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Letter: Coyote bounties don't work

There is a reason why the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and other state and federal wildlife agencies no longer prescribe predator bounties as a wildlife management tool.

They don't work. History has shown that randomly killing coyotes to either reduce regional coyote populations or reduce conflicts over the long term is ineffective.

Yet despite overwhelming scientific research showing that coyote bounties are ineffective because of the species' resiliency and biological ability to rebound, Granite Falls area legislators are considering a bill to allow counties to place bounties on coyotes ("Legislators continue to push for a bounty on coyotes," Jan.7 ). Not only is such an approach arcane, but it will only serve to ensure a constant influx of coyotes, opening up vacant niches for juvenile animals in search of territories and mates, potentially causing more problems than resident coyotes who defend territories and keep out rogue transients.

A better use of scarce resources would be to help ranchers implement effective, long-lasting predator deterrents like guard dogs, llamas, donkeys, better fencing, and lambing and calving corrals. But this requires progressive thinking and consideration of science-based factual evidence of the practicality and effectiveness of such coyote deterrents.

This is surely not something beyond Yellow Medicine County Commissioner Gary Johnson and Rep. Lyle Koenen to consider and implement.

Camilla H. Fox

Founding Director, Project Coyote, Larkspur, Calif.

Dr. Michael W. Fox

Veterinarian, Project Coyote science adviser

Golden Valley