Georgia Wildlife Resources Division
2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025
The distinctive call of the coyote or “song dog” echoes across our state, from the more welcoming rural areas of wooded forests and open fields, to the less inviting environments of major cities and neighborhoods. Rapid human population growth across the state coupled with the coyote’s unique ability to adapt and thrive, contributes to today’s increased observation of coyotes in urban settings.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division encourages residents to educate themselves and take the proper precautions essential to co-existing with coyotes.
“Historically, coyotes were most commonly found on the Great Plains of North America. However, their range has expanded greatly. They are one of the most adaptable species on the planet. In fact, coyotes have adapted quite well to living in suburbs and cities like Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta,” says John W. Bowers, Wildlife Resources Division assistant chief of Game Management. “Preventive actions are the best solutions for residents to reduce the potential for human-coyote conflicts.”
Though the coyote’s principal diet typically consists of small rodents and fruit, they are characterized as opportunistic and will prey on small, domestic animals if given the opportunity. Because of this, small house pets (such as cats and small dogs), young or small livestock and poultry are vulnerable and susceptible prey. The Division advises landowners and homeowners to heed the following precautions to ensure the safety of their animals:
The Division encourages residents to also heed the additional following tips in an effort to minimize coyote habituation to humans and ensure public health and safety:
Additional solutions for managing coyotes and the problems they may cause include trapping and/or hunting. Coyotes are not native to Georgia and may be hunted/trapped year-round. The Division does NOT provide trapping services, but maintains a list of licensed trappers permitted to provide this service across the state. To access this listing, visit www.georgiawildlife.com  (Select “Permits and Other Services” and then select “Nuisance Wildlife Trapper List”).
“The Division receives numerous calls each year. Most callers report the sighting of a coyote or request coyote relocation,” says Bowers. “Relocation is not a solution. Relocating coyotes only moves the problem into someone else's backyard. It also may result in a slower death from the stress of being released into unfamiliar territory. Trapping and killing habituated or problem coyotes is the only reasonable way to keep them out of backyards.”
While coyotes closely resemble a small dog in appearance, the distinctive characteristics that set the species apart are upright, pointed ears, a pointed snout, low forehead, a mottled color fur pattern ranging from black to reddish-blonde and a bushy tail that is generally carried straight out below the level of the back.
For more information regarding coyotes, visit www.georgiawildlife.com  , contact a Wildlife Resources Division Game Management office or call (770) 918-6416.