Learning to live with coyotes

No matter what people do, coyotes continue to thrive. So how do we live in relative harmony?

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Coyotes are pretty adept at surviving against all odds. As much as people try to keep the population down, it always bounces back up again.

“As you put more pressure on harvesting them out of a situation, research shows they increase reproduction and immigration back into those areas”, explains Nebraska Game and Parks Depredation Program Manager Dusty Schelbitzki.

Once you move into town, hunting isn’t an option at all, and it just so happens that urban settings make a great habitat for coyotes.

“They’re very opportunistic”, Schelbitzki says. “They’ve got a lot of food sources. It could be anything from trash, to garbage, to bird feed, birdseed, fruits.”

That same food source appeals to prey animals, adding a bit more to the coyote menu. All that adds up to mean that we’re stuck together, which creates a problem of its own.

“They won’t be as scared of you in an urban setting because they’re used to seeing people”, says Schelbitzki.

If you do encounter a coyote that’s a bit bolder than most, be ready to act. Schelbitzki recommends that you “holler, make yourself big”.

He further explains, “Coyotes are not protected, so you can haze them by any means. Throw stuff at them. I always say a great thing is, they’ve got these little, small air horns; a good fright device.”

You can also use pepper spray or bear spray. Really, anything you have at your disposal is fair game. Sometimes you just need to reintroduce the fear of people to coyotes, as long as you do it safely.

If you come across a particularly aggressive animal, one that is growling as it approaches you, it’s best to call in the professionals to handle the situation.

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