NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Coyote sightings are causing concern in Madison, and despite reports of people using firearms to scare them away, officials say the best weapon is awareness.
It’s become part of John Eidson’s daily routine–checking outside cameras, checking for something trying to sneak through his back gate.
One fall night he learned coyotes were the issue.
“I can’t believe there’s not any on here from last night,” he noted, looking through Tuesday’s clips. “There’s plenty. I mean you can hear them every night.”
Turns out coyote sightings are up in Madison. A Facebook post by Metro police on Monday warned, “Please also be aware of gun safety in your area as we are getting reports of people ‘putting down’ these animals.”
The advice is echoed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
“For the most part, as far as I know, you can’t fire a rifle or a pistol in city limits,” said Barry Cross with TWRA. “If you feel like you do have a problem with coyotes, you want to keep your small animals in a pen.”
“You want to keep the food inside when you’re not feeding your animal,” urged Eidson.
Wildlife officials agree. Anyone that should spot a coyote should be loud and be intimidating.
“If a coyote is standing in your yard,” explained Cross. “He’s looking at you, he’s not running away, you need to scare that animal off.”
“If they see you, they run. I’ve never seen an aggressive coyote,” said Eidson.
Often times, if the right coyote precautions are not taken, dinner may be the family pet.
“Your cats, your small dogs, they may start disappearing,” said Cross. “That’s when you know you’ve got a coyote problem.”
While the sightings may be concerning, TWRA officials remind everyone that coyote attacks on humans are “extremely rare.”