At the same time that animal-rights activists are pushing for restrictions on hunting coyotes in California, other states are stepping up efforts to try and keep coyote numbers under control, and even offering bounties on them.
COYOTES ARE WILD
animals that live by killing and eating their prey, and that includes
your dogs and cats if they happen to be available. They are adaptable,
and are getting braver in areas where humans pose no danger.
Why? Quite contrary to stories published in the Sacramento Bee and other media sources that no longer do their own research, information we received from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) depict a story directly contrary to the ones in the Bee. Using the very same FOIA information that the anti-hunting groups used, but adding the information which they conveniently left out, we found the following:
— Losses from coyotes alone in California between 1995 and 2012 totaled an astounding $14,082,171 in reported losses. The verified losses were $10,874,008.
— Year-to-year verified losses have been increasing, from $298,526 in 2010, to $399,375 in 2011 and to $869,521 in 2012. Which means that losses from coyotes are increasing dramatically. Less control would mean more coyotes and more cost and destruction.
— Damage and death from coyotes includes birds, buildings, cattle, horses, fences, fowl, fruit, goats, health and safety (aviation and general), irrigation ditches and systems (including levees that protect homes from flooding), llamas, deer, melons, thousands of household pets like dogs and cats, rabbits, sheep, pigs and endangered species. When you see a local sign that says “Missing cat” or “Missing dog”, odds are it was killed by a coyote.
These figures came from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services, which is in charge of responding to wildlife complaints. Without their work, monetary loss would be far greater, and many more household pets would be killed by coyotes every year.
Coyotes are highly adaptable and fit in well in urban areas, switching their main fare from wild game to pets like dogs and cats…and on occasion, even taking aim at children. For instance, on March 16 wildlife officials in Colorado killed two aggressive coyotes after the animals chased and bit a 5-year-old boy on a popular hiking trail in Boulder, Col.. The 5-year-old wasn’t alone—he was with his father and another 5-year-old. The two fearless coyotes surrounded the three and rushed them, biting the boy.
The incident followed a 4-week program of harassing and hazing coyotes in the Boulder area following a rash of coyote encounters in the area. That’s what happens when predators lose their fear of man — they consider them dinner. Coyotes, of course, cannot be hunted in or around Boulder, so they lost their fear of man.
COYOTES LIVE IN close
conjunction with humans nowadays, killing their household pets and even
threatening and occasionally attacking children and even adults.
The cycle of predators greatly controls the survival rates of “prey” species like deer, antelope, turkeys, quail, pheasants, rabbits, domestic animals and even pet dogs and cats. When you have an overabundance of coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats and possibly in the future — wolves — be prepared for California’s deer, elk, turkey, pheasant and rabbit populations to plummet even more.
Some dogs die during the course of predator control, an unfortunate side effect to the control measures, but the vast majority of them are feral dogs that many times run in packs and do as much, or more, damage, as coyotes and other predators. In fact, dogs that are running loose and unattended, if harassing livestock, may be killed on sight by the rancher or farmer. Responsible pet owners are aware of this, and keep strict control of their pets when in the outdoors.
The coyote populations in West Virginia and Utah have grown so out of control that they pose serious threats to livestock, agriculture and wildlife species, and they have grown beyond what government agencies can handle, so they are offering bounties to hunters to bring them in. In Utah, it’s a simple $50 per coyote, while West Virginia hunters can get $100 to $1000 for a coyote. Many other states offer cash or incentives for killing coyotes.
Animal-rights activists like to claim that a “balance” will occur if wildlife species are left alone. Simply not true, as even without man’s presence, wildlife species are very cyclical, with highs and lows as predator/prey species rise and fall. That means for a few years you may have lots of deer around and few predators, and then for a few years no deer at all, but a lot of predators. And as prey species decline, predators look for other food sources, such as domestic animals, dogs, cats and even humans.
Wildlife agencies in the states, and the nation, have chosen to try and maintain a balance between species, for the survival of all, and so that humans might experience the presence of them all. Part of maintaining that balance is through hunting, and millions of dollars spent on hunting licenses, clubs, ammunition, and private ranches, marshlands and preserves provide money for management, and habitat for species survival. Without hunting, that would all be lost.
It’s important for everyone to remember that “animal rights” activists, like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and many other assorted groups are not nearly as much concerned about the animals themselves, as they are to stop hunting.
To eliminate any part of hunting is to eliminate a method of wildlife management, and that is detrimental to wildlife populations. And to the people who enjoy wildlife.
If you’re interested in doing your own research instead of reading biased, one-sided stories by animal-rights activists, you can find out all about coyote damage and human/coyote conflicts and attacks by going to coyotebytes.org.