Onslow coyote sightings expected in the coming months

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You may want to keep your pets indoors this fall, as coyote sightings are likely to increase in the coming months.

The coyote, while not native to North Carolina, can be found everywhere, according to Falyn Owens, an extension biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, and they likely won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. People generally call the commission to report coyote sightings and are often concerned that coyotes pose a threat to people, pets and livestock. There have been reports that coyotes have been seen during the day and made a lot of noise. Cat disappearances and / or injuries have also been reported.

“Since they really don’t have any predators or anything chasing them here, other than us humans, they kind of blew up,” said Cathy Burns, director of Predator and Prey Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Wildlife Commission most commonly obtains sightings of coyotes in urban and residential areas.

“Usually they call by surprise, not realizing that these are as much areas where coyotes live as they are in the woods or rural areas,” Owens said.

According to a Wildlife Commission press release, people should expect to see and hear more coyotes over the next several weeks as babies born in the spring leave home. They can “howl, howl and bark to follow each other, as well as the other coyotes whose territories they cross,” the statement said.

Coyotes have different vocalizations, Burns said, explaining that their sound is usually a bit higher than his dog’s, and Owens described their sound as a lot of barking and yapping, like that of a dog’s size. mean who gets excited to the sound of a fire truck or police siren.

“It almost looks like a crying baby,” said Greg Farmer, local community member and hunter.

While coyotes aren’t normally a cause for alarm, according to Burns and Owens, they can catch your cats and other small pets if you’re not careful.

“They’re really good at controlling rodents,” Burns said. “They’re opportunists, so if they see a rabbit, they’ll go after the rabbit. If they see dog food, because you feed your dogs or cats outside, they will eat it. They prey on chickens, ducks, anything that is easy prey.

Owens said that on very rare occasions, coyotes who have gotten used to people can become bold and lose their fear. Therefore, the Wildlife Commission recommends against feeding coyotes, attempting to pet them, or leaving food and trash behind. Burns said the best thing you can do is make your home unattractive.

Don't leave food outside and put away trash to keep coyotes out of your yard.

“If you remove the food source, you’re going to have fewer problems,” Burns said.

Coyotes can be hunted year round according to the press release, and Owens said they can even be hunted at night in most counties in North Carolina, including Onslow County. However, when it comes to urban and residential areas, if there is a municipal or municipal ordinance that prohibits the discharge of a firearm, it would prevent hunting in that area.

There are also trappers, according to Burns, who are trained and licensed to remove coyotes, and the state-wide regulated trapping season, according to the Wildlife Commission statement, runs from Nov. 1 to late. February.

The farmer says the best time to hunt is at night.

“Using some sort of rancid meat as bait, you normally shoot them with a gun,” Farmer said. “It’s better if you have a night lens.”

More information on coyotes can be found on the Wildlife Commission’s coyote page at ncwildlife.org/coyote, or the NC Wildlife Helpline at 866-318-2401.

Journalist Morgan Starling can be reached at mstarling@gannett.com.


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