No doubt about it the coyote is becoming a nuisance here in Minnesota. Last week there were reports in Rochester that an elementary school even kept their kids indoors for recess because reports of coyotes were wandering the area. No doubt they were licking their chops at the prospect of some young meat in the form of children.
The truth is I make light of this because there has never been a report in our state that a coyote has attacked a child or an adult. I don’t dispute the fact that coyotes running in packs can do damage to livestock and wildlife, but has the problem really gotten that out of hand…or are bills showing up in our legislature (like the one below) driven more by hysteria? I guess time will tell.
I’m sure folks reading this blog from other states might be surprised to learn that Minnesota doesn’t already have a bounty on coyotes. Essentially what the coyote has been is simply an unprotected animal. Much like the skunk and opossum, you can shoot a coyote at any time of the year here in Minnesota as there is no season or license requirements.
But now there is a movement in the legislature to change this. State Senator Gary Kubly from Granite Falls has introduced a bill that would essentially allow counties to establish a bounty on coyotes…much like some Minnesota counties now offer bounties on pocket gophers. Will the idea work? It’s hard to say. If one county offers a bounty and the neighboring county doesn’t…is the problem of population control really being effective? Moreover, if hunters in a non-bounty paying county take their critters to another county who’s to prove the county of domicile for the coyote.
No doubt about it there are some wrinkles that need to be worked out of this potential law…but nevertheless it does illustrate a growing concern Minnesota residents have for a very unpopular creature that is increasingly crossing into our lives. When schools forbid children to play outside at recess…it underscores the hysteria over the fact something probably needs to be done. And for my county’s money…establishing a bounty might be a good first step.
S.F. No. 761, as introduced 84th Legislative Session (2005-2006)
1.1 A bill for an act
1.2 relating to Canis latrans; providing a coyote conflict
1.3 management option; proposing coding for new law in
1.4 Minnesota Statutes, chapter 348.
1.5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
1.6 Section 1. [348.125] [COYOTE CONFLICT MANAGEMENT OPTION.]
1.7 A county board may, by resolution, offer a bounty for the
1.8 destruction of coyotes (Canis latrans). The resolution may be
1.9 made applicable to the whole or any part of the county. The
1.10 bounty must apply during the months specified in the resolution
1.11 and be in an amount determined by the board.
1.12 Sec. 2. [EFFECTIVE DATE.]
1.13 Section 1 is effective the day following final enactment.
© 2005 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.
Filed under: Current Outdoor Issues | Comments Off