• Coyote season is in effect through March, how to protect your pets

    By: Courtney Cole , Action News Jax


    Coyote mating season is here.

    That means the wild animals may now act in a more aggressive manner, as they battle for breeding ground territory.

    Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole explains the increased risk for any outdoor pets.

    Winter has arrived in Florida, which means you might start seeing more coyotes.

    That's because it's breeding season.

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    It happens once every year, between January and March, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    One neighbor in Fernandina Beach told Action News Jax Courtney Cole she just saw a coyote, as recently as November.

    "We thought it was a raggedy looking German sheppard or something like that. But it was running, running, running— right down the street. By the time I realized it was coyote, it was far enough away to where I couldn't get a picture of it,” said Connie Scott.

    One coyote can have between four to six pups, but a pup can breed when they are just 10 months old.

    "I don't like 'em, but they don't let me shoot them in the city, so what are we supposed to do?" asked Jim Shroads.

    Action News Jax has previously reported on coyote sightings in Nassau County, as well as in Duval County  (Atlantic and Neptune Beach.) 

    But they can be found in all 67 Florida counties.

    According to the FWC, coyote pups den in hollow logs, brush and burrows.

    Neighbors Cole spoke to said they believe the coyotes are venturing off from the area near the rail yard close to the Port of Fernandina—right into Downtown Fernandina.

    While some neighbors don't like them, others believe it's possible to peacefully co-exist with them.

    "Coyotes don't scare me. Probably a vicious dog would scare me more than a coyote would," Scott said.

    Action News Jax Courtney Cole found out there have been a total of 60 reports of coyote sightings, in four of our major counties, in the last six months.

    Here’s the breakdown:

    • Nassau County: 4
    • Clay County: 6
    • St. Johns County: 12
    • Duval County: 38

    FWC recommends keeping your garbage can secure and keeping your pets leashed and close by when you’re outside.

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