Once upon a time,
coyotes were a native Indiana species but limited to the state’s western
Beginning in the
1970s, however, reports of coyotes elsewhere in Indiana began to increase
and now--40 years later--coyotes are common in all Indiana counties,
including urban areas, according to the Department of Natural Resources
“For some Hoosiers,
this is old news,” DNR said in a statement released this week. “For others,
the sight of a coyote is new and little is known about how to live with this
Coyotes are often
seen in Duneland, along county roads or the state highways and now and then
in subdivisions. The DNR calls them “opportunistic foragers that will
consume anything of nutritional value,” including garbage and--as some
unfortunate folks have discovered--house cats and small dogs.
The DNR offers
these tips for avoiding conflicts with coyotes:
*Feed pets indoors
whenever possible. If feeding them outdoors, properly dispose of any scraps.
Make sure stores of pet and livestock food are secure and inaccessible.
possible, outdoor water bowls or other artificial water sources.
*Place bird feeders
where they are less likely to attract small animals, which in turn attract
*Do not discard of
edible garbage where coyotes can get at it. Secure your garbage containers.
*Trim and clean
shrubbery near ground level to reduce hiding cover for coyotes and their
*Do not allow your
pets to run free. Provide secure nighttime housing for them.
*If you start to
see coyotes around your home, discourage them by shouting, making loud
noises, or throwing rocks. But never corner a coyote, the DNR says. Always
give a coyote a free escape route.
livestock should take these additional precautions:
*Use net-wire or
electric fencing to keep coyotes away from your animals.
*Shorten the length
of calving or lambing seasons.
in a coyote-proof corral at night.
*Use lights above
*Use strobe lights
and sirens to frighten coyotes.
livestock promptly to deny coyotes an easy meal.
animals--like dogs, donkeys, and llamas--to protect your livestock.
Coyotes tend to
reproduce quickly and though their populations can be reduced “in small
areas with focused efforts,” the DNR said, they “can bounce back quickly
once these efforts are reduced or stopped,” by breeding at younger ages and
having larger litters.
Coyote trapping and
hunting season runs in Indiana from Oct. 15 through March 15. “The seasons
are not meant to remove every animal, but they do provide a good, low-cost
way to manage coyotes while giving hunters and trappers opportunities to
pursue coyotes,” the DNR said.
But coyotes also
can be taken outside of these seasons on private land. “Landowners may
remove a coyote at any time on land they own, or they can provide written
permission for others to take coyotes on that land at any time without a
permit,” the DNR said. “This gives landowners the ability to control what
happens on their property, even outside of established hunting and trapping