Hearing Coyotes Howling at the Moon? Take Precautions Now to Protect Your Fur Babies from Georgia's Song Dogs


If you think you're hearing more howling sounds of coyotes nearby, you may be right -- and you may need to take extra precautions during February and March to protect your pets.

Male coyotes are most aggressive in the February and March breeding season. Georgia's WRD offers safety tips for protecting pets and homes.Photo byJulien RiedelonUnsplash

While the generally shy, mostly nocturnal animals usually stay clear of humans, it's inevitable that paths may eventually cross, even in fast-growing and heavily populated areas near Atlanta. And that's even more true during February and March, which is peak breeding season for coyotes.

The coyote population in Georgia continues to grow in both rural and urban areas. According to the Wildlifeboss.com, Georgia's coyote population is nearing 100,000 animals -- despite well-publicized and controversial programs in recent years to control or reduce the population of the "song dog."

As a result, The Wildlife Resource Division (WRD) of Georgia's Department of Natural Resources recommends homeowners take special precautions to prevent these "Georgia Dingoes" from eating your "fur" baby.

Coyotes are omnivores and feed on foods that are readily available, one of the first actions is remove food sources from your home area. Georgia's WRD advises homeowners to secure and remove attractants such as garbage, pet food and bird seed. Those foods sources are not only tempting to coyotes, but also can attract pests and rodents, which make prime coyote foods, too.

If you see coyotes near your home, Georgia's WRD recommends hazing and scare tactics that take advantage of the animals' natural wariness of humans. Noise -- from banging pots, yelling or an air horn -- are effective. So are water hoses and motion-activated sprinklers.

For those with small pets, more active caretaking also is recommended. Keeping pets indoors is the most effective. And when your pets are outdoors, you'll want to monitor them continuously. And if you're walking your pets near dawn or dusk, be especially alert. Carrying an air horn or other noise maker can help to ward off any nearby or approaching animals. And as coyotes are intelligent animals that learn patterns, alter your path to avoid any potential ambush.

Nuisance coyotes also can be trapped, and lethal removal also is an option in Georgia. Coyotes are non-native species in Georgia, and they can be harvested year-round on private property.

For more information, visit Georgiawildlife.com, or call 1-80-366-2661. You can also download a coyote fact sheet.

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I'm a trained journalist and retired global marketing executive. Living in Northwest Georgia, I write about about avocations including outdoors, travel, exploration, history and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries. My South Louisiana-born French Cajun upbringing in food-rich Louisiana plus my extended restaurant-related career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. At my blog, OurTravelCafe.com, I offer a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA

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