the back doors and said: “honey I hear puppies in the woods whining”. Inside my head I was thinking oh man she’s losing it, not to diminish her discovery I meandered from the couch, as I stepped outside into the darkness I began to hear the whine of pups. I immediately realized this wasn’t dog puppies this was Coyote puppies being moved by the parents. So, as a fairly experienced outdoorsman, I let out a challenge howl with my mouth. Instantly within 50 yards of our backdoor, a return howl followed by a challenge bark returned. It was indeed parents moving their pups to a new den. Then the lights really began to pop on in my head as to where LEO our cat had more than likely met his fate. This brief encounter began to educate me on several things in which I will share with you all.
First of all educate yourself on what they do, where they live, and most importantly what they eat.
Canis Latrans (barking dog) is a very intelligent animal. They aren’t called wily coyote because roadrunner said so. They survive and even thrive in our small towns, suburban areas, as well as in major metropolitan cities such as Chicago, Ill. So what can I do to educate myself about Mr. Coyote? Read and understand their patterns, behavior, pack structure, and diet. Knowing these things will allow you to live better with these animals.
1. Coyotes are present in all 88 counties of Ohio.
There will be an ALPHA MALE-and APLHA FEMALE who do the breeding and rearing of the pups. Typical breeding season in our area of OHIO is from January to March and at this time they will become much more territorial against rival packs or even your house dog, and will even attack and mame, or kill them if they feel they are crossing the lines of their borders. EVEN THOUGH THE BORDER MAY BE YOUR BACK YARD.
So, before letting your small to the midsized dog outside or if you have outside cats here are a few tips to keep them safe.
*If you live near wooded areas or a rural typesetting, when letting your pet outside it is best to accompany them and keep them leashed.
* If you feed your pets or stray animals outside then remove the food bowls as soon as the food has been consumed. Leaving them out overnight will attract unwanted animals.
* keep in mind most activity is at dusk and dawn.
* Buy a game camera and post in near your home to see what is coming into your living spaces. You might be surprised as to what you see.
*And never assume anything will happen to your pet from a coyote. They will kill and consume your pets.
2. Coyote Diet
· Coyotes are opportunists and will eat anything from grasshoppers, moles, mice, squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, deer fawns, livestock, and yes your family pets. They are omnivores and will eat plants, vegetables leftover in your garden, as well as fallen fruits from under your prized apple tree. So, always keep them cleaned up and remove all dead or dying garden vegetables from your garden. And, keep your trash can lid closed and tight even if you have to bungee strap it closed. Because last night’s leftover spaghetti will keep them coming back for days which is a “recipe” for disaster for them.
3. What to do if I see or encounter a Coyote near my home?
· First of all if you see them near your home you should become the homeowner who wants to protect their home and animals. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
· Be loud, get an air-horn and blow it at them, bang together pans, yell at them to “get outta here” throw rocks or items at them to let them know you’re not welcome here.
· If you encounter one face to face NEVER RUN that insights the predator-prey instinct. Stand your ground and approach them yelling, stomping, grab fallen branches or limbs and hit them on trees or the ground. Appear to be the boss even if you are not that type of person.
· Always assume if you see them near your home they are not just wondering around they are looking for food or have found food there before.
4. Protecting your family
Even though attacks on humans are rare it does happen and small children are the most vulnerable. So always, be conscious when letting the little ones out to play especially if you know there are coyotes near your home or in the vicinity. An attack would most likely come from an older coyote who has been kicked out of the pack, or a very hungry one who has no pack to assist them in feeding, or a sick one. (Rabid)
· Dominant predator scents such as wolf urine and mountain lion urine can be purchased and sprayed around your yard. Those are natural enemies to the Coyote and will insight fear in them.
· Keep in mind they can and will climb chain like fences or burrow under.
· Be a good neighbor and tell them if you see one or have seen one on their property.
· If legal in your area a foothold trap will catch them as well as a neck snare. Cage traps rarely ever work and you will tend to catch other animals instead.
So in closing respect the animals, educate yourself, prepare your home and yard to as to not invite them to it, speak to your neighbors about them, and always keep an eye on your small pets and children.