Coyotes in Washington Township

Coyotes in Washington Township. (Photo: Pat Brogowicz - Used with permission)

Coyote Sightings Spike Across Macomb County [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

February 20, 2019 - 1:46 pm
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WASHINGTON TWP. (WWJ) - It's that time of year again, when social media is flooded with reports of coyotes slinking into the suburbs. 

A hot spot this season seems to be Macomb County, with sightings pretty much countywide -- from Sterling Heights and Warren, north into Macomb and Shelby Townships.

Pat Brogowicz snapped some photos of a couple "backyard visitors" at her home in Washington Township this week. "They love the nearby golf course, and Stony Creek Metropark and lots of woods are nearby," said her husband, Andy Brogowicz, who shared the photos to Facebook.

washington twp coyote
(Photo: Pat Brogowicz - Used with permission)

washington twp coyote
(Photo: Pat Brogowicz - Used with permission)

washington twp coyote
(Photo: Pat Brogowicz - Used with permission)

Residents have reported seeing coyotes in recent days at 13 Mile and 14 Mile and Schoenherr Rd., 24 Mile and Romeo Plank, in groups at Halmich Park in Warren, and chasing ducks along the Red Run Drain. At 21 Mile and Schoenherr in Shelby Township, a resident reported seeing four at a time in her backyard last week.

In Chesterfield Township, a video showing a coyote jumping a fence in Chesterfield Township has been a getting a lot of attention online.

While many have expressed concern about the animals, not everyone is impressed. Responding to the Chesterfield clip on Facebook, Jeff Hudnut wrote: "What next, squirrel videos? News flash: Coyotes live in Michigan."

In truth, he's right. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, coyotes are native to the state; and tend to more active -- and therefore more visible -- during mating season, which runs later February to mid-March. 

What should you do if you see a coyote?

Coyotes, like any wild animal, can act unpredictably and should be treated with respect and enjoyed from a distance, the DNR says, stressing that -- for your own safety -- it's important to never intentionally feed or try to tame a coyote.

To lesson the chances of an encounter in suburban areas, DNR experts advise that coyotes are attracted to garbage, garden vegetables, and pet foods. To reduce the chance of coyote problems, residents are advised to eliminate all outside food — not just for pets — but bird seed and garbage as well. Put out the trash only on pickup day.

Another good idea: Clear out wood and brush piles; they are good habitat for rats and mice and may attract coyotes. It should also be noted that coyotes don’t like bright lights or loud sounds or the smell of ammonia or perfume.

Do not try to trap or shoot a coyote. While coyotee hunting is permitted in some areas of Michigan, discharging firearms within most cities is against the law. For your safety, NEVER intentionally feed or try to tame coyotes.  It is critical that they retain their natural fear of people.

Keep small pets indoors or accompany them outside and keep them on a leash.

If a coyote is too close for comfort, try to scare it off by yelling, clapping or making other loud noises. Most coyotes are naturally afraid of people and will leave if you frighten them.

While Macomb County Animal Control officers receive dozens of calls around this time each year about coyotes, it's important to note that they do not handle wildlife cases. Residents are urged to contact the DNR or a Pest Control company if help is needed.

Learn more from the DNR about coyotes in Michigan at this link.