PERRYSBURG — Dave Parks was walking in his backyard on Roachton Road earlier this month when he noticed
Among a group of deer standing along the creek-line on his property was a deer carcass.
No doubt in his mind, Parks said — that was the work of coyotes.
“They ate the back end out of the deer,” took a leg and other parts, leaving the remains there.
“That’s the first one I’ve seen in 20 years” like that.
Parks said that he’s heard other stories about somewhat more violent recent activity by coyotes,
including a few attacks on dogs in the area, among them one along Eckel Junction Road.
“They’re always some coyotes around,” said Parks. “I’ve killed a couple right behind my house. We just
notice them more this time of year.”
Despite reports like these, coyote activity in Wood County doesn’t seem to be on the rise, according to
Jeff Studer, animal control officer for the Perrysburg Police Division, said he was not aware of the
incidents Parks mentioned, but indicated coyote activity in the Perrysburg area — which has seen ups and
downs in recent years — remains stable, without any significant increase or decrease.
The city in past years received reports of eight to 10 coyote sightings a year. The number fluctuates.
Jim Witter, naturalist at the W.W. Knight Nature Preserve on White Road, said they have not had any
sightings of the animals, but “we do have evidence, mainly in the form of scat, and we know they’re
“Generally they stay out of the way” of people, he said.
Sightings in Bowling Green are rare, said Tom Sieving, animal control officer for the Bowling Green
“We get a couple every once in a while,” he said. “The last we had reported was, I think, over at
Conneaut School about a month ago.”
“I know they follow Sand Ridge and they’ve got a large territory,” coming into the city, and then
He said that there have been no reports of coyotes going after pets in the city, but that whenever a
report of a missing pet comes in, there is the possibility that coyotes are responsible.
In an interview earlier this year, Chris Gajewicz, natural resources coordinator for Bowling Green Parks
and Recreation, said that the animals are known to roam the Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve —
with well-picked-over deer carcasses as the proof.
“They’ve been in the area for decades,” said John Windau, of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Though the
animals have been reported in every county of the state, “coyotes were not native to Ohio. Before
settlement, they were found west of the Mississippi River. And when we cleared the land, and got rid of
predators like wolves that compete with coyotes, we created a perfect environment. They’re an open-field
kind of animal.”
Coyotes, Windau said, are “very adaptive. They tolerate a lot of human interaction, but they tend to
become more nocturnal,” so they’re easy for people to miss. He said there are even populations of the
solitary creatures living in metropolises like Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago.
Coyotes’ main food, Windau said, are small mammals like mice and rats, but they’ve been known to attack
chicken, sheep and small dogs or cats. They are also known to clean up already dead animals, like
“I guess we just recommend that if you live in an area where there are coyotes, watch your pet and don’t
leave it chained out at night.”
He also said that food should not be left outside, as that can attract the animals.