Coyotes live, hunt and mate in Oakville, and many other urban residential areas, year-long and rarely present risk or danger to the public. However, their increased presence has triggered the development of new procedures and legislative responses to educate and protect citizens. For example, town officials have shared that the act of “hazing” is effective in scaring away a coyote if encountered either on your property or other public areas such as parks or trails. Hazing includes physical actions of aggression and dominance, such as making loud verbal or physical noises like clapping, and making yourself appear bigger or waving your arms. If “hazing” becomes a widespread procedure used by Oakville residents, it will ensure the safety of people and their pets.
Coyotes are most visible during the winter, spring and early summer seasons; winter is known as the coyote mating season, and spring/summer are the “pupping” season. During these months coyotes can be seen in residential neighborhoods, often during the day or evening, as they are either looking for a mate or defending the territory surrounding their den. Therefore, interactions between humans, pets, and coyotes increase during this time, and so does the risk of a negative or aggressive situation.
Precautions for deterring coyotes from your property include ensuring there is no food or garbage nearby, supervising and cleaning up after pets, and removing all grass, wood, or bushes that could potentially serve as a den. Further, when out in public ensure that all dogs are kept on a leash, and if you encounter a coyote or pups that you back away slowly instead of turning your back or running. The town of Oakville has created a coyote reporting form and sightings map to maintain community safety, in addition to the proper treatment of coyotes through partnership with the Humane Society.