Coyotes are found in urban areas throughout North America, including Oakville.

Feeding wildlife is prohibited

In 2023, Council approved an amendment to the Lot Maintenance By-law prohibiting feeding wildlife and leaving food out to attract animals. Together with the Parks By-law and Property Standards By-law, the Lot Maintenance By-law bans feeding wildlife, direct and indirect, and leaving food out to attract animals across Oakville on both public and private property. 

If a person is found violating these rules, officers can issue a ticket, fining people between $300-$500. The town also has the ability to issue a court summons for more serious offenses and repeat offenders. 

Visit the Wildlife and You page to learn more 

Reducing conflicts with coyotes

Report coyote sightings and activity through our coyote reporting form. The form is compatible with mobile devices and allows users to upload pictures and video of sightings and post to social media. 

If there is an immediate risk to safety call 911. The reporting system is for informational purposes and not designed to respond to these types of calls.

Mange is circulating in some coyote populations in Oakville which has led to these animals frequenting residential neighbourhoods to seek warmth and find easy food such as birdseed and garbage. Mange is not a threat to humans or pets and does not directly lead to increased aggression. 

To request response to a coyote that you believe to be sick or injured, contact the to Oakville & Milton Humane Society for assistance

Track reported coyote sightings

Visit the coyote sightings map to learn where coyotes have been observed. 

  • This mapping reflects reported sightings and is not meant to indicate the number of coyotes present or provide a complete profile of where coyotes are present in Oakville. 
  • It does offer the town and residents with useful information on understanding where they may be more likely to encounter a coyote.

The town’s coyote hazing video explains what to do if you encounter a coyote on your property, and shows you how to haze or scare them away.

  • Practice hazing to let the coyote know they are not welcome. Appear assertive: stand tall, wave your arms, shout, clap your hands and make lots of noise.
  • Keep pets attended and on leash.
  • Do not turn your back on, or run from, a coyote.
  • If you see pups or suspect there are pups in the area or if the coyote is not easily frightened away, keep your dog on a short leash, pick up small pets and children, and back away from the area. Consider changing your route for a few weeks. The coyote may have been denning in the area and will likely move on after some time.
  • Do not leave food waste in town garbage cans in parks as this may attract rodents which may in turn attract coyotes.

If embraced by the entire community, repeated hazing ensures coyotes maintain their fear of humans and know our homes are off limits.

Hazing, also known as aversion conditioning, is an effective method used to encourage coyotes to move away and can assist in restoring their natural fear of humans.

Effects of hazing

Hazing can assist in establishing and maintaining healthy, respectful, and safe boundaries between people and wildlife. Hazing, when done correctly, can help correct unwanted coyote behaviour such as approaching people.

Coyotes tend to approach people because they have learned to associate humans with food after they've been intentionally or unintentionally fed by humans. This leads to increasingly dangerous behaviour such as approaching people, hanging around a parking lot or public space, grabbing at a bag, or hand.

How to haze

  • Stop. Keep dogs on a short leash. Pick up small dogs. Do not let your dog approach the coyote. 
  • Make yourself big. Stand tall, wave your arms above your head. Surprise gestures work best.
  • Be loud and assertive. Shout “Go Away!”, stomp your feet, clap your hands. Carry a noise maker to scare off the coyote. Some examples include:
    • an umbrella that can be opened and closed
    • a garbage bag that can be “snapped” in the air to produce a loud sound and something that is visibly unfamiliar to coyotes
    • a can of marbles or coin that can be shaken to create a loud, unfamiliar sound
    • throwing items that are available to you such are sticks or rocks, in the direction of (not at) the coyote
  • Slowly back away. Maintain eye contact and continue to be loud and assertive. Never run from a coyote (or dog).
  • Be mindful that coyotes that have never experienced humane hazing may not immediately respond. If the coyote backs away a short distance and stops or looks back at you, continue to humanely haze until the coyote has left the area.

When not to haze

It is important not to haze a sick or injured coyote. If you encounter one, please contact the Oakville & Milton Humane Society to report your observations.

Hazing should not be done near denning areas, adults with pups, or when a coyote has a food resource.

  • Never feed or leave food out for wildlife.
  • Remove all water and food sources from your yard, including birdseed and ripe/rotted fruit that has fallen to the ground. 
  • Store garbage, compost and pet food in a place wildlife cannot access.
  • Remove long grass, dead brush and wood piles. These conditions provide potential den sites for coyotes or other wild animals that attract coyotes.
  • Ensure gaps around and under decks and sheds are closed off with wire screening.
  • Use motion sensor lights.

Learn more about wildlife-proofing your property.

  • Avoid feeding pets outdoors as the smell of food may attract coyotes or other animals that they eat.
  • Always keep your pets on a leash when out for a walk unless you are in a leash-free park. This will allow for better care and control of your animal if you see a coyote. Off leash dog encounters with a coyote can contribute to increased conflict with other dogs in the community.
  • Always monitor your pets when outdoors. Particularly if you live near green spaces, ravines, and other areas where coyotes are known to frequent.
  • Keep cats indoors.

Understanding coyotes

Coyotes may be more visible during spring/early summer

Coyotes tend to be more visible during the spring – more sightings, more interactions with dogs, more shadowing (or following) of people.

The reason for the increased visibility is due to denning and pupping season, the time of year when coyotes are both more active around and protective of their den sites.

Coyote dens

While hazing usually works to frighten off a coyote, it is not recommended to conduct hazing near denning areas, adults with pups, or when a coyote is eating or has food.

The Urban Coyote Initiative states: “If a coyote seems intent on defending a certain area, particularly around pupping season, your best bet may be to alter your route to avoid conflict with a normally calm animal.”

Coyotes may be more visible in the winter

Vocalizations in the form of yipping and howling may become more common during this time as they communicate with one another as they seek a mate.

Capture and relocation of coyotes more than one kilometre away is not permitted under Ontario's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act

Research shows wildlife relocated from urban areas usually return or become a problem elsewhere.

In addition, when coyotes are hunted or lethally destroyed, remaining ones compensate by producing larger litters and expanding their range. Only in rare cases where an individual coyote is demonstrating unusual or aggressive behaviour or severe trauma or illness do animal control agencies attempt to capture coyotes.

If a coyote poses an immediate threat to safety, call 911.

Contact the Oakville and Milton Humane Society at 905-845-1551 if you encounter a coyote you believe to be sick or injured.

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