The number of coyotes in the state, according to Illinois Department of Natural Resources, has grown over 40% in the last decade.

Rockford city leaders are working on a plan for a town hall meeting with residents to address the coyote problem. Avoiding a run in with a coyote is becoming a bit difficult in many areas around Rockford.

Being a little smarter at avoiding an encounter with a coyote is a good idea. With two small children and a 20-pound dog, I am constantly thinking about what we would do if we crossed paths with a coyote. Those thoughts led me to Illinois Wildlife's tips to try and prevent a coyote encounter entirely.

  1. Do not run if a coyote approaches you. Safety procedures for dealing with coyotes are different than those for dealing with an unknown dog. Yell, stand up straight and wave your arms (the goal is to make yourself appear larger), or throw something at the coyote to make it move away (the goal is to scare it away, not to injure it).
  2. Teach your kids what to do if they see a coyote. Have them throw their arms up in the air and yell “like a monster” to scare the coyote away.
  3. Do not leave small pets unattended when they are outside, especially at night. Consider the use of fencing or kennel runs to protect small pets.
  4. Do not feed coyotes. Property owners should limit the availability of unintentional food sources such as bird food, pet food, ripe fruit or trash.
  5. Comply with local ordinances that require oversight/restraint of pets. Coyotes that are protecting their den or young will vigorously defend the area. Simply walking your dog in another area keeps everyone safe.
  6. Target the responsible coyote(s) when a pattern of “undesirable” behavior develops. Usually it will be easier to change human and domestic animal use of an area than to capture the coyote(s). Recognize that coyote population reduction (removing some or all of the coyotes in an area) is usually unrealistic and always temporary. Removal of coyotes also requires time, effort and funding.
  7. Alert residents of the neighborhood and the local municipality (e.g., police, public safety officer) if, and as soon as, a problem develops with a coyote.

If you need a coyote removed, you should hire a nuisance wildlife control operator who is licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). These animals are humanely euthanized, not relocated.


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