Arkansas Game and Fish Commission say to watch out for coyotes during winter months

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 11:21 PM CST
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In the winter months, coyotes are out looking for food even in your rural backyard.

”I’ve lived on a farm my whole life. We hear them every night,” said Stephanie Wigger.

Randy Zellers with The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said coyotes eat small animals like rodents.

“Natural food sources are getting a little scarce,” said Randy Zellers with The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “They don’t really hibernate in Arkansas and Missouri so much they just go a bit dormant and they cuddle up in a place.”

Zellers said this leaves them to feed off of other animals.

“They have killed most every chicken that we have had, some of our ducks but four, several of our cats have gone missing,” said Wigger.

Even during the day.

”We’ve been through hundreds and hundreds of chickens,” said Wigger. “We pin them up at night but now they’re coming in during the daytime and snagging them right from our yard during the day. The coyotes come up to our back fences.”

Zellers recommends taking extra precautions while outdoors.

”Hollering at the coyote, yelling at it and stomping your foot at it that coyote won’t stay around that long. They’ll know they’re not welcomed,” said Zellers.

He said there are a few things you can do to make sure they’re not wandering in your yard like not keeping food outside.

“A dog food bag sitting out in the shed, bird feeders, corn feeders to attract wildlife or trash can that aren’t secure. Anything can be seen as a food source because coyotes are scavengers,” said Zellers.

Also to be mindful of your pets.”

“Last week we lost Randy’s momma. We think to the coyotes. She and our male dog went out into the woods and came back at dark and we haven’t been able to find her,” said Wigger.

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