Increase in coyote sightings expected through July
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reports sightings of coyotes all year round, but the number of sightings increases in May, June, and early July.
Experts at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center tell Channel 3 more sightings will be up after the recent heat wave.
It's rare to see a coyote during the day, though.
"They're active more at dusk and dawn," Tish Gailmard, the Director of Wildlife with Riding Reflection said. "So they are following really cooler times anyway, and that's when their prey items are more active also."
Mark McKnight believes the sightings will be on the rise.
"We're growing so fast, we're starting to inhabit the areas that they would normally be inhabiting, and so people are seeing them more often because people are moving into their habitat," McKnight said.
April is the start of breeding season. Wildlife experts tell Channel 3, the number of sightings rises during breeding season.
"When they are seen more, people think, right away their population has increased, and really it's just a reflection of the time of year," Mimi Barnes with TWRA explained.
Barnes says pups stay with their parents for six months, which means more sightings through the summer months, and because coyotes become more territorial when pups are being born, typically more sightings also mean more attacks.
Gailmard says if a coyote attacks pets or livestock, she says it's best to scare the coyote away.
"Science has proven that if you kill coyotes, they will actually have larger litters to repopulate," Gailmard added.
She suggests using a water hose from a distance, bright lights or loud music to scare them.
Amazon sells a noise machine called a Yard Sentinel. It covers 5,000 square feet and makes a noise if a coyote approaches. A light system called PredatorGuard is a solar-powered red blinking light. Placing this within eye's reach of the coyote around two feet can keep a coyote away.