Make sure your pets, property aren’t taken over by wildlife this winter, DCNR says

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MERIDIANVILLE, Ala. — The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says smaller towns with houses that reside close to wooden areas or the mountains are especially prone to animals encroaching, this winter season.

“It’s important that homeowners take steps to try to minimize these animals from entering their property and causing nuisance problems, property damage, or even eating your pets,” DCNR biologist Marianne Hudson said.

Since cold temperatures in north Alabama have persisted, Hudson said, families especially in newer subdivisions bordering forests and open fields should be aware that coyotes, bobcats and others will want to get more calories for warmth, oftentimes bringing them close to homes.

Hudson advises not to leave out pet food or garbage unless it’s about to be picked up that morning. That also means any pets like small dogs or cats left outside will especially be put at risk.

“Landowners should know they are legally allowed to hunt coyotes and bobcats during daylight hours all year long. And there is no bag limit on those animals. So as long as you are in an area where you can legally hunt and not within city limits where you can’t shoot, landowners are allowed to take those predators off their properties with lethal means,” Hudson said.

Black bears will commonly be out and about as well since they do not hibernate this far south, Hudson said.

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