NEW YORK (WETM) – The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation said that people will probably be seeing more coyotes in the next few months, so the department offered a list of tips should you or your kids come face-to-face with the wild dogs.

Coyotes are just about everywhere, the DEC said, from rural farmland, to forests, to the suburbs, and even cities. Generally, coyotes avoid people, but during the spring when raising their pups, they may get more territorial and more confrontational. In response, the DEC you should stand your ground if you find yourself in a standoff.

And if people leave trash and food scraps out, “these animals may lose their natural fear of humans, increasing the potential for close encounters or conflicts,” the DEC said. “A coyote that does not flee from people should be considered dangerous.”

Here’s what the department says to do to help prevent dangerous interactions with coyotes:

  • Never feed coyotes.
  • Do not leave food outside. Pet food and garbage attract coyotes and other wildlife and increase risks to people and pets. DEC encourages people to:
  • Feed pets indoors.
  • Prevent access to garbage.
  • Fence or enclose compost piles.
  • Eliminate the availability of birdseed. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes.
  • Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets. If you see a coyote, be aggressive in behavior, stand tall and hold arms up or out to look as large as possible. If a coyote lingers for too long, make loud noises, wave arms and throw sticks and stones.
  • Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable.
  • Fence yards to deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level and taller than four feet.
  • Remove brush and tall grass from around homes to reduce protective cover for coyotes as they are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide.
  • Ask neighbors to follow these steps to prevent coyote conflicts.

Anyone who sees coyotes again and again that don’t seem afraid of people should contact their regional DEC wildlife office. If it’s an emergency or a dangerous situation, call police.