Explore ways to co-exist peacefully with wildlife
I agree with a Grand Island letter writer that trapping isn’t the answer to solving coyote problems. However, her suggestion to “hunt them down” isn’t the solution either. There’s already tremendous hunting and trapping pressure on these animals, including a six-month coyote hunting season.
There’s no limit to how many coyotes hunters can kill. They can use dogs, electronic calls and various weapons during the day and night.
It’s interesting that coyotes have been targets for trappers and hunters on Grand Island, yet they still thrive. Trapping and shooting coyotes isn’t recommended because this can disrupt coyote families, which studies show actually results in larger populations. Coyotes are very territorial. Experts report they inhabit about 10 square miles. People may think they see a lot of coyotes when it’s likely they’re seeing the same coyotes repeatedly. Also, the territorial coyotes keep intruding newcomers away.
Unfortunately, some sportsmen hold coyote-killing contests, which can also disrupt coyote populations. Just one recent local contest boasted 50 bodies.
Coyotes play an important ecological role, including regulating the number of rodents and insects. Coyotes are drawn to neighborhoods because there is food, water and favorable habitat. There are many ways to co-exist peacefully with wildlife if one is willing. Check out projectcoyote.org for ways to do this.
Newspapers have recently had multiple stories about dogs being shot or trapped. Dog and cat owners need to be vigilant. Pets are more likely to be harmed by humans than they are by coyotes, and humans harmed by abused dogs than they are by coyotes.