The NC Wildlife Resources Commission will present a Coyote Conflict Management Workshop on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public and will take place at the Pitts Center located at 5375 N. Viginia Dare Trail, Southern Shores, NC 27949.
For additional information contact Chris Turner, NCWRC at 252.221.9961
The coyote is named from the Aztec word, coyotl, which means “barking dog,”
and is a familiar figure in many Native American stories. The coyote is native only in
North America and has the widest range of all wild canines in this country. It is one
of the most adaptable mammal on this continent.
Originally, coyotes inhabited the prairies and grasslands of the Great Plains. But
as Europeans settled across North America, the subsequent landscape changes and
elimination of wolves allowed coyotes to expand their range eastward. Despite
extensive control attempts, coyotes have survived and expanded their range. When
populations are reduced, the remaining coyotes respond by breeding at a younger
age and producing larger litter sizes with high pup survivorship, making their
Coyotes in North Carolina resemble red wolves, but coyotes are smaller, have
pointed and erect ears, and long slender snouts. Their long, bushy, black-tipped tail
is usually carried pointing down. Color is typically dark gray but can range from
blonde, red, to black. Coyotes may be mistaken for dogs or red wolves, and the existence
of hybrids, though uncommon, makes identification more confusing.
The coyote has five toes on its front feet (including the dew claw that does not
appear in tracks) and four toes on its hind feet. Its feet are smaller and narrower
than an average dog with the same body size.
Coyotes survive anywhere with food sources. Their habitat can range from agricultural
fields to forests, to suburban and urban environments. They are adaptable
in behavior and diet. Coyotes are ecologically
valuable in keeping prey species, such as rodents
and groundhogs, in check.
Attacks on people, including children, are extremely rare. Normal coyote behavior is to be curious, but wary, when
close to humans. Like other wildlife, they will become bold and habituated if people feed them, either purposely or
inadvertently, such as with garbage or outdoor pet food. They rarely contract rabies.
Coyotes view outdoor cats and small unleashed dogs as prey, while larger dogs are viewed as threats to
their territory and/or their pups. Coyotes are most likely to confront larger dogs during the mating and pup birthing
period, January through June.
Steps to Take to CoExist with Coyotes
• Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids,
and take them out in the morning of pick up, not
the night before. Coyotes and other wildlife will
• Don’t feed or try to pet coyotes. Feeding a coyote
rewards that animal for coming in close proximity to
people. Once a coyote becomes habituated, it loses
its natural wariness of people and may become
bold and aggressive.
• Protect your pets by keeping them inside, leashed,
or inside a fenced area.
• Install coyote-proof fencing around your home to
protect unsupervised pets.
• Feed pets indoors or remove food when your pet is
finished eating outside. Coyotes and other wildlife
are attracted to pet food left outdoors.
• Keep bird-feeder areas clean. Use bird feeders that
keep seed off the ground. Coyotes are attracted to
small animals congregating on the ground. If coyotes
are frequently seen, remove all feeders.
• Close off crawl spaces under sheds and porches.
Coyotes and other wildlife may use these spaces for
resting and raising young.
• Cut back brushy edges in your yard, which provide
cover for coyotes.
• Don’t be intimidated by a coyote. Maintain its wariness
by throwing a small object, such as a tennis
ball, at it, making a loud noise, or spraying it with a
hose. Let it know it is unwelcome near your home.
• Clear fallen fruit from around fruit trees. Coyotes are
omnivorous and regularly consume fruit as part of
• Educate your neighbors. Your efforts to prevent
coyote conflicts will be less effective if some neighbors
are still providing foods.
• Allow hunters or trappers access to your property,
so the local coyote population can be managed.
Coyotes avoid areas in which threats are perceived.
Have a Coyote Question?
Contact the NC Wildlife Helpline at 866-318-2401