Breeding Season Is Now For Coyotes In North Dakota & Minnesota
If it seems you have been hearing more howling? You are more than likely, not dreaming. All winter long a common conversation has occurred. Coyote sightings. Recently, I watched a video taken in Bismarck, North Dakota showing a coyote browsing around the front yard of a beautiful home. No worries in the world. These furry canines, native to North America, that are genetically related to wolves as well as our "man's best friend" the domesticated dogs, are becoming more fearless by the day.
As urban areas expand, these natural predators are adjusting quickly. Coyotes prey on what is most easily accessible. Coyotes are omnivores. Their diet consists in the wild mainly of small rodents, rabbits, deer and even livestock but then also some vegetation such as fruits, nuts or even berries.
As with most animals, there is a certain breeding time of year for coyotes too. That time of year runs from January to March. During this time of year, coyotes often become more aggressive. The howling is louder. The pups are weaned and now becoming braver too, trying to outdo the older canines in the pack. Typically breeding for coyotes peaks in late February and early March. The gestation period averages 58 to 65 days.
During this breeding time, male coyotes can become more aggressive. Now coyotes always pose a risk to your dog, and other small pets, however, the risk increases even more so during mating season. Coyotes are attracted to and can mate with un-spayed or unneutered domestic dogs. Unspayed female dogs in season (or 'in heat') can attract male coyotes. Unneutered male dogs can be lured away by the scent of a female coyote in the midst of an ovulation cycle. Sadly, male dogs can be lured by the female coyote's scent and then killed by male coyotes. A very sad warning to share.
- DO NOT FEED WILDLIFE. This includes turkeys, pheasants or anything that might be preyed upon by coyotes. These animals are also wild and you will do them more harm than good by teaching them to use YOU as a food source rather than rely on their own natural abilities.
- CONTAIN GARBAGE SECURELY. Keep all garbage in containers with lids locked or securely closed. This might include strapping down the lid.
- PETS ON LEASH OR FENCED. All pets are an easy target. Keep them safe.
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.