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August Is Young Coyotes' Time To Hunt And Claim Territory

Severe drought conditions across Western states are contributing to a food shortage that's driving coyotes out of their dens and into homeowners' backyards this summer.

But Bill Andres with the Arizona Game and Fish Department says locally, their office has had no more coyote encounter reports than last year.

However, he said August is typically when coyote families kick their offspring out of the dens for their first hunting expeditions.

He warned that this is the time when the juvenile coyote is testing itself.

"The coyote is taking his cues from you," he explained when a coyote does not move upon an encounter.

The young coyote is trying to establish its new territory, so it's important not to turn your back from it when you do encounter one.

Andres said the coyote wants to know, "Are you more aggressive than the coyote, are you bigger, are you scarier than the coyote? If you can convince him you're the boss, the coyote will go away."

Coyotes will gravitate to areas where there is food waste.

Besides dog food bowls, citrus fruit from trees, Andres added, "Cat food, an overturned garbage can, an overfilled bird feeder...that's what attracts rabbits, which attract coyotes."

Small dogs are easy targets, but Andres warned so are larger dogs roaming off leash or left unattended in a backyard.

"Coyotes instinctively do not like dogs," he said, "and they will attack a dog even if it's bigger than them simply because they don't like dogs."

He recommends steering clear of paths where coyotes can lie in wait in nearby bushes.

And, if a coyote tries to attack, he said, "Pick up your dog if it's small enough. And, make a lot of noise," to establish who is in charge.

Waving a large walking stick or blowing a whistle or horn at the coyote is also recommended if a coyote does not run away.

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Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.