It is not uncommon anymore for coyotes to be seen occasionally in urban and
suburban areas of Indiana, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there are more
“One reason for higher visibility of coyotes at this time of year is that
February is their mating season,” the Indiana Department of Natural
Resources said. “Consequently, coyotes may be more mobile and more apt to be
out in the open during daylight hours.”
Another factor is snow cover. The brown coat of a coyote in motion can be
seen more easily against a white backdrop.
Coyotes are opportunistic feeders and are highly adaptive to their
surroundings, the DNR said. Readily available food sources are attractive to
them, and small woodlots, riparian corridors and open fields represent
The DNR does not track population numbers on coyotes, but an annual survey
in which deer hunters log wildlife sightings provides some insight. In 1992,
the first year of the survey, hunters reported seeing 10 coyotes statewide
per thousand hours of hunting. By 1995, the index reached 20 sightings and
remained steady between 24 and 28 ever since.
Documented human-coyote conflicts are extremely rare. To reduce the chances
of a conflict, the DNR and the U.S. Department of Agriculture offer the
•Do not feed coyotes.
•Do not allow pets to run free. Provide secure nighttime housing for them.
•Feed pets indoors whenever possible. Pick up leftovers if feeding outdoors
and store pet and livestock feed where it’s inaccessible to wildlife.
•Eliminate water bowls and other artificial water sources whenever possible.
•Position bird feeders in a location that is less likely to attract small
animals or bring the feeders indoors at night.
•Do not discard edible garbage where coyotes can get to it.
•Secure garbage containers.
•Trim and clean shrubbery at ground level to reduce hiding cover for coyotes
or their prey.
•If you start seeing coyotes around your home, discourage them by shouting,
making loud noises or throwing rocks, but NEVER corner a coyote – always
give the coyote a free escape route.
Coyotes are wild animals protected by Indiana law, which requires the DNR to
provide for the protection, care, management, survival and regulation of
wild animal populations. Under that authority, the DNR establishes the
methods, means and time of taking, chasing and selling wild animals.
The DNR controls the population of coyotes primarily by a regulated hunting
and trapping season, which runs from Oct. 15 through March 15. A hunting or
trapping license is required, unless the individual is hunting or trapping
on land he/she owns. In addition, Indiana law allows landowners, or a person
with written permission of a landowner, to take coyotes year-round on
More information about coping with coyotes or other wildlife can be viewed
by clicking on the Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife icon at
by going to