It's coyote pup season in Avon Lake (2024)

AVON LAKE, Ohio -- Springtime in the life of a coyote is defined by the birth of pups, following a nine-week gestation period in April and May.

The number of pups produced is generally dependent on available food resources and the surrounding coyote population. In urban areas, this can average around six pups.

Leaders in Avon Lake are taking a proactive approach to educating the community about the importance of these animals -- and other wildlife -- and how to peacefully coexist.

According to Avon Lake Communications and Technology Director Barb Cagley, city leaders realized there were concerns from residents regarding coyotes.

They decided to put together a specific wildlife education program to help everyone understand the realities of living in harmony with coyotes, rather than living in fear.

“The live with us, and the city can’t really do much about it, as controlling that population is outside of city control,” Cagley explained.

“We want to educate on living with them -- and that goes beyond coyotes to include foxes and all wildlife.

“Give the coyotes and foxes space and enjoy these beautiful creatures. They are trying to raise their young and they care about their babies, just like you would.

“Much of the fear has been driven by folks walking their dogs or letting their dogs out at night without a leash,” she continued.

“You have to use common sense and realize at night, in the woods, there may be coyotes and they may be hungry because they are feeding their babies.

“And folks need to realize these occurrences are extremely rare. They are not bad, or evil, they are just being coyotes. You can’t sit down and reason with them.

“These are valid concerns, because obviously we don’t want any pets to be harmed, but residents have to be mindful and perhaps modify their behavior, especially this time of year.”

Cagley shared a few simple tips, like making sure pets are leashed when walking or going out.

Always turn on the outdoor lights and clap loudly when you let your pets out in your yard at night.

Never let your pets wander in an area with potential den sites. Coyotes are intolerant of dogs during this time and may bite or attack if they feel threatened.

Cagley added that coyotes are an important part of Avon Lake’s landscape, helping to control populations of rodents, rabbits and other small animals.

“With a better understanding of coyotes and their habitat, we can coexist with these adaptable and cunning animals,” she said.

“Following simple rules and being coyote conscious can help reduce conflicts between humans, coyotes and other wildlife.

“If you spot a coyote in your neighborhood, there is no need to be alarmed, unless they are acting strangely, as is the case with any wildlife that is acting strangely,” Cagley continued.

“It is very rare compared to dog-human interactions for a coyote to come into actual physical contact with a person or pet, but if this occurs then it should be reported immediately.”

The city has worked with the Environmental Affairs Advisory Board (EAAB), as well as members of council, residents and business, to put together a formal education program.

Information was gleaned from experts in the field, and the communications department went to work sharing the information with the public.

The campaign includes podcasts on community television, posting important information on the city website and social media, and handouts provided to local schools, libraries and homeowners associations.

According to information from EAAB, raising coyotes is a team effort, and the entire pack contributes to the success of a litter.

For the next several weeks after birth, the mother spends her time primarily in the den with the pups. Both parents hunt for food and feed the young.

However, the male takes the lead role when the pups are newborns, obtaining enough food for both his mate and offspring and staying vigilant at the den sites.

Within a few weeks, coyote pups are weaned and begin to exit the den to play and socialize with other pack members.

By the time they are around nine weeks old, den sites are abandoned and the pups begin to travel along with the pack for the summer season.

Coyote sightings may decrease during the early spring as the pack sticks close to the den, which may be dug by the coyote or found in a variety of locations, such as hollow logs, an existing burrow previously occupied by another animal or a brushy thicket.

It is important to be cautious when visiting such areas, as this is a highly sensitive period for coyotes. Their behavior toward their litters can be extremely protective.

A human with or without a pet may experience a type of behavior known as “escorting,” in which a coyote may follow at a closer distance than usual in order to guide you away from the area of their den.

Though hazing is usually recommended when in close contact with coyotes -- making loud noises or squirting with a garden hose -- such techniques during pup season can be ineffective and can further escalate any tense situations.

The best course of action is to leave the area as confidently as possible, without running.

The EAAB provided the following actionable tops to prevent conflicts with coyotes:

• Remove food sources from your yard (birdseed on the ground, pet food, compost, garbage outside of bin).

• Keep dogs on leashes at all times. Keep cats safe inside your home, especially from dusk through dawn.

• Accompany dogs in the yard dusk through dawn, even if you have a fence.

• Deter coyotes from entering your yard with hazing techniques (yelling, clapping, whistling or throwing objects near them).

While residents do not need to report all coyote sightings, it is good to report any encounters with those who appear aggressive, fearless, sick or who -- despite the removal of all attractants -- continue to frequent a property.

In that regard, the city has established a Coyote Hotline. More information is available at

Read more from the Sun Sentinel.

