"I assumed it was a deer or something in the back yard and as (my dog) was finishing, there was this nasty, bone-chilling scream that came from the darkness," Plotzke said. "I didn't know what it was."
Plotzke said he noticed the silhouette of a deer in the distance.
"It was still alive and just standing there," he said. "I tried to shoo it out of the yard and it wouldn't go."
When Plotzke let his dog out the next morning, it returned to the house covered i blood from its paw to halfway up its front legs. A trail of blood outside ran from his back patio through the yard and alongside his treehouse, where it led to a dead deer.
Plotzke said he saw the deer had a fractured back leg and assumed it had been hit by a car and after notifying the city, he called a wildlife removal company to have the carcass removed.
The man who came out to remove the carcass told Plotzke the deer had been taken down by coyotes and, given the 125-150-pound stature and relative good health of the doe, it would have taken about 4-6 coyotes to overcome the deer.
"Chills ran up my spine because we’ve got kids and animals in the area and this deer, it was a decent-sized deer and a lot faster and probably a lot stronger than anything we have around our house," he said.
Tim Payne from the Wildlife Division of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources told Patch this year that while coyotes often are associated with the wilderness of northern Michigan, coyotes can thrive in urban and suburban areas, including Rochester Hills.
While Payne said coyotes pose little risk to humans, pets and livestock can be susceptible to coyote attacks.
A pack of coyotes, however, can overcome a larger animal.
"I have a yellow lab," Plotzke said. "(The wildlife specialist) said not much would stand a chance if this is a pack of coyotes."
Plotzke said he is no longer allowing the dog out alone at night, instead accompanying his pet outdoors, in case the coyotes return.
Payne said Michigan's laws allow coyotes to be killed if they pose a problem. However, he said such problems can be rare.
"We want people to live with wildlife and enjoy coyotes," Payne said. "Most of the time they are not a problem."
Plotzke said he doesn't necessarily want to eradicate the coyotes, but wanted to make the community aware so they can be prepared for unwanted coyote visits.
"I get that they're part of the food chain and I’m not in favor of ridding Rochester Hills of coyotes," he said. "It’s a little unnerving there might be a pack of them pretty close to the house and if they don't eat for a while they might start looking for other things."