Photo of a coyote

February Begins A Peak Period For Coyote Activity

Released February 10, 2023 05:04 PM
It may come as a surprise to some Alpharetta residents that coyotes are a common sight around the community and can be found throughout Metro Atlanta.  The animals, which are generally shy and pose little danger to people, are extremely adaptable and can thrive in almost any environment; provided there is food, water, and shelter to be found.  With numerous wooded areas and streams in the area, Alpharetta is a perfect habitat for coyotes.

Early February through March is the primary breeding season for coyotes, so the animals are becoming very active now.  The second highly active time for coyotes is early September to January, as pups born this year have achieved an age at which they begin to hunt and seek their own territory.  During both periods, residents are more likely to see the animals and their high-pitched yipping, yowling, and barking become common evening sounds.

Contrary to popular misconception, coyotes are not pack animals.  They are typically solitary outside of a period from their birth around April until early Fall when young pups leave their mothers.

Because coyotes are seldom a threat to human safety, the City of Alpharetta does not support or endorse coyote eradication programs and discourages residents from hiring professional trappers unless an animal has been observed to appear aggressive. Such measures do not have a lasting effect, as other coyotes will soon move into the area seeking the same food, water, and shelter that attracted any who may be removed.

While the animals are typically not a threat to people, it is important that residents not encourage interaction with the animals and that steps are taken to not provide coyotes with food sources. Coyotes are animals of opportunity, so they will forage through garbage, eat pet food left outside, and will attack small pets that are left unattended, even within fenced yards. Coyotes are amazingly intelligent and can easily find ways to get inside fenced areas if they see potential food or other reasons to get inside.

Coyotes are a natural part of our environment and serve a very useful purpose, controlling the population of small animals and maintaining a balance in their habitat. The best thing that we can do as residents is learn to safely coexist by not encouraging human interaction, not providing them with food sources, and enjoying the occasional coyote sighting from a safe distance.

For more information, download the Georgia Department of Natural Resources coyote fact sheet at