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It's coyote pup season in Avon Lake (2024)


What month do coyotes give birth? ›

Coyotes (Canis latrans) mate from January to March, the average gestation period for a coyote is about 60 days; therefore pups will be born any time from mid March to mid May.

What is coyote pupping season? ›

Coyote pupping season stretches from the time when coyotes give birth to when the pups become juveniles and leave their parents, said Niamh Quinn, human-wildlife interactions advisor for the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Are coyotes aggressive during mating season? ›

Coyotes can't distinguish your dog from an intruding coyote, causing the coyote to be more aggressive toward medium- and large-sized dogs as they will view them as potential competition for mates and territory.

Are there coyotes in Avon Ohio? ›

Coyotes are an important part of Avon Lake's landscape, helping to control populations of rodents, rabbits, and other small wild animals. Keep your distance and enjoy the wildlife viewing experience.

What time of year do coyote pups leave their mother? ›

Male pups will leave their mother when they are between six and nine months old. Female pups will stay with their mother's pack. Male and female coyotes pair off and mate together for several years.

What month are coyotes most aggressive? ›

“Coyotes are in breeding season from mid-January to mid-March,” Joey Livingston, with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said. He said in early March after coyotes have their pups, they can be more aggressive, as they are protecting their dens from perceived threats.

What time do coyotes come out the most? ›

Coyotes are not strictly nocturnal. They may be observed during the day, but are generally more active after sunset and at night. You may see and hear coyotes more during mating season (January - March) and when the young are dispersing from family groups (October - January).

How many times a year do coyotes have pups? ›

They only breed once per year, so if it doesn't take that's it until next year. The female coyote's gestation period is only 63 days. A baby coyote is called a pup and the group of pups is called a litter. The average litter size ranges from 4 to 7 pups but can be larger or smaller.

What time are coyotes out most? ›

Coyotes primarily travel between dusk and dawn, but coyotes can be active 24 hours a day. Coyotes are seen more during the daytime in the spring and summer as they are giving birth and raising their young. They are more active and may be seen more often as they search for food to feed their pups.

Does shooting coyotes make them breed more? ›

But some wildlife biologists say killing coyotes isn't actually the best way to control them. "The next day you just have an exchange of animals that come right back in and fill that place," Monteith says. In fact, some studies show that if you kill off a lot of coyotes, they breed even more.

What smells keep coyotes away? ›

ammonia soaked rags, pepper spray, human scent, vinegar, wolf urine and there are also numerous homemade recipes. As a reminder, deterrents are only one tool in the coyote mitigation toolbox and should be used in conjunction with hazing and attractant removal in order to prevent coyote encounters.

Will a coyote chase a person? ›

A coyote will not see a human as potential food – considering their usual prey is a mouse, vole or fallen crab apple. However, like any other species of canid (including your pet dog), they may chase something that runs from them.

Can I shoot a coyote in my yard in Ohio? ›

Coyotes in rural areas can be controlled through legal hunting and trapping methods. Consult the yearly Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet for more information. Go to to view more information online. A Coyote is in Your Backyard.

Are coyotes a problem in Ohio? ›

Understand that coyotes are common throughout Ohio's 88 counties in both rural and urban settings. There are no wild wolves living in Ohio. Identify that the canine is truly a coyote and not a stray dog. If you determine the animal is a stray dog, contact your county dog warden.

Where do coyotes sleep in Ohio? ›

Pup season is the only time coyotes will voluntarily use a den; otherwise, coyotes usually sleep above ground in the open or in cover. Dens may consist of a hollowed-out tree stump, rock outcrop, or existing burrow made by raccoons, skunks or other medium-sized carnivores.

How many times a year do coyotes give birth? ›

Breeding and Litters

They only breed once per year, so if it doesn't take that's it until next year. The female coyote's gestation period is only 63 days. A baby coyote is called a pup and the group of pups is called a litter. The average litter size ranges from 4 to 7 pups but can be larger or smaller.

How long do coyote pups stay in den? ›

The Litter

While it is difficult to get reliable estimates of litter sizes in urban areas, best estimates suggest that litter sizes are larger than average, indicating an abundant food supply. Pups stay in the den for about six weeks and then begin traveling short distances with adults.

Where do coyotes keep their pups? ›

Coyotes make their dens in rocky crevices, dense thickets and sometimes the dens of other animals. The den is abandoned after the pups are weaned but may be used from year to year. Pups are close to adult size at about nine months, when some will begin to leave the pack while others may remain with their parents.

Do mom coyotes leave their babies? ›

Mothers do leave their pups when they go off to hunt, but she tucks them away in a safe spot where they normally stay.


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