Canton Police Report Increase in Coyote Sightings

State DNR officials say coyote sightings can increase during breeding period.

There has been an increase in coyote sightings in Canton in recent weeks, according to police officials.

According to Tim Payne from the Wildlife Division of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources, however, an increased coyote presence in suburban areas does not necessarily signal a problem.

While coyotes often are associated with the wilderness of northern Michigan, coyotes can thrive in urban and suburban areas, Payne said. Because of an abundance of small rodents and, in warmer months, vegetables growing in gardens, coyotes often occupy the same spaces as humans.  

The migration to Metro Detroit isn't necessarily coming from the north, either.

"We get coyotes moving from Ohio and Indiana to southern Michigan," Payne said. He said Metro Detroit started to see an increased presence by coyotes about 15 years ago, and that such increases often happen in cycles without any specific cause. 

"It isn't new, but it might be new to people in that area," he said. 

Payne chalked up the recent sightings to timing; Breeding season for coyotes runs from January through March.

While Payne said coyotes pose little risk to humans, small pets and livestock can be susceptible to coyote attacks.

If a coyote does pose a threat, though, Payne says Michigan's laws allow the animal to be killed. However, he says such problems can be rare.

"We want people to live with wildlife and enjoy coyotes," Payne said. "Most of the time they are not a problem."

If You Encounter a Coyote

To assist in minimizing a potential conflict with a coyote:

  • Never approach or touch a coyote
  • Never intentionally feed a coyote
  • Eliminate all outside food sources, especially pet food
  • Put garbage out the morning of pick-up
  • Clear out wood and brush piles; they are a habitat for mice and may attract coyotes
  • Do not allow pets to roam free when coyotes are present—consider keeping pets indoors or accompany them outside, especially at night

Because residents share the community with wild animals, a coyote sighting should not automatically be considered a cause for concern.

“If residents feel they are in danger of a coyote, or if they observe a coyote in obvious distress, they should contact the police department,” Canton Special Service Lt. Deb Newsome said. “Otherwise, residents are encouraged to follow the tips provided to minimize interaction with wildlife.”

Reports of a coyote in distress or causing a threat can be called in to Canton Public Safety’s non-emergency line at (734) 394-5400. Emergency situations should always be called in through 9-1-1.

This story was updated at 4:33 p.m. on Feb. 8 to add information from Michigan's Department of Natural Resources.

If you've had a coyote sighting in your area, tell us where in the comments below:

Diana Ahnen February 10, 2013 at 03:50 PM
It's Kinda Hard To B Living Around A Viscious Animal, And To B Considered Wild! We Need To B Safe and So Do Our Pets!! I Have An Outdoor Cat, And We've Had Coyotes right Here in Wixom On The Property, And We Need To Feel Safe Around These Creatures And I Will Shoot If One It Try's To Hurt My Animal Or Anything around Me!
Aaron February 14, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Your comment is absolute rubbish and is nearly unreadable. Why do you capitalize every single word? Is it that much harder to type "be" instead of B?
Paul Schulz February 14, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Several years ago I had a coyote in my back yard in Green Meadows in Plymouth Township, and it engaged my Rottweiler while it was feasting on a cat. It did not shy away, and was very aggressive. After getting a hold of my dog, my neighbor who works within law enforcement, who was awoken by the disturbance shot the Coyote several times, killing it. Despite what the DNR wants you to believe, Coyotes in residential areas can be very dangerous to small children and pets. If a coyote causes a threat in any of our residential areas it should be shot, problem solved, plain and simple. Then it will not pose a threat to the habitat that is now a community residential area. Coyotes are not endangered at all... They are rodents. Just in the past year I have several fairly large coyotes wandering throughout the creek to the rear of Lee's chicken in Plymouth. Even seen a few foxes. In Salem and Superior near many farms, and in more wide open spaces I have seen Coyote running in small packs... If they are around your neighborhood, they have a place they are becoming accustomed to, and will be breeding. Many mistake these wild animals, thinking they are a lost dog. Be aware, if there have been sightings, near you keep an eye on your small children and pets. It would probably be rare, but these animals can be dangerous. They serve no purpose in highly dense residential areas.
Bob Doroshewitz April 10, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Last night, a coyote attacked and killed a family dog in the area of Ridge and Powell in Plymouth Township. Please take extra caution when your pets are outside.


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