The coyote is generally a slender animal, very similar in appearance to a medium-sized dog and much smaller than a wolf, a species not currently found in Ohio. The majority of coyotes are gray, though some show rusty, brown or off-white coloration. It has a bushy tail which is usually tipped with black. Coyotes are most active at dawn and dusk, but may be seen frequently throughout the day.
What to Do if a Coyote is in Your Backyard:
- 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.
- If you do have a coyote on your property, remove all "attractants" to possibly deter the coyote from returning. This includes removing garbage and pet food before nightfall and cleaning up around the grill. Coyotes prey primarily on small mammals, such as rabbits and mice. Small pets may also be taken. Keep small dogs and cats inside. Coyotes are curious, but generally fearful of humans. Clap your hands and shout in a stern voice to scare off coyotes that are investigating your yard.
- If the coyote visiting your yard seems to lack a fear of humans or is presenting a conflict even after removing attractants from your yard, contact a nuisance trapper. Coyotes in rural areas can be controlled through legal hunting and trapping methods. See the Hunting & Trapping Regulations for more information.