Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Virginia County Raises the Bounty on Coyotes
Cumberland County, in central Virginia, has raised the bounty on coyotes to $50 for each one killed.
Bounties for coyote control have had mixed results in Virginia. Halifax County is satisfied with the success of its program, but Nottoway County dropped its bounty after about a year because officials didn't feel it was effective.
Biologists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture say coyotes are in every county in Virginia, and that a bounty program is not the way to go as it is indiscriminate slaughter that does not properly the target the very narrow problem.
Two years ago Cumberland County had three baby goats killed by coyotes, but now farmers say they attribute as many as 30 calf deaths to coyote predation last year.
To lower loses, the Dept. of Agricutlure recommends using an integrated approach that includes fencing, quard animals such as dogs and llamas, and targeting killing of those select coyotes that are actually attacking livestock.