BUFFALO GAP, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As peak coyote mating season arrives, Big Country residents may see coyotes wandering around the neighborhood or even in a backyard. It is common around late February to see these animals more as they are moving around to find mates.

Director of Big Country Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Jennifer Kleinpeter takes in injured wild animals for medical care and releases them back into the wild. Recently, Kleinpeter has received multiple calls about coyote sightings.

“We are in the peak of coyote breeding season and it’s usually around this time of year until early summer,” said Kleinpeter.

She added to those who have coyote problems with livestock or pets, harming the animal can potentially increase the coyote population.

“People think if they get rid of the problem, it fixes the problem. In fact, it makes the problem much more severe. These animals, in turn, breed again and produce multiple litters because of this hierarchy change,” Kleinpeter shared.

She explained people can deter coyotes by cutting off food and water sources, plus trimming greenery that can be potential hiding spots for the coyotes.

“Don’t leave anything out where that will attract a coyote,” Kleinpeter advised. “If you have a small breed dog, they will prey upon it. It’s not common but it does happen, so when you’re taking your animals out to go to the restroom, bring them out on a leash, walk them, then bring them back inside.”

She added to watch out for animals while driving, but remember, they are more afraid of us than we are of them.