Utah Doubles Bounty for Coyotes

The bounty for killing a coyote will more than double due to a new law that was signed by Governor Gary Hebert this weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah

The new legislation was introduced by Senator Ralph Okerlund of Monroe and passed under the guise of the Mule Deer Protection Act, which will increase the bounty for bringing in a pair of coyote ears from $20 to $50 and appropriate $750,000 to fund programs supporting the slaughter, despite the fact that coyotes can already be killed year round in the state and there is no quota on how many can be killed or regulations regarding how they can be killed.

The goal is to provide hunters with more of an incentive to go find coyotes and kill more than 20,000 of them, but even wildlife officials are skeptical of the law.

John Shivik, mammals coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, stated that even though populations are lower, they have been steady for the past two years and that the decline can also be attributed to habitat loss and environmental changes.

Other organizations also spoke out against the new law and held onto hope that the governor would veto it.

“Research shows that human hunters, habitat degradation, and climate have greater effects on deer herd size than does predation by coyotes. The truth is coyotes typically prey upon rodents and rabbits, which actually increases forage for deer, and for livestock,” according to WildEarth Guardians.

“Coyotes are important ecological actors. Their presence in systems creates greater biological diversity. Without them, kiss your ground-nesting songbirds goodbye. Coyotes limit populations of smaller carnivores such as skunks, raccoons, and opossums that prey upon birds and their eggs. Moreover, killing coyotes is ineffective. They quickly change their breeding and immigration strategies and make up for their losses. A vacant territory will contain a new coyote in about four month’s time.”

The Utah Humane Society also voiced concerns over the use of traps and poisoning, which are not only inhumane, but could pose a danger to pets and other non-target animals.

Another bill signed by the governor this weekend will impose a $5 fee on big-game licenses that will also go toward predator control.

“At a time when state budgets are being cut and Utah taxpayers are feeling an economic crunch, spending limited taxpayer money ($7.5 million in 10 years) on a wasteful and ineffective coyote-killing program is unjust to Utah citizens. This money would be far better spent to improve our public education system or any number of other worthy programs,” according to Project Coyote.

Sounds like the governor’s office has run out of ideas on how to generate money so it’s going after the slaughter of what we clearly now understand is a critical element to the balance of the ecosystem …just so hunters can kill the deer they’re pretending to save.

Related Stories:

Utah Considering Ag Gag Legislation

Texas Approves Aerial Hunting of Pigs and Coyotes

Glendale Fights to Save Coyote Family

Photo credit: Scott Butner

253 comments

Barbara S
Barbara S2 days ago

thanks for the update

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W. C
W. C2 days ago

Thank you for caring.

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Kelsey S
Kelsey S3 days ago

Thanks

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Elaine W
Elaine W3 days ago

I double object.

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 days ago

Cruel bastards let them live in peace . Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 days ago

So horrible and sickening . Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 days ago

Deplorable and sickening . Thank you for caring and sharing

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Peggy B
Peggy B3 days ago

Killing coyotes make them breed faster. I wish the people making these decision would actually get an education or at least consult real experts and not 'experts' in hunting. My friend has a PHD in zoology in UK and he explained how it all works within certain animals and when their numbers start to dwindle it triggers their bodies to breed. Killing them off just gives you more of them. Another example that not only is the government in the US making people poorer they are keeping the US one of the lowest educated countries in the developed world.

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Marija M
Marija M7 days ago

tks

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Janet B
Janet B9 days ago

Thanks

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