Sunday, October 15, 2006

Utah offers bounty for dead coyote ears

Written by Mark Watson

In an effort to help increase the deer population and also protect grazing sheep in Utah, the state provides money to eight Utah counties to pay bounties for killing coyotes.

Most of the money comes to the state from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The bounty program has been in place in Utah since 2000 and receives positive reviews from ranchers and members of the Utah Division of Wildlife. Some environmental groups call the practice immoral and ineffective.

County leaders learned at the Sept. 26 commission meeting that there will be over $7,000 available for those who kill coyotes in Tooele County.

"The bounty is there to help protect pheasants, chuckars and deer. It also helps ranchers protect their livestock," said Commissioner Dennis Rockwell.

He said the county will pay $20 per coyote. If someone kills a coyote they should call the county for further instructions. Sometimes there are designated wildlife specialists who want to see the animal. Most the time all that is needed are the ears of the coyote to receive the $20. The county pays out the money and is then reimbursed through the state. The commissioner said the county paid for nearly 500 coyotes last year.

"Coyotes are a problem, but it is a manageable problem," said Leland Hogan, president of Utah Farm Bureau.

Mike Tamllos is an agent for the USDA in Vernon. He also said the government participates in reducing coyote numbers near sheep herds. He said that wildlife organizations are more active in eliminating coyotes to protect deer and pheasant populations than are sheep ranchers.

"Back in 1927 there were 2.7 million sheep in Utah, now there are about 300,000," Tamllos said. The government used to poison coyotes, but that practice was banned in 1972, he said.

"Raising sheep in Utah is a dying business. It is more difficult because of environmental movements and complaints about over-grazing. And people don't go into the sheep business unless they inherit the business. There used to be a lot more sheep than cattle in Utah, but now there are 350,000 head of cattle and dwindling sheep numbers," Tamllos said. The United States receives most of its wool from Australia, Tamllos said.

Central Region wildlife information manager Scott Root said there is a debate among wildlife biologists as to whether cougars or coyotes kill more deer fawns. "We used to think cougars killed more deer, but coyotes may kill more. They are everywhere & in the mountains and deserts. Sometimes when I'm up in the mountains I can hear 20 coyotes howling. Controlling coyotes helps the deer population."

Hunters are allowed to shoot coyotes at any time during the year.

"Utah Environmental Congress strongly opposes the county offering bounty for coyotes," said Kevin Mueller, executive director for UEC. "First it is immoral and second it is not sound biological. It does not reduce the number of coyotes."

He explained that when members of a coyote pack are reduced, it stresses the pack and instead of one or two females bearing litters, additional females have litters and numbers increase.

"Then you have more juvenile coyotes which creates more problems for wildlife," Mueller said.

"Also, ethically speaking, it is a horrible way to treat animals," he said. Quoting Mahatman Ghandi, Mueller said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

  • Tooele Transcript Bulletin

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Yeah, I wish it was more than $20. It's getting expensive to hunt them these days.

    11/15/2006 11:05 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    yea it is getting expensive but it is worth it

    3/07/2007 12:39 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    yea it is getting expensive but it is worth it

    3/07/2007 12:40 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...


    11/02/2007 11:12 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think you guys are smoking some good stuff. Because coyotes are harder then hell to get.

    1/09/2008 6:46 PM  
    Anonymous The Dog Bounty Hunter said...

    If you know what you are doing, you can actually get quite a few. But they are extrememly smart so its a good challenge. A $200 bounty would be better. Iv'e seen fox pros alone go for $700!

    2/12/2008 7:31 PM  
    Blogger abba11002 said...

    just use a scent lure and hide, simple as that to get them, or a sound lure, like a dying chicken. They may be smart, but they still cannot resist the sound of a dying animal, or the smell of blood, they are scavengers after all.

    2/19/2008 3:51 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think the Division of wildlife should take over and require a fur bearer and small game license to hunt coyotes so as to get rid of the "wanna be" coyote hunters that is ruining it for the rest of us veteran coyote hunters. They think they can hit a running coyote at 400 yards with dads 7mm mag, instead of getting them closer. As you know once called and shot at they become barkers. I think if some of these guys had to pay out $50-$60 for licenses they would find another pastime. As for the bounty, I hunt them for the challenge not the money, as I have done for 30 years. The bounty just brings out the scavangers.

    3/22/2008 11:41 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Leave the poor coyotes alone, How would you like it if someone put a bounty of a few dollars on your hides. God created animals & they should all be treated with respect.

    11/10/2008 1:43 AM  
    Anonymous wildlifelover said...

    First of all Coyotes are scavengers, they eat small prey. Who has proof that they eat sheep or attack them? How ignorant can you get? Hunting was originally created to feed people, to clothe people. This is just senseless hicks who leave corpses behind for a measley 20 bucks. It starts with coyotes and where does it end? Get a video game or how about a life!

    11/23/2008 4:30 PM  
    Anonymous ignorant said...

    It sounds to me like you are the ignorant one “Wildlife lover” you sit there and say that coyotes don’t eat sheep. While they are out killing of thousands of dollars of my sheep. Plus all of the deer that I enjoy having around. You need to get out more I’m sorry

    3/13/2009 6:44 PM  
    Anonymous Gavin said...

    in southern utah the only two things that kill more deer than coyotes are bobcats and cars. as for sheep i cant say because i myself havnt seen it, that being said if a coyote can take out a deer a sheep is a MUCH easier target. yes coyotes are scavengers but they also hunt. i can go out to mc donalds and get a crappy burgers, that doesnt exclude me from hunting deer for food now does it, why do you thing a coyote wouldnt think likewise.

    3/16/2009 10:00 PM  
    Blogger roughneck51 said...

    For the environment lovers- my family have been killing animals for bounty for generations. If the government does not pay, the ranchers will, so eventually you have to when you buy the goods. At least some our tax money is funding a program that actually makes sense. And I've sat herds and watched coyotes stalk calves,and sheep. They have no problem taking down a deer.
    They sould raise the bounty, bullets cost to much to reload now. Maybe that will weed out the weekend warriors though, you guys don't do anything but make it harder anyway.

    5/15/2009 11:01 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    At one time I worried about coyotes killing just my sheep. Now, because their population is out of control I worry when my children are in the yard playing or hiking or working anywhere on the ranch even in town. (see Lake Arrowhead, CA news article coyote attacks toddler) This was My Niece! When these predators start eating your children and pets then perhaps you will all wake up to reality! And don't tell me it is because we are crowding them out of their habitat and they are starving....Kids and pets and sheep just make easier prey!!!!

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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hunting them is getting expensive but I started hunting coyotes with a .22 lr about 17 yrs ago when they would attack and kill our family's sheep herd and when they attack they don't just kill a few they go after the whole heard. I have even had my dogs attacked by them.I have always been able to call them in close enough for a .22 shot and if they start barking I pack up and move on to a different spot. People should get their facts straight before they start spouting off about things they know nothing about.

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