When you walk your dog, usually nothing happens. It's a pretty routine activity if you're a dog owner. I've had a dog most of my life and back when I lived in Amherst, I had a Jack Russell Terrier that I loved to death.

There was one time I walked by dog, however, that I was truly scared. It was something that shocked me and to this day I remember it.

I believe I was 16 or 17. It was pretty late -- sometime after 11 pm, but my dog needed to go out one last time that day, so I walked him around our block. When I looked up after looking down, I saw what I'm sure were two coyotes down the street by the corner.

Our neighborhood was near the country and one town over from Wheatfield, so it wasn't like we were in the city, but obviously seeing a coyote was shocking.

As it turns out, coyotes are not uncommon in New York State. According to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, coyotes are established throughout the state, except Long Island and New York City. Numbers are estimated to be between 20-30,000.

When I stumbled upon these coyotes, they both darted off to the backyards -- one going right and one going left. I decided to turn back around, but luckily I wasn't far away from my home. I didn't see a coyote again in our neighborhood, but I've later found out that both bears and coyotes have been spotted numerous times in residential areas in Western New York.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offered tips to prevent a conflict if you see a coyote in Western New York.

You never know what you might run into, even in your Western New York neighborhood.

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