INDIANAPOLIS — Winter is (basically) here and that means there will likely be more about coyote sightings in central Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says that shouldn't be a cause for alarm. They say coyotes are common everywhere in the state, even in urban areas, and they become much more active during the winter.
But that's not the reason you'll be seeing them more, the bare vegetation and the white backdrop from the snowfall actually makes it easier to catch a glimpse of the coyotes prowling through your neighborhood.
Its during this time of year that DNR says coyotes leave their parents to find a new home and January is prime breeding time.
Coyotes like to eat animals and plants that thrive around yards and homes including rabbits, mice, fruit and squirrels. They also thrive around people because of the abundant amount of food that comes with human development, according to DNR.
DNR says it's not very common to run into problems with coyotes, even if you see them more often, but that doesn't mean that they don't cause issues sometimes.
Follow these tips for making your property less attractive to coyotes:
- Clean up fallen fruit from trees or gardens.
- Keep garbage secure.
- Make sure pet food and treats are not left outside.
- If you see a coyote around your yard, take down birdfeeders; coyotes could be attracted to the rodents eating the seeds.
- Never intentionally feed a coyote, which could result in its losing its fear of people.
They also suggest making coyotes feel unwelcome to help maintain their natural fear of humans, but never chase or coroner a coyote — always make sure it has a clear escape path to get away from you.
If you see a coyote and want it to go away, try to make it uncomfortable:
- Wave your arms.
- Spray it with a hose.
- Throw tennis balls or small stones at it, but don’t throw anything that could be food, like apples.
- Carry a jar of coins to shake or a small air horn to make noise.