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By Kevin Kelly
Special to KyForward

An expansion from its historic range in the interior plains brought the coyote to Kentucky where as recently as the early 1970s sightings of these animals were still considered rare.

Coyotes are now common across the state but their presence in urban and suburban areas can surprise residents.

“People in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Denver have grown accustomed to seeing a coyote strolling through a city park,” said Laura Palmer, furbearer biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “In Kentucky, people are still getting used to seeing them in urban areas.”

Reports of coyote sightings in residential areas increase in the spring and early summer as coyotes breed and give birth to pups.

Since total eradication of coyotes is not possible, having a basic understanding about these wild animals, which can range in color from reddish to tan to grizzled gray and black, can ease concerns and limit potential conflicts.

“Coyotes are often misunderstood,” Palmer said. “Most do not bother people. Many times, people do not even know coyotes are living near their homes.”

Coyotes tend to be more active from dusk to dawn when living in close proximity to people. Even in populated areas, nature typically provides ample food. Mice, deer, voles, rabbits, raccoons, fruit and goose eggs can be part of a coyote’s diet.

“Coyotes typically shy away from human activity but they may take advantage of food around homes if natural prey is limiting, a coyote is injured or sick, or young have not learned to hunt effectively,” Palmer said.

Coyotes can lose their fear of humans if conditioned to depend on people for food, and conflicts can arise from people feeding them – either intentionally or unintentionally.

“Do not leave pet food outside and make sure garbage is secured,” Palmer said. “Discourage your neighbors from feeding feral cats, raccoons or coyotes themselves.”

She also recommends bringing bird feeders inside at night and removing seed that has fallen on the ground. Bird feeders attract animals that in turn attract coyotes. Plug any holes under fences, block access to crawl spaces and fence around gardens. Motion-activated lighting around the house can act as a coyote deterrent.

Also, consider turning on outside lights and checking the yard for unwanted animals before letting a dog outside at night.

If you are concerned about pets being outside, keep them inside or kennel them when they are unattended, if possible. When walking a dog, use a short, non-retractable leash that is highly visible and vary your walking routine.

A coyote that does not flee upon encountering a person could be sick, injured or habituated to people. Do not panic if you see a coyote or one approaches you, Palmer said.

For more outdoors news and information, see Art Lander’s Outdoors on KyForward.

Coyotes are curious by nature and sometimes follow people or dogs to see what they are doing in their territories or to see that they do not get too close to their dens and pups, she said.

Other suggestions: Don’t approach a coyote or linger to snap photos or take video. Don’t turn your back on a coyote and don’t run. Running away can diminish the coyote’s fear of people and may trigger its chase instinct.

Don’t harass a coyote if it is cornered, with pups or seems sick or injured. It’s best to back away slowly or try to scare it away with loud noises. Make yourself look bigger by waving your arms, widening your stance or waving a stick. Take a step or lunge toward the coyote to establish dominance.

Throw a rock or a stick in its direction but not directly at it. Pick up small dogs and children. Keep scaring the coyote until it’s out of sight. It’s also a good idea to teach children to recognize coyotes, never approach one and scare them away.

If you happen upon what you suspect is a den, like a hollow tree or brush pile, slowly back away and leave the area. Coyotes are protective of their pups, which stay in the den with the mother for about three weeks and learn to hunt when they are eight to 12 weeks old. Family groups typically break up and disperse in late summer and early fall.

Understanding coyotes can reduce potential conflicts with them.

If your community has a Facebook page, consider sharing tips for coexisting with coyotes and deterring these animals from becoming too bold. One resource Palmer recommends is the website urbancoyoteresearch.com. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s website at fw.ky.gov also offers helpful information.

 


Kevin Kelly is a writer for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. An avid angler with a passion for muskellunge and stream fishing, his journalism career has included stops at daily newspapers in Cincinnati, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Charleston, S.C. Get the latest from Kelly and the entire Kentucky Afield staff by following them on Twitter: @kyafield.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For more information on the department, click here.

