Believe it or not, coyotes do frequent fields and wooded areas in and around Carmel, but with knowledge and a little bit of mutual respect, humans can happily coexist with coyotes. Coyotes generally don’t want to be around you just as much as you don’t want them around. Occasionally, humans and coyotes will cross paths. Knowing what to do beforehand will help minimize conflict.
The mere sighting of a coyote is not necessarily a problem and does not need to be reported. Coyotes are reclusive animals and naturally avoid human contact. They are generally not considered a danger to humans. Coyotes maintain a large range of territory and often travel long distances at night in search of food. Their journey may take them through a neighborhood or backyards.
Coyote mating season starts soon. Coyotes become more territorial during mating season (mid-February) and pupping season (mid-April). It is instinctual for them to be protective of their den and pups. Keep this in mind when you are walking in areas where coyotes might have a den – parks, wooded areas, dense underbrush, etc., especially at dusk and dawn. Be alert and avoid the area if you see a coyote.
Smaller pets can be considered prey for coyotes. Always keep an eye on your pets while they are outside. When walking your dog, be sure to keep it on a leash. If you see a coyote in your yard, don’t go out with your pet or small children.
Your presence should be a deterrent to coyotes. If a coyote approaches you in your yard or while on a walk, it’s not afraid of you. Make loud noises and make yourself look as big as possible. This behavior intimidates coyotes and will encourage them to leave. Don’t turn your back on a coyote.
Don’t feed coyotes. This may sound like common sense, but coyotes will eat just about anything. This includes your trash. Make sure that your trash is kept in a closed container. Pet food and water bowls should not be left outside where coyotes could have access.
Report aggressive coyotes immediately. In the rare event that you come into contact with a coyote that is growling or showing its teeth in an aggressive manner toward humans, call 911 or 317-571-2580. If the coyote is only hanging out in an area for an extended time or being a nuisance, consider contacting a licensed wildlife control operator.
For more information on coyotes, please visit the Indiana DNR coyote webpage: https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/5688.htm.