How to deal with problem Coyote in Connecticut

Coyote (Eastern coyote)


Although the coyote is currently found throughout almost all of North America, it is a relatively new inhabitant of regions east of the Mississippi. Incredibly adaptable, coyotes are found in almost every habitat type, even in our most urban areas. Their color, size and appearance varies across the range, but they are usually light gray to brownish-yellow with a light gray to cream-colored belly. Adult males in the northeastern U.S. typically weigh 40-45 pounds and females average 30-35 pounds. Coyotes are social animals and commonly yip, bark, and howl to communicate; however, urban dwelling coyotes tend to be quieter. They are most active at night and in early morning. They use sheltered areas such as burrows, hollow trees, rock crevices, and thick underbrush, as well as spaces under sheds and decks, as dens and resting areas.

Coyotes are primarily carnivorous, but also opportunistic. Their diet tends to reflect the most abundant prey species in their area and commonly includes small rodents, rabbits, carrion, deer, waterfowl, livestock, poultry and sometimes free-ranging pets. Seasonally they eat fruit and berries. They are also scavengers and will eat carrion of large animals like deer. In populated areas they also eat garbage and pet food. Attacks on small dogs and cats are uncommon but sometimes occur, primarily in areas where coyotes have become habituated to humans.Attacks on people are rare but increasing in areas where coyotes are being fed or are accustomed to humans. Although coyotes are susceptible to rabies, documented reports of rabid coyotes are uncommon in comparison to other canid species.

Coyotes that have been fed, particularly in neighborhoods, parks, and campgrounds, pose the greatest risk of attacking people. Coyotes living in populated areas get used to people, and are drawn to yards by pets, pet food, garbage and potential denning sites. This proximity causes occasional attacks on humans – including, in relatively rare instances, predatory attacks on small children. Preventing conflicts requires increasing awareness of local coyote activity, protecting pets, eliminating food and habitat and, whenever possible, hazing coyotes that encroach into yards and parks .

How to avoid conflicts with coyotes:

  • Do not feed coyotes
  • Do not let pets run loose or unattended
  • Do not run from a coyote
  • Report aggressive or fearless coyotes immediately
  • Do not create conflict - If a coyote is attempting to avoid humans and pets, do not seek out opportunities to haze or aggravate the animal

Connecticut - Report Coyotes

To report coyote problems and for control information: 

  • Your local animal control office
  • Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection - Wildlife Division: (860) 424-3011

To report animals that are behaving abnormally or are posing an immediate public threat:

  • Your local police department
  • Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Emergency Dispatch Office (24 hrs.): (860) 424-3333

Laws and regulations to be aware of

Regulations for Connecticut

Trapping and shooting general information for homeowners

Outside of regulated seasons, homeowners are strictly prohibited from trapping and shooting wildlife, unless the animal has been causing property damage or is an obvious threat to public health and safety. If trapping and/or shooting is undertaken under these circumstances, homeowners must still comply with the state’s regulated season trapping laws, which regulate trap types and sizes, baits and lures, location and placement, and how often traps must be checked  Homeowners must also comply with regulated season firearms laws, which regulate allowable weapons and ammunition, and discharge and shooting times.  Finally, homeowners must comply with all state and local firearms regulations and restrictions, and any other applicable local ordinances.  For regulated season trapping and shooting regulations and any other information on the regulated season, see the CT Hunting and Trapping Guide.  Please see the CT Law Library for information on state firearms regulations. Contact your municipality for information on local firearms restrictions and other applicable local ordinances.

Regulated trapping season

There is a regulated season for this species during which it may be trapped by a licensed trapper.  If hiring a contractor to trap any animal from your property, you should ask to see licenses and/or permits before any trapping activity begins.  Please contact the DEEP Wildlife Division at (860) 424-3011 or see the CT Hunting and Trapping Guide for more information.

Regulated hunting season

In Connecticut, there is a legal hunting season for this species.  Shooting may only be done by a licensed hunter or the landowner of the property, and hunters must follow all laws and regulations regarding allowable weapons and ammunition.  Check the CT Hunting and Trapping Guide for information on season dates and required permits, and for any special conditions.

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.