Walker neighborhood on edge over coyote sightings

Posted at 9:05 PM, Sep 30, 2014

WALKER, Mich. -- Some residents in Walker are on edge after several coyote sightings over the past couple of weeks.  The most recent one was this weekend, in broad daylight.

Nick Surman, 20, posted signs in the area, warning his neighbors of what he believes is a coyote roaming the Alpine Estates neighborhood.

While wildlife officials said that a coyote wouldn't typically come into physical contact with someone, it's enough to make some people out here extra cautious.

Surman said that he first spotted what he calls a coyote in his Walker neighborhood on Sept. 20.

"We were weighing out the differences between a fox and a coyote. I even pulled it up on Google actually, and looked at a picture of one. I've seen them up north before being from Newaygo, and we both were like, yes it's a coyote," said Surman.

The Department of Natural Resources said that coyotes can often make their way into neighborhoods, looking for food out of trash cans, and pet food that is left outside.

Steve and Ann Wierzbicki have lived in the Alpine Estates neighborhood for roughly a decade.

"Wild turkeys, we've had deer, a million rabbits, thousand of squirrels, no coyotes," Ann said.

While the two haven't spotted the possible coyote yet, they're on the look-out.

"I hope we can catch him really soon because we come out walking every morning and in the morning we are not quite awake, so we thought we would come looking for him tonight, just in case he might be out," Ann said.

The DNR said that a property owner is allowed to shoot a wild animal if they are an immediate threat, but it's important to know that your local firearm ordinance will always supersede that.

In Walker, police said that it would be illegal to shoot a gun within city limits, but said that if it was a case of self defense against a dangerous wild animal,  the department would look at all the evidence before deciding if the shooter would be charged with a crime.