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Coyotes making a home in Duneland; DNR offers tips for avoiding conflicts

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Once upon a time, coyotes were a native Indiana species but limited to the state’s western prairie regions.

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 says.

“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 species.”

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.

*Eliminate, if 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 coyotes.

*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 prey.

*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.

Farmers with 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.

*Confine livestock in a coyote-proof corral at night.

*Use lights above the corral.

*Use strobe lights and sirens to frighten coyotes.

*Remove dead livestock promptly to deny coyotes an easy meal.

*Use guard 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 seasons.”

 

Posted 11/14/2014

 
 
 
 

 

 

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