I received a telephone call recently from a local resident because he had read the article I featured about the Whitetail deer becoming a nuisance and causing problems by infiltrating yards and becoming a traffic hazard as they crossed roadways in the city limits. I made a few recommendations to the concerned residents.

This gentleman had a complaint and asked if I had any suggestions for him and his neighbors. He was concerned about the ever-increasing sightings of coyotes within the urban and suburban areas of Kokomo. He was concerned about personal safety and the safety of his pets.

To begin with, it is not uncommon to observe coyotes within the city limits and suburbs. I know I have resided in Galveston at virtually the west end of town for 38 years, and during that time, I have observed no more than 10 coyotes, but I have heard them countless times in the field directly behind my house. I have never had any cause for alarm, and none of my family members or pets have ever been bothered.

During this time of year, more coyotes are being observed because February and March make up the prime mating season. So coyotes are constantly on the move and are more apt to be seen in the open areas during the daylight hours. With the snow on the ground, their brownish/gray coat easily can be detected, especially when they are in motion. They are also opportunistic feeders and adapt easy to their surroundings. Basically, any available food source will be attractive to them. Small woodlots, corridors, and open fields become suitable areas for them. Many of the rodents they normally field are hibernating, and food is scarce so they are compelled to search closer to human habitat.

I visited the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Web site and obtained some information from the DNR and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some of their advice might be helpful to residents dealing with the same situation of coyotes.

• Do not feed the coyotes.

• Do not allow pets to run free.

• Provide secure nighttime housing for pets.

• Feed pets indoors when possible. Pick up leftovers, if you feed them outdoors.

• Store pet and livestock feed where it is inaccessible to wildlife.

• Eliminate outside water bowls and other artificial water sources whenever possible.

• Position bird feeders in a location that is less likely to attract small animals or bring indoors at night.

• Do not discard edible garbage where coyotes can get to it.

• Secure garbage containers.

Coyotes are wild animals and are protected by Indiana law. The DNR is required to provide protection, care, management, survival, and regulation of wild animal populations. The DNR controls the population of coyotes primarily by a regulated hunting and trapping season which runs from Oct. 15 through March 15. A hunting or trapping license is required, unless the individual is hunting or trapping on land he/she owns. In addition, Indiana law allows landowners, or a person with written permission of a landowner, to take coyotes year ’round on private property.

If you encounter coyotes close to your home, discourage them by shouting loudly, making loud noises, or even throwing rocks. It is not advisable to corner a coyote. Always allow the coyote a route for escape. Under most conditions, a coyote will depart quickly if it sees, hears, or smells your presence.

I have had numerous coyote encounters while deer hunting, and I have never been threatened. I have managed to dispatch quite a number of them, but, in most situations, they catch my scent or they detect my movement and turn tail and run.

I also suggest you visit www.dnr.IN.gov and click on the "Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife" icon or go to:www.in.dnr/fishwild/2351.htm for more information.

Goose problem

Timing could not have been more perfect. Recently, I was having a discussion with a local waterfront property owner and he was explaining to me that he is getting rather aggravated with being infiltrated with Canadian geese. He was telling me when his family first moved in, they thought seeing all the geese was fun but shortly after that, the overpopulation really got out of hand. He was concerned about health hazards, property damage and water quality. Well Mr. Porter, I just received an email from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources that you, and many others MIGHT be interested in.

Indiana property owners fed up with destructive flocks of Canadian gesse can learn how to control the birds at upcoming seminars hosted by state wildlife biologists. The Department of Natural Resources will be conducting six seminars in March and will be discussingthe bird's basic biology and methods to lessen their damage to property and yards.

These free classes will also include demonstrations of proper ways to destroy the bird's eggs and nests. Officials say that IF the property owners do not follow the correct methods, female geese will just lay another batch of eggs.

 The DNR says large numbers of geese can degrade water quality and cause erosion.

The six seminars will be held March 8-24 in Clarksville, Crown Point, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Muncie and North Liberty. For mopre information with dates, locations and address, visit the DNR website at:  www:in.gov/dnr or email: dnrnews@dnr.in.gov