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Coyotes in New York State: Population, Common Locations, Hunting Rules, and More

All of New York State is home to coyotes, with the exception of Long Island. They even wander around in NYC. In the center of Manhattan, in Central Park, one was even observed! How many coyotes are there in the Empire State, then? Do they warrant any concern? And what ought one to do in the event of a coyote encounter? In this post, we address each of these queries.

Quick Facts Regarding Coyotes

There are coyotes in every state in the union but Hawaii. They span Central America and extend all the way south from Canada.

They can interbreed with domestic dogs, wolves, and jackals because they are related to them. We refer these the hybrids as “coydogs.”

They weigh between 25 and 30 pounds and are 40 to 60 inches long from nose to tail. Hybrid wolves and coyotes may weigh fifty pounds.

Coyotes use yelping, yipping, barking, snarling, howling, and whining as forms of communication.

They hunt at night and are omnivores, consuming fruits, vegetables, carrion, and small mammals for food.

In New York, How Many Coyotes Are There?

In New York State, coyotes are found everywhere but on Long Island. There are between 20,000 and 30,000 people living in the state. The parks and neighborhoods of New York City itself, including Central Park, are home to a small population of twenty to thirty people.

Coyotes are beneficial to New Yorkers because they help remove dead animals and trash from the city. They also hunt mice, stray cats, and rats. Between 500,000 and a million feral cats are thought to be overrun in New York City; many of them are sick, undernourished, and have been hurt in fights. Coyotes assist in resolving this issue after dark and out of sight.

Coyotes: How dangerous are they?

Eastern coyotes have bred with domestic dogs and wolves, according to DNA testing. They can therefore be significantly larger than those in the West. Moreover, coyotes have more potential for interaction and conflict with people in the East due to the region’s increased urban human population. They might become fearless around people in populous areas and openly approach them for food.

Only two individuals have been murdered by coyotes in the United States and Canada, despite the fact that attacks on humans are extremely rare. On the other hand, dog attacks result in one fatality and 650 injuries annually in New York State alone. Coyotes can hurt a little, unattended child since they are carnivores that feed on cats and small dogs. Furthermore, kids are especially likely to mistake a coyote for a house dog and attempt to pet it. Through bites and scratches, these animals can spread diseases to people and pets. Because they are drawn to roadkill as an easy food, coyotes can also be a hazard to vehicles.

Rules Governing Coyote Hunting in New York

Coyote populations have skyrocketed across the country as a result of people eliminating all the big predators that would have killed them, such as bears, mountain lions, and wolves. States often employ hunting and trapping as a population control tactic. Ironically, when there is plenty of food and minimal competition, they can have larger litters—up to seven pups—which increases their birth rate. To maintain the coyote population in a desired range, a constant and active hunting approach is therefore required.

To hunt coyotes in New York, you need a hunting license. This year’s coyote season began on October 21, 2023, and runs through March 31, 2024. During the season, you can hunt them with firearms, air guns, bows, or crossbows, day and night. It is not permitted to hunt from a vehicle, even an ATV, although it is permitted to use electronic calls and lights. Reporting your kill to wildlife officials is not required; only bobcats are subject to this requirement. It is illegal to shoot wolves or wolf-coyote hybrids. It is not appropriate for a hunter to kill a coyote that appears to be heavier and larger—about fifty pounds. Visit the website of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for further information, including particular rules pertaining to the use of guns.

When Will You See a Coyote If You See One?

In New York, coyotes can be seen almost anywhere, but they are most likely to be spotted during their hunting season, which runs from nightfall to morning. If there are a few in your neighborhood, you’ll definitely hear them at night because they may be rather raucous.

What Are Some Things to Remember?

First and foremost, remember that these are wild, predatory animals, despite their dog-like appearance. A coyote in a populous location may get used to people and lose some of its anxiety, particularly if it has been fed by misinformed people. Additionally keep in mind that coyotes are not rabies vaccinated, in contrast to pet dogs. It is possible for a coyote to carry this deadly illness.

How Should You Proceed?

For all these reasons, back off and maintain your distance. If the animal approaches, scare it away by yelling, screaming, throwing objects, and waving your arms to make yourself appear larger. Notify the local wildlife authorities of the sighting, especially if it occurs in an urban area.

How Do You Keep Coyotes Away?

If you own property in a rural or suburban location, keep in mind that coyotes do have beneficial roles in the ecosystem. It’s not necessary to remove one simply because you find one on your land. However, here are some things you can do to make your house less coyote-friendly if you have small pets, children, livestock, or other items that could be in danger, or if a coyote is acting violently on your property:

Get wolf urine online and use it to spray your property’s perimeter.
Get a large-breed guard dog for the estate.
Install alarms and lights with motion sensors.
Make a fence that is six feet high.
Reduce overgrown brush and shrubs to eliminate potential hiding spots.
tightly fitting lids for trash cans.
Keep any leftover pet food inside and avoid feeding your animals outside.

Coyotes search for the simplest food sources. By using the aforementioned techniques, you can urge the coyote in your area to switch to a less difficult food source.

The Final Word

Coyotes are sly creatures who feed on rodents, carrion, and trash by coming out at night. They pose less of a hazard to you than the dogs of your neighbors because they seldom attack humans. Thus, if you happen to spot a coyote, appreciate it from a safe distance and take appropriate action if you think there may be a threat.