Archive for November 11th, 2009

Coyote bounty

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

This news story took me by surprise.

Sask. offers $20 bounty on coyotes

The Saskatchewan government is offering a $20 bounty on every coyote killed.

Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud announced the bounty Tuesday as part of the Saskatchewan Coyote Control Program.

The program is to help farmers and ranchers who are having trouble with coyotes killing their livestock.

Coyotes have been a perennial problem in rural Saskatchewan, but the situation has been getting worse in recent years, Bjornerud said.

“Producers … have coyotes coming right in their yards and mixing with their cattle right now,” Bjornerud said. “It’s dangerous out there for farm families that have little kids and that, when they are coming right into the yards. In some cases. they are taking the yard dog and leading him out of the yard and killing him.”

A trial version of the program will run until March 31, 2010. After that, the province will look at extending the bounty.

(Full article here)

I expect some angry letters to the editor in the next few days about us slack-jawed Saskatchewan redneck yokels.  It should be entertaining.

But actually, I have mixed feeling about this announcement.  I’m all for letting nature find its balance, but if humans are going to produce the food that we need, I think that active management of predators is required.  The coyote population is high, probably due to a combination of factors, including several mild winters and reduced hunting and trapping as a result of low fur prices.  Part of me doesn’t like the idea of a coyote bounty, but I do sympathize with my farming friends who have lost farm animals to coyote predation.

Ideally I’d like to see fur go back into fashion, but until that happens, I guess a bounty is probably a valid solution to curbing the coyote population.

At least it’s probably preferable to the mange.