Are we being scammed and our property violated by the people who say they hunt coyotes with dogs to keep their populations in check? Should we really be thanking these guys? They think we should...
Radio collars are placed on their hunting dogs and then the dogs are set loose by their owners (or sometimes "dog renters") into the woods to chase and kill coyotes, and on the way, foxes, opossums, deer- anything that is unlucky enough to be in their path. Usually this activity begins on a neighboring property where the hunters are allowed to conduct this activity. However, as the prey scatters and the dogs hone in on one unlucky victim, the dogs run amok through your property, my property and everyone else's property. At first, you may not be completely aware what is going on. Your only clue may be the pickup trucks with dog compartments, or a cap and a few men with antennas (and guns in the trucks) standing along the road, tracking the course of the barbaric chase. The goal is to wear out the intended victim with successive releases of fresh dogs. The coyote is the target, and the animal will either be chased until it collapses with exhaustion and the hunter can walk right up to it and put a bullet in it, or the coyote is torn to bits by the dogs.
Is there not a more constructive hobby that these men can find? Did they ever think of taking up skiing, or photography, woodworking or something else constructive or gee, spending time with their familes? I have trouble using the word "Sport" here, as they call it. Killing our coyotes for sport is just plain creepy. The coyotes are ours too. I don't want mine killed, do you?
I don't want them on MY land. Are they using yours? If you confront these folks and say "get your dogs off my land, it is posted" Be prepared for this common response "Well, our dogs can't READ.. Ha ha ha, yuk, yuk, yuk!" As their dogs race through chasing the terrorized coyote - it is impossible for you to catch them and they know it. You need to call the State Police or a Conservation Officer right then -Do it fast, and take down license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions. Chances are your State Police will respond much faster than the Conservation Officer, as their jobs are more geared for emergency-type calls. Just because their dogs can't read, does not make it OK. Dog's that can't read should be on leashes, that way, they can be well aware of property lines.
POST YOUR PROPERTY!!! Also, be aware that even if your property is not posted, the State Police will tell you that if it is your property and if you don't want someone, or their dogs on it, posted or not, they are trespassing.
By the way, these guys are pushing the lawmakers to allow this and other forms of Coyote hunting year round. So rather than ending March 26th, these guys can do this right through summer and into fall and so on. They will terrorize our wildlife in the woods and fields all the time. Young will be orphaned, all species will be chased - dogs can't read, remember? Be sure to be aware of pending laws like this at voting time- there are groups that watch this kind of thing and ask you to vote (League of Humane Voters) . Don't let this law slip through because you weren't aware it was on the ballot.
As far as reducing coyote populations, that is not true at all. Coyotes respond differently to killing than other wildlife. Their populations actually increase when under pressure from hunting and killing. It is a difficult concept for most people to understand. I will go into more detail in further posts, but I will leave you with this analogy...
"Trying to reduce coyote populations by killing them is like trying to put out a fire with kerosene"