Being surrounded by forest preserves adds great character to Northfield; however, with that comes wildlife including coyotes. The Village occasionally receives complaints regarding coyotes, especially when they encounter a dog or cat. The Village does not provide coyote trapping services but works closely with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to monitor the coyote population.
The coyote’s courtship and mating season lasts through January, February and March each year. Coyotes travel long distances to find a mate and may even travel to your neighborhood. They can make their den in brush piles or holes under homes or garages.
The gestation period for coyotes is two months. Female coyotes give birth to four to nine pups in the early spring. As the pups are weaned, the coyote parents’ hunting is intensified for all the new mouths to feed. Once the pups reach five or six weeks of age, they will begin venturing outside the den.
Coyotes have been in the Northfield area for many years. They are an adaptable species and their typical of diet of raccoon, skunk, opossum, rabbit, mice, duck and geese can sometimes include small dogs and cats.
It is up to you to prevent coyotes from becoming a nuisance in your yard! To minimize negative coyote incidents:
- Do not attempt to feed or pet coyotes
- Do not leave small children or pets outside unattended
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around your home
- Be aware that fences do not prevent coyotes from entering yards because they can jump over or dig under them
- Store trash in tightly closed containers that cannot tip over
Most coyotes are non-aggressive and are just passing through; others are more aggressive and can challenge pets. If you encounter a coyote that is aggressive toward you or any other person please contact the Police Department at 847-446-2131, and they can provide you with information for a private trapper to assist you with the problem.