Coyote killers

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2000:

Seven members of the Paul and Lee-Ann Wright family, of Crawford, Colorado, whose dog was killed in March 1999 by a cyanide-firing M-44 “coyote-getter” placed on their property without their knowledge by a then-USDA Wildlife Services contract trapper, on February 2 filed a U.S. District Court suit seeking $150,000 in damages from Wildlife Services; an injunction to keep Wildlife Services off their land; and an order that Wildlife Services trappers must comply with Environmental Protection Agency rules restricting the use of poison.

A Colorado Department of Agriculture investigation found earlier that the trapper broke numerous safety rules.

The Wright case was filed just under a month after USDA Wildlife Services agents removed seven M-44s from a Christmas tree farm near Estancia, Oregon, where a cyanide bait placed by Wildlife Services trapper Mark Lytle on January 6 killed a four-year-old German shepherd named Bud. Bud had roamed only 100 yards from owner Dixie Tippett’s back door.

South Dakota is expected to allow M-44 use later this year. The cyanide-firing devices kill coyotes at less expense than most other methods. Oregon kills 5,000 to 6,000 coyotes per year with M-44s, at a reported fraction of the cost of aerial gunnery, which New Mexico used to kill 6,213 coyotes in 1998 at cost of $1.9 million.

Reverting to one of the oldest approaches to predator killing, at least four counties in rural Virginia introduced bounties of $50 on coyotes during the past 12 months. Bounties had reportedly already raised the state coyote kill from 2,717 in 1996-1997 to 3,739 in 1997-1998. Taking over habitat from foxes, who in some areas have been hounded and trapped to scarcity, coyotes kill about 750 sheep, goats, and calves per year in Virginia.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.