St. Charles city hall and park district release coyote management plan
To help residents discourage coyotes from settling in neighborhoods, the City of St. Charles and St. Charles Park District have developed a Coyote Management Plan.
The plan is available on the city's website at www.stcharlesil.gov/coexisting-local-coyotes.
The plan addresses frequently asked questions and provides safety tips for both preventing and dealing with coyotes.
For the safety of all residents, the City of St. Charles does not allow hunting within city limits according to Ordinance 9.60.030 and firearms and/or traps are not permitted on park district property.
Studies have shown that trapping or hunting programs are largely ineffective.
If the conditions that lured the coyotes to an area still exist, hunting or trapping will only temporarily remove coyotes.
It would not be long before other coyotes move in to replace them.
Trapping is also risky because there is no guarantee that the only things caught in the traps will be coyotes.
Expect an increase in coyote sightings between now and February as young coyotes leave their parents in search of mates and territories to call their own.
With the onset of winter, coyotes are more willing to venture out of their rural or wooded habitats and into residential areas in search of food and shelter.
While coyotes are unlikely to attack humans, they can become more aggressive if they find an area that suits their needs and they want to defend it.
Tips from keeping coyotes from settling in a neighborhood:
• Never feed coyotes.
• Remove bird feeders and outdoor pet dishes during the winter months. These attract squirrels, which coyotes prey on.
• Make sure that garbage is stored in a container with a secure lid and do not allow containers to overflow.
• Never leave children or small pets unattended outside.
• Clear or cover wood and brush piles, and check under decks. Coyotes are likely to use these for shelter.
• If coyote sightings are common in your neighborhood, consider installing a fence or motion-activated light in your yard.
If there is an encounter with a coyote, stand up, yell at it, wave your arms, and throw something at it from a safe distance. The response may not be immediate, but the coyote will eventually become intimidated and retreat.
For more information, view the full Coyote Management Plan on the city's website at www.stcharlesil.gov or contact the Department of Natural Resources at (847) 608-3100.