The realities of coyote ‘control’

To the editor:

Obviously, Mark Roth (DMG 2/27/14) is unaware of the realities of coyote “control”. Predator hunts and trapping are sure ways to increase the coyote population. Increase, not decrease. Sounds nuts, I know, but it’s true. Do a Google search on “coyote control” and do some reading.

For example: “Research suggests that when aggressively controlled, coyotes can increase their reproductive rate by breeding at an earlier age and having larger litters, with a higher survival rate among young. This allows coyote populations to quickly bounce back, even when as much as 70 percent of their numbers are removed. … Despite bounties and large-scale efforts to kill coyotes over the last 100 years, coyotes have in fact expanded their range throughout the U.S. and Canada tremendously. One study even found that killing 75 percent of a coyote population every year for 50 years would still not exterminate the population.”

I raise goats surrounded by coyote packs, wolves, black bear, the occasional cougar, and the ever-present roaming domestic dogs. I keep my goats safe by using livestock guardian dogs. I make the dogs’ job easier by using good fencing. The local predators know the goats are here but also know that the dogs are with them. They’d like to have a taste of the goats but are too smart to risk injury by confronting the dogs. The youngsters sometimes look longingly through the fences but then move on to hunt elsewhere. But when some zealous (and ill-informed) neighbor decides to shoot a bunch of coyotes or have them trapped, my dogs and I have to train a whole new bunch of four-legged neighbors

So please don’t try to tell me that predator hunts are being conducted for my benefit.

Judy Steffel