IOW to ask hunt clubs for help in controlling coyotesPublished 11:14am Saturday, February 23, 2013
BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY—Rather than create a bounty program for coyotes, the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors will ask local hunt clubs to help reduce the population.
Carrsville District Supervisor Rex Alphin said the board decided that a bounty would not be feasible. With only $2,500 available, and $50 a head rewarded, only 50 coyotes would be eliminated. Further, there’s a matter of determining if a coyote was actually killed in the county, and who would destroy the carcasses and how.
“It’s not just the money, but that the bounty’s not that effective,” said Alphin. “Why spend the taxpayers’ dollars? Let’s partner with the hunt clubs and tell them, ‘Do what you can to control the coyotes.’”
In December, the supervisor asked the staff to research the problems with a growing coyote population in the county. The varmints prey on chickens and other small animals.
“In the rural areas, we have seen an increase in sightings,” said Alphin. “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.”
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries places no restriction on the type of weapon or caliber used to hunt coyotes, as long as it’s done humanely, said Aaron Proctor, regional wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He added bows and arrows might also be used.
But he noted that counties or localities might have firearm ordinances that restrict the type of weapon. Reviewing those rules for Isle of Wight show nothing specifically against how to get rid of the coyotes.
“What I understand, anything can be used because they’re a nuisance,” said Alphin.
“They’re so shrewd, more adaptable. They’ll do what they need to do to survive and breed. Therein lies the challenge.”