After two coyote encounters in two days during the weekend one Huron Township resident has put out a call to rid his housing development of the toothy beasts.
Don Sieg lives on the edge of a wildlife preserve where manicured grass meets rough brown weeds at 1019 Eagle Ridge Drive. To the east of his lawn is a large grass field with stands of trees on its northern and southern borders. A stream flows through the middle. It’s perfect habitat for coyotes.
While finishing up some lawn work toward sunset Friday, he thought he could see two pairs of eyes staring at him from the field. Sieg stared hard at the glinting orbs for a couple of seconds, not sure whether his eyes were playing tricks.
He dropped a tool to the ground and broke off the gaze to pick it back up.
When he looked back up, there were two coyotes watching him from about 25 feet away.
Not sure what to do, he made a dash for the garage. The wild dogs high-tailed it into the field.
When he got inside he called police, but they deferred questions to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. There, a wildlife officer told him he could try to trap or shoot the animals on his property.
“I want someone to do something about this,” he said, adding that he’d prefer not to have to don hunting gear to kill the animals himself.
Saturday found Sieg outside buttoning up his house for the winter. As he rounded the corner of his house he stumbled on a still coyote intently watching children play across the street, Sieg said.
The animal found its cover had been blown and it bolted into the heart of the housing development.
“It ran right by the kids,” he said. “They didn’t even see it.”
He said he’s not the only one who has seen the devils hanging around the edge of the development.
“One of my neighbors told me they saw a pack of five chasing down a deer in his lawn,” Sieg said. “I figure if coyotes are brave enough to try to take down a deer, what’s the difference between that and attacking kids?”
Just across a suburban strip of grass lives David Miller. Miller is an avid hunter and doesn’t see what the fuss is all about.
“They’ve been around since May,” Miller said. “I’m not too worried about them.”
Miller told Sieg he should only be worried if he sees a lone coyote staggering about and otherwise acting strange — an indication that it may have rabies.
Department of Natural Resources wildlife officer Paul Kurfis agreed with Miller.
He said it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on the animals, but there’s no reason to be afraid for neighborhood children.
“That coyote may have been watching, but he surely wasn’t eyeballing those kids trying to pick out which would make the best meal,” Kurfis said.
But, if someone is dead set on eradicating the coyotes from his field, it is open season for hunting and trapping year round.
“I’m not sure it would do any good,” Kurfis concluded. “They’ve been hunted, trapped and poisoned for hundreds of years, and they’re still around.”
Undaunted, Siegs said he was going to take the issue to his homeowner’s association.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
•If the coyote is on your land, you can legally shoot or trap it without permits or licenses. If you live within city limits remember to consult ordinances before shooting a gun. If the coyote is off your property, you need hunting and trapping licenses.
•Hire a professional trapper. Since the 19th century, however, there aren’t many around.
•Nothing. Wildlife officers say coyotes are like any other animal — they’re more afraid of you than you are of them.