Thursday, February 28, 2013

So You Spot A Coyote. What Should You Do?

Ohio wildlife biologists are frequently contacted by concerned residents who spot coyotes. Yes, frequently, but this is not cause for alarm. Coyotes are highly adaptable animals that are regularly viewed by humans throughout the state. Here are a few steps to keep in mind when you encounter a coyote in the Buckeye State.
  1. Understand that coyotes are common throughout Ohio’s 88 counties and are even regularly seen within city limits. Read more about coyotes at
  2. There are no wolves living in the wild in Ohio.
  3. If you spot a coyote on your property, make sure to remove all “attractants” to deter the coyote from returning. This includes removing garbage and pet food before nightfall and cleaning up around the grill.
  4. Coyotes prey primarily on small mammals such as rabbits and mice. However, interactions with domestic pets do occur sometimes.  Keep small dogs and cats inside or leash them when outside.
  5. Occasionally, an inquisitive coyote will stay put and watch you curiously. Clap your hands and shout; the coyote will likely move on at this point. 
  6. If the coyote visiting your yard does not respond to harassment techniques such as loud noises or is presenting a conflict even after removing attractants from your yard, contact a nuisance trapper. You can locate a trapper on our website at  For a fee, these nuisance trappers use highly regulated techniques to reduce urban wildlife conflicts. Coyote populations in rural areas can be managed through legal hunting and trapping methods. Consult the yearly Ohio Hunting andTrapping Regulations digest for more information.

Thank you to Jamey Emmert for this post. Jamey is the Wildlife Communications Specialist in our District Three office.

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