The howling of coyotes in Isle of Wight County is being heard more often. Supervisor Rex Alphin has asked the staff to look into the feasibility of creating a bounty program to reduce the varmints’ population. -- SUBMITTED

Archived Story

IOW mulling offering bounties on coyotes

Published 11:00am Friday, January 11, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—While recognizing offering a bounty would not eradicate the nuisance of coyotes in Isle of Wight County, Carrsville District Supervisor Rex Alphin has asked staff to research into the feasibility.

A report requested in December is anticipated by board’s meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the courthouse.

“In the rural areas, we have seen an increase in sightings,” Alphin said. “No doubt their population is increasing. Often I can see them even in daylight. We hear them a lot more at night. Hunt clubs are killing more.”

Known for preying on chickens, goats, sheep, newborn calves and pets, coyotes are nocturnal and hunt in packs, said Aaron Proctor, regional wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

One of the first questions that needs answering is whether or not a bounty would be effective, Alphin said. He wants to find out what’s worked and what’s not for people in the western part of Virginia where coyotes are a bigger problem.

“I know there’s no magic bullet. It’s impossible to eradicate them,” said Alphin, who wants the county to at least limit the varmints’ population.

Proctor said the Eastern coyote averages 30 to 35 pounds, though they can sometimes get up to 50 pounds.

“What usually gets people’s dander up is that sportsmen feel that coyotes are strongly tied to a lower population of deer and turkeys,” he said, emphasizing again the threat of preying on pets.

Because coyotes, like black bears, are so shy of humans, the attacks on people are very rare, said Proctor.

There’s not a documented case of bounties eradicating the coyotes in any part of the country, he said.

“But what bounties can give is an incentive to control problem animals. If Isle of Wight wants to create a bounty, there’s no problem as long as it doesn’t conflict with our laws,” said Proctor.

He added that coyotes can be hunted day or night year around, except Sundays.

For more information, Proctor recommends visiting, and go to the category of Wildlife Information, then Nuisance and Problem Wildlife.

  • FromHere

    SlimPickens, what area are you in?

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  • SlimPickens

    I too have seen one in the last couple years. Once I mentioned it to a couple neighbors, some of them acted suprised that I had not seen them sooner. One guy down the road says he’s been watching one for the last few years right across the road from his house (puts the cougar behind my house). A friend had a lab in a 10 x 10 kennle, fed her one morning and 30 minutes later found her dead in the pen, gutted from one end to the other. Took pictures and sent them to the game biologist who said it looked like the work of a big cat of sorts. He suspects the cougar was in the broom straw near the pen, heard the food hit the pan when he fed his lab, and once he went inside to take a shower the cougar went over the kennel to eat the dogfood. It was told to me in 2008 that there was suspicion that VDGIF re-introduced them into our area in an attempt to help control the deer population. This was the same year VDGIF tried to put an end to hunting deer with hounds. Coincidence? maybe but mighty convienient in my opinion. I know they are here, I wonder what the State’s responsibility will be when one of these Cougars, Pumas or whatever they are decideds to attack a person or child? Not out of the realm of possibilities.

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    • FromHere

      The state will have no responsibility because they’ll swear they didn’t bring them over here.

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  • RoyDeSoto

    What about cougars? I swear I saw a huge one behind my house in Walters a last summer.

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    • FromHere

      RoyDeSoto, I don’t know if you’re joking or not, but there have been some sightings of cougars in the Capron/Sebrell area by very reliable sources.

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      • Baseball

        My mom called me one nite and said son i just left church headed home and said i saw a Big cat with a long tail cross the road in front of my car. She said it looked like a mountain lion or something. Also from a Reliable source that a couple coming thru sebrell a couple yrs back saw one in a field off of 35. Maybe thats why all the hunt clubs nin the area are down on numbers

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