KENTUCKY (WEHT) – The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources have provided some tips to avoid conflict with coyotes during their mating season.

Laura Palmer, wildlife biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, says, “Coyote sightings typically increase this time of year when they are mating, and through July when they are raising pups. Human conflicts can be avoided by having a basic understanding of these wild animals.”

Officials say although coyotes are generally timid and wary of people, encounters with people and pets can arise as they go about foraging, protecting their dens and feeding their pups.

A news release says as with any wild animal, coyotes can lose their fear of people if conditioned to depend on people for food, which can lead to conflict. Biologists recommend people remove all potential food sources, clean grills and remove grease traps, secure garbage and be extra vigilant with pets that may be seen as prey or competition.

Officials advise for people to plug holes under fences, block access to crawl spaces and fence around yards and gardens. The news release says pet owners should turn on outside lights and check the yard for unwanted animals before letting pets outside. Officials suggest that pets should be kenneled or supervised when outside, if possible.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says when walking a dog, use a short, non-retractable leash that is highly visible and vary the walking routine. Officials say do not let a dog chase or “play” with a coyote.