Coyote mating season peaks in Illinois: What to do if you see one

Have you seen more coyotes than usual lately? 

If so, don't be alarmed. We are at the peak of coyote mating season in Illinois. 

"Coyotes have a very narrow window of breeding, so they only breed during this six-week period," said Stanley Gehrt, a professor of wildlife ecology at Ohio State University. 

Coyotes are mating and we need to get out of their way. 

"Their hormone levels will be at their highest, so they will be a bit more active than normal and they will be more aggressive," said Gehrt. 

Gehrt urges people to stay alert, keep your pets on a leash and keep watch, especially at night. 

"Coyotes are predators, so there are times when they are a risk to our cats and our dogs, especially when people are not involved – when people are not present," he said. 

Also, don't feed your pets outside at night to avoid any lingering Coyote eyes. 

"If you do have cats, outdoor cats, you want to keep your food in. Same thing would be true for dogs," Gehrt said. 

There is something you can put outside though, to keep coyotes away. 

"Motion action lights or some people have even put portable radios outside tuned to your favorite talk radio station and move it around at night," said Gehrt. 

If a sly coyote or a family stays around, get them removed or managed professionally. 

"The best thing to do is call animal control or the county animal control agency and ask them for help," he said.