Moore County coyote sightings on the rise

Parents of small children and small pet owners should be alert to more coyote movement in Moore County during mating season. (File Photo)

OUTDOOR NEWS — If you happen to run across a coyote in the next couple of months, relax … it’s normal for this time of year.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, coyote mating season happens January through March in southern, middle Tennessee and that means as the weather continues to warm sightings may be on the rise. Typically, coyotes are nocturnal animals but when they breed daytime activity can increase. They can also become more aggressive during breeding season.

Coyotes began showing up in Tennessee in 1960 and their numbers have been growing ever since because of ample food sources as well as habitat, and lack of any natural predators other than humans. It’s perfectly legal for local farmers to kill coyotes to protect their livestock and coyotes can be hunted and trapped year round with no limit in Tennessee.

State wildlife officials say there are some things you can do to avoid an untimely run in with a love struck coyote. Eliminate outdoor water sources that can attract rodents, birds, and other small animals. Also, do not place trash cans out the night before pick up day. This can invite a scavenger. Small pet owners should be especially vigilant. Don’t allow small dogs and cats to run free and don’t leave them unattended outdoors … especially at night.

Local vet Dr. Bryant Morton says the dogs most at risk would be smaller dogs or ones less able to defend themselves like geriatric dogs or very young puppies. He also added that coyotes tend to be more aggressive and problematic when they are in packs as compared to ones hunting by themselves.

If you do run into a coyote, pick up any smaller dogs or children immediately. Make noise and throw things at the coyote in an effort to scare it off. You should never run or turn your back. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}