Coyote photo provided by the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

The coyote is not native to Ohio but the animal does like it here. The Buckeye State, not unlike most states in the U.S., is home to a significant number of the predators.

“At one time the population was on the rise, but currently is at a stable plateau,” said Chelsea Herrick, a communications specialist for the Wildlife Division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The Division will have a public meeting on coyotes in Athens this Thursday.

“We chose to offer a coyote hunting and trapping seminar because of the public’s growing interest and concern about Ohio’s coyote population,” said Herrick. “A short seminar is more fitting for an audience that wants to learn about harvesting coyotes, and in addition we hope to address concerns from the general public living throughout southeast Ohio.”

Herrick will host the event, which will held from 6-8:30 p.m., Jan. 12, at the Division of Wildlife offices at 360 E. State St. in Athens. She has lined up four speakers.

According to a news release, Ryan Harris, assistant wildlife management supervisor, will talk about life history, diet and behavior of coyotes. Allen Patton, state wildlife officer for Athens County, will talk about laws pertaining to hunting and trapping coyotes. John Sisson, wildlife research technician, will talk about trapping for coyotes. And Mike Rex, an avid coyote hunter, will talk about hunting and calling for coyotes.

Those who attend the seminar can also learn about coyote identification, appropriate firearms and ammunition for killing coyotes, and types of traps.

“Given the current stable population, coyotes aren’t viewed as good or bad, they are part of Ohio’s natural landscape,” said Herrick. “This species eats a lot of what hunters like to harvest, and can also conflict with farmers and the general public. We realize they create conflict, which is why we have allowed a liberal year-round season on them so we don’t stand in the way of those who do consider them a problem handling it.”

The event is free but pre-registration is required as seating is limited. Interested citizens can reserve a spot by calling 740-589-9930.

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