North Dakota Coyotes Becoming More Fearless?
It seems so far winter 2022-2023 there have been a number of coyote sightings, possibly more than usual in urban settings. Specifically regarding towns, the outskirts of city limits as well as in the cities themselves in North Dakota. These predators appear to be more fearless than in other years. Even one of our own DJ's had what he believes to be a "coyote thief" after going back outside to retrieve a trophy pheasant to be mounted from the backstep. Instead of finding the beautiful long-tailed rooster, it was missing and only fresh tracks remained telling the tale of where this bird had disappeared. Other sightings include one Bismarck resident near Calgary Avenue coming home to find a coyote laying bedded down in the backyard. Then another was a Mandan resident that spotted two coyotes running along the old Fort Lincoln trolly bridge. Some while performing snow removal in the Bismarck / Mandan area have noted the coyotes out, especially after the last holiday blizzard and severe temperatures. Areas mentioned in the social media group on Facebook, Bismarck People Reporting News were: River Road near the water treatment plant, running along railroad tracks, and some venturing into people's yards looking for apples or leftovers. What has been the repeated comment amongst many on social media, is noticing how these furry dog-like looking predators have become more daring. Is it due to the long snow-covered winter, colder temps or maybe more too that our cities have become spread out further?
Regardless of the reason, they are scavengers, and coyotes are adapting to finding new ways to survive. Small pets should be kept indoors if you feel there are coyotes around, or be sure to not leave the pets outside unattended. According to Game and Fish, coyotes are rarely threats to humans, but there are measures to take to ensure safety. ND Game and Fish advises against feeding coyotes or approaching coyotes. And if you do have to ward off a coyote, you should "wave your hands and arms and make loud noises so that coyotes learn being in close proximity to people is dangerous."
Landowners, especially with livestock, be aware that again a statewide effort called the Coyote Catalog has been opened once again. Designed to connect hunters and trappers to landowners dealing with coyotes in their areas, this hopefully will aid in keeping livestock safe as we move into calving season in the coming months or livestock are moved closer to home or tighter confinements for feeding. Throughout the winter, the Coyote Catalog helps hunters receive information on participating landowners, who they can then contact to make arrangements. Anyone who has previously registered for the catalog will need to do so again in order to reactivate their name in the database. Landowners can sign up on this page, and hunters and trappers can do so using this link. REMINDER: All landowners experiencing coyote depredation of livestock should first contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wildlife Services before taking further action. The catalog will remain active through March 31, 2023. For more information on the Coyote Catalog, contact the ND Game and Fish