Coyote sightings and what you can do to prevent conflicts

Coyotes can be found everywhere – forests, fields, farmlands, backyards, neighborhoods and cities.

Resourceful members of the dog family, coyotes have used human development to their advantage.

“Coyotes have learned how to survive in urban landscapes, even near people. They take advantage of abundant natural foods that can often be found in urban and suburban areas,” said Hannah Schauer, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician. “Because they are highly adaptable, coyotes have expanded their range throughout North America, and can be found in every county in Michigan.”

A coyote may start getting comfortable in these places, particularly if there are food sources available and there is nothing threatening about the experience.

“As humans, we play a role in reducing potential conflicts with wild animals, including coyotes,” Schauer said.

Removing food sources such as trash bins, bird feeders and pet food, and fencing off gardens and fruit trees, may make an area less appealing to a coyote because it is harder to find an easy meal.

“Yelling, clapping and chasing off a coyote will let it know that it is not welcome in a person’s territory and help it retain its natural fear of humans,” Schauer said. “A coyote is not going to want to hang around an area where food is hard to find and people are always threatening it.”

There are various removal options available to landowners or residents who may be experiencing problems with coyotes.

When removal of food and attempts at scaring a coyote from an area have not made the coyote more wary of humans, a person may wish to hire a specially permitted nuisance control company to assist in the safe removal of problem animals in urban or residential areas.

For landowners in an area where hunting or trapping activities are allowed, coyotes may be taken all year on private property by a property owner or designee, when they are doing or about to do damage to private property. A license or written permit is not needed.

Coyote hunting and trapping seasons are available statewide. Coyote hunting is open year-round, and Michigan residents need only a valid base license to hunt for them.

To learn more about coyote hunting and trapping seasons and regulations in Michigan, please see the current DNR Hunting and Trapping Digest.