Local government officials are frequently contacted by concerned residents who spot coyotes in developed areas. Coyotes are common throughout Ohio’s 88 counties and are regularly seen within City limits. Coyotes are helpful to keep rodent populations in check and have an indirect role in helping to keep native bird populations flourishing.
Mating season for coyotes runs from late December through March. Coyote breading typically peaks in late February and early March, the gestation period averages 58-63 days. Generally, coyotes are reclusive animals who avoid human contact. During mating season, male coyotes become more aggressive and may become more protective of their turf. They are typically most active between dusk and dawn, but they can be seen any time of day or night.
Parks and golf courses provide a natural habitat and food source inside rural neighborhoods for coyotes to locate. Resident with homes next to a City park or golf course should be extra mindful of coyotes. Mason has an ongoing maintenance program to remove underbrush from City parks that is adjacent to residential homes to help deter coyotes. Most often a coyote sighting is no cause for alarm. However, residents should call the Police Department if they notice a coyote or any animal that appears hurt, sick, or habituated.
Neighborhood Collaboration for Keeping Coyotes Out
- The best way to deter coyotes from entering your neighborhood is to never feed coyotes directly and remove all “attractants”.
- Keep pet food inside.
- Clean your grill after using, or store inside your garage when not in use.
- Securely cover your trash and recycling bins.
- If possible, put your trash out in the morning rather than in the evening.
- Do not add meat, bones, etc. to your compost pile.
- Make sure your compost pile is tightly and securely covered.
- If you have fruit trees, pick up the fallen fruit.
- Keeping cats indoors is always safest, but at least between dusk and dawn hours.
- Do not leave dogs tied up outside, especially small dogs. Any dog tied up is no match for a coyote.
- If you see a coyote in your yard or neighborhood always haze them away.
Bold coyotes should not be tolerated or enticed but instead given the clear message that they should not be so brazen. Hazing is a method that makes use of deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourage an undesirable behavior or activity. Hazing can help maintain a coyote’s fear of humans and deter them from backyards and play spaces.
Hazing is important to deterring coyotes from your neighborhood.
Methods of Hazing
Noisemakers: Voice, whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of marbles or pennies, pots, lid or pie pans banged together
- Projectiles: sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls or rubber balls
- Other: hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray or bear repellent
If a coyote has not been hazed before, they may not immediately run away when you yell at them. If this happens, you may need to walk towards the coyote and increase the intensity of your hazing. The coyote may run away, but then stop after a distance and look at you. It is important to continue to go after the coyote until they completely leave the area. Remember that if the coyote “holds its ground”, acts aggressive, and/or displays odd behavior do not approach the animal and call the Police Department for assistance.