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      Coyotes raising concerns for pet owners

      People living on Old Mission Peninsula have noticed howling at night and say coyotes have moved into the neighborhood.

      Some people are worried about the safety of their pets on their own property.

      The Department of Natural Resources says a coyote might consider a dog as competition, but its fear of humans would typically keep it at bay.

      The constant howling, however, is enough to keep folks in the area on edge.

      â??We love this area for being a part of nature and having the animals, but it's just a little disconcerting having coyotes on the same property especially with dogs,â?? said Rachel Flynn who lives on Old Mission Peninsula.

      Flynn and her dog Monkey go for walks regularly at her house on the peninsula, but recently they've had to switch things up.

      â??During the day, I don't usually put her on a leash, but that's changed since we started hearing them,â?? said Flynn.

      A few days earlier, Monkey and her dog walker came across a coyote on a trail.

      â??She was really good. She backed up she was on the leash and the coyote ended up heading back into the woods,â?? explained Flynn.

      Other people in the neighborhood have noticed a change in the animals on the peninsula.

      â??Iâ??ve heard something,â?? said Dave Cowperthwaite who has lived on the peninsula for 28 years. â??I don't know what a coyote sounds like, but there have been sounds coming up from up that direction.â??

      Although residents have noticed the noise, they haven't filed any complaints or concerns with the department of natural resources.

      â??People are usually concerned because they've seen a coyote probably during the day or heard them near their home at night,â?? said Steve Griffith, a wildlife biologist with the DNR. â??Just because you see a coyote during the day, doesn't mean there's something wrong.â??

      Griffith says coyotes typically hunt during dusk and dawn, and they usually stick close to swampy areas, woods, and open fields.

      For now, people on Old Mission Peninsula are choosing to respect the coyotes by keeping their distance.

      â??We are more just trying to focus on what we can do to change our lifestyles so we can share the property and both be at peace,â?? said Flynn.

      â??I have no fear right now because I've never seen one, and Iâ??ve never seen a pack. I think they're more afraid of us then we are of them,â?? said Cowperthwaite.

      The DNR says Michigan has a healthy coyote population, and that the animal is found in every county throughout the state.