Wake County reports most coyote sightings in North Carolina

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – October and November are the peak months for coyote sightings in North Carolina, state officials said.

Biologists with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission say young coyotes beging to leave their parents’ territory during October and November.

The young coyotes, who are likely traveling with siblings, are out finding a mate and establishing their own territory.

Coyotes are known to travel 300 miles before settling down into their own territories.

“Because of the hollow tone of the howl, two coyotes often sound like a huge group and may seem closer than they actually are,” state wildlife official said in a release.

Hearing or seeing a coyote, even during the day, is usually no cause for alarm and doesn’t mean they’ve just taken down prey.

“Coyotes rarely attack humans,” said Falyn Owens, the agency’s extension biologist. “Coyotes are curious, but wary whenever they are near humans; however, they can become bold and habituated to humans if people feed them, either purposely or unintentionally.

For this reason, Owens recommends that people follow several tips to keep coyotes, and other wildlife such as raccoons, from being attracted to their homes:

  • Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids; take trash out the morning of pickup
  • Keep birdseed off the ground and bird feeding areas clean
  • Remove fallen fruit from trees
  • Feed pets indoors or remove food when a pet is finished eating outside

Pets should be kept inside, leashed or inside a dog-proof fence since coyotes can see dogs and cats as prey.

According to data collected by human-wildlife biologists through the agency’s Wildlife Interaction Hotline, counties with the most reported sightings in 2018 were:

County            #Reports

  • Wake – 76
  • Mecklenburg – 71
  • Forsyth – 47
  • Gaston – 39
  • New Hanover – 34
  • Iredell – 29
  • Cumberland – 23
  • Guilford – 20
  • Union – 20
  • Buncombe – 20                                           

North Carolina Wildlife says coyotes can be hunted year-round and can be trapped during the statewide regulated trapping season, Nov. 1 through the end of February 

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