Deer have become a fact of life in St. Louis Park. While some people enjoy the presence of deer in and around their yards, others are dismayed by the costly damage to their trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables. To reduce the likelihood of extensive landscape damage from deer, try planting trees, shrubs and flowers that are less attractive to deer. Be aware, however, that a hungry deer will eat almost anything and that feeding deer in St. Louis Park is prohibited.
Today, we are in the midst of a resurgence of coyotes in urban areas, including St. Louis Park. When populations of large animals increase in densely populated areas, conflicts with humans may arise.
Does the city remove coyotes from St. Louis Park?No. The city does not remove coyotes for a number of reasons. Removal is not recommended by wildlife experts, as populations will not change regardless of how many coyotes are removed. Coyotes have an innate reproduction ability to produce more offspring when territories have low populations. Also, removal is expensive and potentially dangerous to the public.
Extensive studies show that coexistence is the only effective relationship for humans and urban coyotes, and one of the best ways to coexist is to prevent conflicts with them. Conflicts occur when coyotes get used to humans and our surroundings, so do not let them get accustomed to you or your neighborhood.
Why I do see coyotes more frequently from December - March?
Coyotes are much more active and territorial during mating season, which is typically December - March, as they patrol and defend their hunting and breeding areas from other coyotes.
Do coyotes attack dogs and cats?Yes. Coyotes will attack dogs and cats, but they prefer rodents, deer, rabbits, raccoons, birds, berries, birdseed, food scraps and other related things. Coyotes prefer food that’s easy to get.
Are coyotes dangerous to humans?
Human and coyote interactions are very rare. Typically, problems only arise when people begin feeding them.
If you see anyone using ground feeders for squirrels or other animals, please contact the city’s natural resources coordinator at 952.924.2699. The city’s feeding ordinance requires feeders to be five feet off the ground and excess seed must be removed in order to inhibit deer from feeding and to reduce the attraction for other animals. Coyotes will know where lots of seed is on the ground – which is also where birds, squirrels and other critters congregate – and will frequent the area to prey on those animals.
What should I do if I see a coyote?The city recommends “hazing” coyotes to help move them out of an area and discourage undesirable behavior. Examples of hazing include:
- Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote
- Using noisemakers like voice, whistles, air horns, bells, soda cans filled with pennies or rocks, pots and pans banged together
- Using projectiles like sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls, rubber balls
- Employing other methods such as hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray, bear repellent, walking sticks
Canada geese are urban waterfowl and frequent park inhabitants. Unfortunately these geese eat a lot and leave droppings in unwanted areas. As a courtesy to other park users and to comply with city ordinance, please do not feed them in any park (this goes for any waterfowl, such as ducks).
St. Louis Park's Wolfe Lake, Westwood Lake and Lamplighter Lake are stocked annually with fish. Through a partnership with Fishing in the Neighborhood, a program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the city is able to provide fishing piers and annually stocked fish, such as bluegills, crappies, northern pike, large mouth bass and yellow perch.
When fishing, please consider using lead-free fishing tackle. Lead fishing tackle can be harmful to the environment and wildlife that use our lakes. Learn more about how lead affects our wildlife and ways to get it out.
View Hennepin County's Green Disposal Guide for locations where you can drop off your lead tackle, or call Hennepin County Environmental Services at 612.348.3777.
The lead-free fishing tackle promotion is part of a program sponsored by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Keep your bait contained. Bait such as earthworms are not good for our local environment. Earthworms are not native to the United States, and they are an invasive species to Minnesota woods. Earthworms eat the duff layer (the compostable area under trees made up of leaves, needles and decaying plant matter) that our native trees need for regeneration. Without a duff layer, native maples, oaks and other tree seeds will not germinate.
When you are done fishing, dispose of the worms in a nearby garbage container or bring them home and dispose of them in your home garbage. Do not throw them onto the ground where they will multiply, spread and become invasive.