WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — If you’ve heard a coyote, or have seen one scurrying across your yard, it’s common for this time of year.

What You Need To Know

  • Coyotes can be spotted throughout North Carolina, and even live near residential areas

  • Around this time of year, coyote pups are venturing out and exploring

  • Coyotes usually stay to themselves and are mostly nocturnal

Coyote sighting reports are expected to increase in October and November, according to coyote biologist and conservationist Aspen Stevanovski. Pups born this year are now at the age to venture off and explore their surroundings, often wandering into backyards and residential areas.

Stevanovski says, “They’re young, they’re kind of like teenagers, they want to explore, they don’t know people are a threat at this point.”

Coyotes are mostly nocturnal, but it’s not unusual to see them during the day either. Stevanovski says they are nothing to fear. If you come across a coyote, they usually will go on their way.

In order to deter coyotes from staying around, make sure your pets and pet food are placed inside at night. People can also make loud or clanging noises to scare off coyotes.

Stevanovski also emphasizes that coyotes are beneficial to the ecosystem. They help scavenge and clean up road kill. Coyotes also help keep rodent, raccoon, and opossum population down, which in turn helps other animals.

Stevanovski says coyotes are non-native to North Carolina, but that does not mean they are invasive.

“There’s a big difference ecologically because coyotes are a lot more beneficial than they are harmful,” she explains.

An invasive species means the species competes with another predator over resources in the area, which is not the case for coyotes