Coyotes, Woyotes, Coywolves, Oh My!

Information from Education Outreach Specialist Rachel Woodworth of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

This time of year, there is always a lot of misinformation about coyotes, “coywolves,” and now “woyotes.” During the winter months, coyotes’ fur is thicker, giving them a larger appearance. There are no records of “coywolves” or “woyotes” in Indiana. 

  • Coyotes are native wildlife to Indiana with records going back to 1860 of their presences
  • There are no records of “coywolves” or “woyotes” in Indiana.  There is a lot of misinformation around the term “coywolf” and “woyote”, but in the Midwest, it is generally a term that is incorrectly applied to coyotes.
  • There are currently no known wolf populations in Indiana.
  • Hybridization is rare and can only be determined by genetic testing. Individual wildlife can vary, just as individual people vary, so hybridization should not be assumed because of appearance.
  • If a person encounters a coyote, they should make themselves look big, yell, make noise, and throw small rocks, sticks, or tennis balls if available. Dogs should be leashed to reduce encounters with wildlife like coyotes, and kept close to you if a coyote is seen nearby. Never corner a coyote.
  • Landowners or lessees may remove coyotes causing damage or being a nuisance on their own property, without a permit from the DNR. More information on nuisance wildlife may be found on the nuisance wildlife page: wildlife.in.gov/2351.htm
  • For information on coyotes visit:  wildlife.in.gov/5688.htm
  • Information on telling the difference between wolves and coyotes may be found on the DNR’s wolf page: wildlife.in.gov/9576.htm

Factsheet Coyote (PDF of the above graphic)