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Categorized | Outdoors

Coyote sightings and tips to prevent conflicts

A coyote resting on the winter landscape. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This time of year, it’s not uncommon to hear about an uptick in coyote sightings around the state. That’s because coyotes are more visible during their breeding season (January to March), as well as in the spring and summer months when they’re caring for pups.

Coyotes are extremely adaptable and can be found just about everywhere: in forests, fields, farmlands, backyards, neighborhoods and cities. They’ve learned to survive in urban landscapes throughout Michigan. When food sources are available—things like trash bins, bird feeders and pet food—coyotes may become more comfortable around people.

To minimize potential conflicts and protect your small pets, DNR furbearer specialist Adam Bump has a few suggestions.

“The first thing to remember is never to intentionally feed or try to tame a coyote; leave wildlife in the wild,” Bump said. “Remove those appealing food sources, fence off your gardens and fruit trees, clear out wood and brush piles, and accompany your pets outdoors rather than letting them roam free.”

Additionally, there are some hunting and removal options:

Coyote hunting is open year-round. Michigan residents need a valid base license to hunt them. See the current-year Fur Harvester Digest for coyote hunting and trapping regulations.

On private property where coyotes are doing or about to do damage, a property owner or designee can take coyotes year-round; a license or written permit is not needed.

A permitted nuisance control business can assist in the safe removal of problem animals in urban or residential areas.

Get more tips on understanding this species in the Coexisting with Urban Coyotes video or on the DNR’s coyotes webpage. Questions? Contact Hannah Schauer, 517-388-9678.

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