“Bounties Have Never Worked”

Thank you to Richard Firth who sent the following important information From the Times-Dispatch Contact writer: Rex Bowman at rbowman@timesdispatch.com  540-344-3612.

Virginia counties have paid tens of thousands of dollars in bounties since 1999 to curb coyote populations. Now, state and federal officials are saying: “LEARN TO LIVE WITH COYOTES, THEY’RE HERE TO STAY…BOUNTIES HAVE NEVER WORKED.”

Those words were uttered by J. Mike Harris, Cooperative Extension agent in Tazewell County. John Donaldson with the USDA said, “It’s pretty much common knowledge that bounties don’t work.”

And another expert said, “Coyotes are able to repopulate rapidly due to a phenomenon known as ‘density dependent reproduction’.

When the coyote population is depressed, the number of pups in a litter increases, more pups survive and younger females begin breeding. If you kill less than 70% of a population they can recover within a single year,” Bounties reduce local populations by no more than 1 percent.

They recommended the use of fencing and guard dogs to keep coyotes away from flocks saying that putting donkeys and llamas in fields also helps, as do scarecrows, siren alarms, and automated strobe lights.


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