Coyote bounty

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.

4 Responses to “Coyote bounty”

  1. roger loseth says:

    Killin for money ain’t no worse than killin for fun. Infact in my humble oppinion its better than killin for fun.Besides that I rather see a bounty than a mass poisoning like in the 50’s and 60’s

  2. Dan Loseth says:

    You’d think in todays fashion world there would be a market for designer “mange/grunge” jackets.

  3. April says:

    “… but if humans are going to produce the food that we need, I think that active management of predators is required. ”

    What food are they producing that we “need”? Meat? No, I live without eating any products or by products from animals what so ever. But, this is not the issue here. The SK government is playing God here. Let nature take its course and let the farmers adapt. It’s time we put an end to the senseless killings that are occuring. I for one hope fur never comes into fashion again, again, senseless killing. For what? Fashion. Give me a break.

    I am fighting and will continue to fight this absurd bounty until they pull it.

  4. Phil L says:

    April, you are technically correct when you say we don’t “need” meat. Humans can live on a vegetarian diet, if they are careful to get the benefits of meat from other sources. However I also believe that we are adapted to have meat in our diet. You see it as immoral. I don’t, as long as the animals are treated humanely. These are individual choices, and I respect your choice.
    Regarding fur … Canada was built on the fur trade, and I don’t think that is anything to be ashamed of. Fur is a sustainable resource, and has long been managed by regulations that forbid unsustainable harvest levels.
    The reason I said that I have mixed feelings about the bounty is that some furs will be wasted. That’s unfortunate, but I also sympathize with my co-worker who lives on a farm and has lost animals to coyote predation.
    You spoke about senseless killings and farmers adapting. I wonder where you live? Does your living space still have the original ecosystem, or has it been modified?
    Keep in mind that it is a pilot program. You are free to voice your opposition, and the supporters are free to voice their support. We will see if the program is extended past March 31, 2010.