Massachusetts Officials Warn Pet Owners Coyote Scatter Season Has Started – Fall River Reporter

BOSTON — Massachusetts officials are warning pet owners and residents as coyote scatter season has begun.

According to police and Mass Wildlife, the pups leave their families to start new lives on their own in the fall, leaving increased activity until November. Keep dogs on a short leash, cats indoors.

This is the time of year when young coyotes may choose to disperse and leave the family pack in search of their own territory. Not only will sightings increase at this time, but also some different behaviors, such as seeing one in your yard when you don’t normally or being followed by one. These young ‘yotes are curious and seek to know where they belong and how to get out of it.

The eastern coyote is a medium-sized predator, opportunistic feeder and extraordinarily adaptable to a wide range of habitats. Coyotes thrive in suburban, urban, and rural areas. They will use any naturally available food, including small animals, birds, insects, and fruit, as well as artificial sources such as garbage, pet food, birdseed, and compost.

The Eastern Coyote resembles a medium-sized dog in size and shape, but it has longer, denser fur and a pointed, erect coat.
ears. The tail is long, black-tipped and bushy. The typical coat color is a grizzled gray but can vary from creamy blonde to
almost solid red or black. Typical weights for females are 33-40 pounds, while males typically weigh 34-47 pounds.
A very large male can weigh around 60 pounds, but such an animal is exceptional. Coyotes often look heavier than they are due to their thick fur.

Coyotes can thrive in close proximity to humans in suburban and urban areas. They only need a source of food, water and
cover. If you want to make your property less attractive to coyotes and avoid having problems with these
predators, follow these basic Mass Wildlife practices. Don’t forget to share these tips with your neighbors; your efforts will be wasted if neighbors provide coyotes with food or shelter.

DO NOT FEED OR TRY TO ATTACK COYOTES: Keep wild things in the wild! Feeding, whether direct or indirect, can cause coyotes to tame and can lead to bold behavior. Coyotes that depend on natural foods remain feral and suspicious of humans.

Secure your trash: Coyotes attack open trash and compost piles. Secure your waste in strong plastic containers with tight-fitting lids and keep them in secure buildings when possible. Take out the trash when morning collection is scheduled, not the night before. Store compost in safe, ventilated containers and keep barbecue grills clean to reduce attractive smells.

KEEP BIRD-FEATER AREAS CLEAN: Use bird feeders designed to keep seed off the ground, as seed attracts many small mammals that coyotes prey on. Remove feeders if coyotes are regularly seen in your yard.

CLOSE CRAWLSPACES: Coyotes will use areas under
porches and shelters to rest and raise the little ones. Close these
enclosed areas to prevent animals from using them.

Don’t be intimidated by coyotes: Don’t be afraid to scare or threaten coyotes with loud noises, bright lights, or water spray from a hose.

CUT BRUSHY EDGES: These areas provide shelter for coyotes and their prey.

Protect livestock and produce: Coyotes prey on livestock. Various techniques, such as fencing, will protect livestock from predation. Remove fallen fruit around fruit trees.

PET OWNERS: Although loose pets are more likely to be killed by automobiles than wild animals, coyotes view cats and small dogs as potential food and large dogs as competitors. For the safety of your pets, keep them on a leash at all times. Also, feed your pets indoors. Outdoor feeding can attract many wild animals.

Around this time last year, 2 two-year-olds were attacked by a coyote in Massachusetts.

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