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Don't fret: This is what wildlife experts say you should do if you spot a coyote in your backyard

Posted at 3:00 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 15:00:11-05

AKRON, Ohio — As breeding season approaches for coyotes in January and continues through March, local wildlife experts from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are providing some useful tips if you spot a coyote in your backyard or neighborhood.

Experts say during the months of April and May, coyotes actively protect their litters, which could lead to potential conflicts with humans and pets.

ODNR officials said to follow these steps:

1. If you spot a coyote on your property, be sure to remove anything that may attract it, such as securing garbage cans and removing any outside pet food before nightfall. Cleaning up your grill is also recommended.

2. Coyotes can sometimes interact with domestic pets. Keep small dogs and cats inside, especially in the evening. If they are outside, make sure they are on a 6-foot leash that is not retractable.

3. While it doesn't happen often, a curious coyote will stay in one place and watch a human for some time. Experts say you should clap your hands, stomp your feet and shout. The coyote will likely move away. If it doesn't, pop an umbrella open and closed, toss rocks in its direction or use a noise maker.

4. If a coyote visits your yard and doesn't respond to harassment techniques, homeowners can obtain a trap from a licensed nuisance trapper. You can locate a trapper hereor by calling ODNR at 1-800-WILDLIFE.