This is the time of year when coyotes start to look for places to settle down when their pups that will be born in the spring. There have been sightings downstate and now, they have been seen in my own backyard.  Over the weekend I got a call from my neighbor warning me that he and his wife had seen a coyote in the ravine behind my house. After further investigation, we noticed several tracks in our backyard. We live in Cohoes.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), coyotes tend to avoid contact with people but if they feel threatened or if people are close to their den sites, they will go into protection mode. You are urged to keep a close watch on your pets and children if there has been a coyote sighting.

There are some helpful tips to avoid contact with coyotes in your area and to prevent them from coming on your property.

  • Do not feed pets outside.
  • Make any garbage inaccessible to coyotes and other animals.
  • Eliminate availability of bird seed. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes.
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise all outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable to coyotes.

If you do encounter a coyote you are urged to be aggressive, stand tall and hold out arms to look large. If the coyote doesn't leave, make loud noises, wave your arms around and throw sticks and rocks in their direction.

For more tips and information, click on the DEC page here.