DEC tips to avoid coyote conflicts

A coyote runs across state Route 3 just outside of Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks on Sept. 20, 2010. (Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)

The state Department of Environmental Conservation says that as temperatures warm, coyotes will increasingly be on the lookout for den sites and territories.

In a press release, the DEC said the typically shy eastern coyote can become more bold if it begins to associate people with food. The department recommends people not feed coyotes, keep garbage and compost secure and take bird feeders down.

Cats and small dogs should also not be left outside unattended, especially at sunset and during the night.

The department says that only a handful of coyote attacks happen each year nationwide but recommends that people act aggressively and call the local police or DEC wildlife office if coyotes appear repeatedly or become hostile.