I arrived at my home in the city limits of Quincy last week around 9:30 p.m. and to my surprise there stood a small German Shepherd in my driveway. A closer look made it obvious I was wrong and that it was actually a coyote. It ran off once I pulled into the driveway. Wildlife experts are warning people in the Midwest to be aware that this is the time of year when female coyotes begin to care for their pups in dens they have built.

Some of these den areas maybe relatively close to walking areas and people are being advised to not let their small pets wander off of their leashes for fear they may encounter a protective coyote mother which may feel threatened.

Most coyotes will approach people from time to time to satisfy their curiosity but they usually are not the aggressor and can be scared off easily by yelling at them or waving your arms at them.

According to these experts the next few weeks will be the peak time of concern for small animals around coyotes although smaller animals will be preyed upon by coyotes anytime of the year.