Open season on coyotes questioned

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copyright the Chronicle January 25, 2017

 

by Elizabeth Trail

 

Recently, a statewide group called Vermonters for Ethical Co-existence with Coyotes started a petition addressed to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and its citizen board, asking for limits on the year-round hunting season on coyotes. Their goal is 2,500 signatures — as of press time they’d collected 1,813.

And last week, Representative David Deen of Westminster presented a bill — H.60, an act relating to the hunting of coyotes — that would require the Fish and Wildlife Board to prepare a report to the Legislature on coyote hunting by early next year.

The report would cover what’s known about the coyote population in Vermont, how other states deal with coyote hunting, and whether the Legislature should step in and regulate coyote hunting.

One of the questions the board is being asked to weigh in on is whether coyotes should be hunted year-round.

That’s a subject that’s been coming up a lot lately, said Chris Bernier, the fur-bearing animal specialist at the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Now he’s hearing questions about having a regulated hunting season rather than allowing anyone to hunt coyotes by any method 365 days a year.

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