BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many viewers have sent in reports of coyotes roaming around yards and streets in the Valley, including one that was spotted off of US-224 in Boardman.
Another was seen strolling across an intersection on Market Street.
“I see them all the time. You hear them. They’re actually much more abundant than people might realize. They’re very adept at keeping out of sight,” said Youngstown resident and former wildlife educator Robert Coggeshall.
Coggeshall lives off of Bears Den and he’s no stranger to coyotes.
“I saw one just run through [front yards] here and in the back yard a lot,” he said.
As a former wildlife educator for Mill Creek MetroParks, Coggeshall said he isn’t concerned. He said they try to avoid us as much as we do them.
“I think they have a right to exist. They actually do keep certain other animal populations under control. I don’t think there should be a hunting season on them, I just don’t think they do that much damage,” Coggeshall said.
Jamey Emmert, wildlife specialist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, agrees with Coggeshall.
“They’re important to keep the food chain in check and keep populations healthy,” Emmert said.
However, she knows that they can be a nuisance for people too. Emmert suggests clapping, yelling and scaring a coyote if you see one. That will stop it from adapting to human interaction.
“If we scare them away, harass them at a distance, that will keep them wild and keep our yards safe and so it’s good for everybody,” Emmert said.
Do you ever wonder why there are more coyotes now than there used to be?
“They have no natural predator, nothing here that hunts them. You can’t hunt in the park and so their numbers multiply,” Coggeshall said.
Every city has its own rules on hunting and trapping, but Emmert said if a coyote isn’t causing trouble, it should not be killed. ODNR follows that policy too.
“If it’s acting aggressively toward humans, there’s a safety issue. Clearly, we’ll intervene, but if that coyote is just being a coyote and there’s no signs of anything bad happening, then we are going to leave it alone and we suggest people to do the same, apart from scaring it out of someone’s yard,” Emmert said.