Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Coyote incidents suddenly spike

Alton, Ill. – No fewer than four incidents involving coyotes in
city settings were reported this month up and down the state.

On Nov. 4, an Alton family discovered a large male coyote in the
garage outside their house.

Alton police officer Jim Wetzstein shot that coyote with a
shotgun after the animal was found with blood on its mouth. Police
believe that it may have eaten astray kitten that the family had
been keeping in the garage.

In northern Illinois, coyote sightings this month in West
Chicago led police to remind residents to keep an eye out for the
wiley critter. Officials have even gone the extra step of airing an
educational video, “The Urban Coyote,” on West Chicago’s cable
station throughout the month.

Coyote complaints were filed in Jacksonville, Kankakee and
Rockford this month, also. In the small west-central town of
Milton, coyotes have reportedly been venturing onto homeowners’
properties, threatening domestic pets and frightening children.

In Alton, Police Capt. Scott Waldrup said he consulted DNR about
the growing coyote problem.

The state does not have a coyote season. They are legal to hunt
and shoot at almost anytime, except during firearms deer seasons,
when the season is closed briefly. Legal hunting hours for coyotes
are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Between Nov. 10 and Feb. 15, coyotes can be hunted 24 hours a
day.

Coyote trapping season is open through Jan. 20 in the north zone
and Jan. 25 in the south zone.

There is no limit for coyotes during either the hunting or
trapping seasons.

DNR biologists said that, because coyotes are predators, they
are attracted to areas that draw small animals and birds – an easy
meal. One way DNR advises homeowners to deter coyotes from entering
residential backyards is to keep the ground clear of pet or animal
food. And keep pets inside or penned up.

According to DNR, coyotes are common in areas with a mixture of
farmland, woodland and grassland. But they are also known to
inhabit suburban and even urban areas.

Even the city of Chicago has received numerous reports of
wayward coyotes in recent years.

The size of a coyote can vary. The one found in the Alton
family’s garage was estimated to weigh about 50 pounds.

“They are varmints is what they are. We are having a real
problem with coyotes in the city,” Waldrup said. “In the last
couple of months, I bet we’ve killed three or four.”

In Kankakee, two bird hunters said they shot a coyote after they
discovered it following their three bird dogs on the opening day of
upland game season.

And Danville resident John Borgers said he shot a coyote out of
his kitchen window after he noticed to approaching his home.

“They’re getting real brave in a lot of places,” Paul Hoke, a
pheasant hunter from Joliet, said. “We’ve been hunting on state
land and had a coyote basically walk right up to us.”

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