 

 

HAPPY SPRING!

 Eagle Ridge golf courseEagle Ridge golf course

Men's League will kick off on Tuesday April 18th at 5:30 p.m. Annual League Fee, $25.00

Ladies Clinics begin Tuesdays in May!!

Cost: $15.00 per clinic

Dates:  May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

            June 6, 13, 20, 27

Time:  6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

All skill levels are invited to participate!!! We will learn the game from the green back to the tee! and have some fun too!!

???Question???

I have several ladies that would like to get together one night a week to play for FUN! Maybe a Monday night or Thursday night, 5:00 or 6:00, 9 holes.  I am trying to get an idea if anyone else is interested.  This is not a major organized event!  Just a chance for ladies in our area to come out and play golf. Please let me know!! You may email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.! thank you!!

Junior Clinics begin in May!!

Cost:  $10.00 per junior per clinic

Dates:  Sundays in May

            7, 14, 21, 28

Time:  2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Ages 7 to 12

  • Looking for a discount?  Book your tee time through GolfNow and you are guaranteed a discounted rate!  Don't forget about our discount days:  Military Monday, Hometown Day Wednesday, Senior Day Thursday and Family Day Saturday- Discount Days, play for $25.00.  
  • 2017 Season passes are available.  You may purchase them from the golf pro shop. AND they are good at ANY State Park Golf Course!!

Upcoming Golf Outings: 9:00 a.m. Shotgun Start

*April Golf Outings:

Saturday April 15 - LCHS Basketball

Friday April 28 - Louisa Rotary Club

*May Golf Outings:

Saturday May 6 - Trinity Christian Academy

Saturday May 20 - Team Tenley

Saturday May 27 - Big Hurricane Church

*June Golf Outings:

Friday June 2 - FCI Big Sandy Prison 

Saturday June 17 - Louisa United Methodist Church 

June 24 - Peter's Chapel Church

*  ...please note that on golf outing days unless there are more than 15 groups the golf course IS NOT CLOSED TO REGULAR PLAY.  (golf course is closed for outings with 16+ groups).  All golf outings are shotgun start using a pre-determined number of holes.  We encourage you to play in our hosted golf outings OR just come on out and play like normal! There is always a hole to start on!! 

April Hours of Operation

8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Last tee time, 5:30 p.m.

All carts in by 7:45 p.m.

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See you at the course!

Missy Kennedy,

PGA Head Golf Professional/Park Manager

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Eagle Ridge Golf Course

Yatesville Lake State Park

(606) 673-4300 Golf Pro Shop

(606) 673-1492 Business Office

(606) 673-4301 fax

Kentucky State Parks - Create your own Experience!

www.parks.ky.gov

Elk cow and calfElk cow and calf

 

A Martin County man will pay nearly $8,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to multiple counts of illegal guide activities and taking elk.

Byron Delong, 24, of Pilgrim, Ky., pleaded guilty Monday in Martin District Court to guiding elk hunters without a commercial guide’s license, assisting an elk hunter to hunt over bait, and assisting an elk hunter with an At-Large Elk Permit to hunt in a Limited Entry Area.

The court ordered Delong to pay $5,000 in fines, $2,718.36 in restitution for the cow elk taken illegally and $163 in court costs. The court also stripped Delong of hunting privileges for three years and probated his 60-day jail sentence. The court judgment was Martin County’s largest ever handed down for illegal elk hunting and commercial guide services.

The prosecution resulted from a months-long investigation by members of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ Special Investigations Unit and conservation officers in the department’s Seventh District.

“Kentucky’s elk herd has grown into the nation’s largest east of the Rocky Mountains,” said Law Enforcement Division Director Col. Rodney Coffey. “We will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our restoration of free-ranging wild elk to east Kentucky this year. Our elk have become a year-round economic engine to our state, and we will continue our vigorous prosecution of those who illegally pursue this great resource.”

From Fish and Wildlife Communications

 

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