It's that time of year when people start reporting an increase in coyote activity in Genesee County. Here are some tips on keeping your small pets and children safe during coyote breeding season.

Around this time last year local residents from all across Genesee County shared warnings on social media that packs of coyotes had been spotted multiple times, particularly in Davison, Burton, and Genesee Township.

While there haven't been too many online warnings yet this year, a co-worker did just tell me about spotting a large coyote "almost the size of a deer" that was leading a small pack near her property. It is that time of year again and I recently became the owner of a smallish dog. We also live in the aforementioned area, so it's fair to say that I'll be taking all the precautions to keep my doggo safe.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, coyotes are spotted most frequently during their breeding season, which is between January and March. They are attracted to garbage, and will prey on smaller pets if they are left unattended, especially at night. The DNR offers the following precautionary tips for dealing with coyotes:

  • Never approach or touch a coyote
  • Never intentionally feed a coyote
  • Eliminate all outside food sources, especially pet foods
  • Put garbage out the morning of pickup day
  • Clear out wood and brush piles; they are good habitat for rats and mice and may attract coyotes
  • Good husbandry practices, guard animals, and coyote control measures can help to protect livestock
  • Do not allow pets to roam free when coyotes are present - consider keeping pets indoors or accompany them outside, especially at night

Coyotes rarely attack humans, but you should keep an eye on your little ones just to be safe. For more information on coyotes, please refer to the Michigan DNR website by clicking here.