Day and night Feb. 25, 26 and 27 the Whitesville Rod and Gun Club will conduct its first Annual Coyote Hunt for licensed hunters from Pennsylvania and New York in conjunction with several other hunts which will also take place over the same weekend.
It is legal in New York State for licensed hunters to hunt coyote with guns, calls and dogs during small game season and to trap coyote in season.
The Daily Reporter and the Daily Reporter Facebook Page have received several blogs objecting to the Whitesville hunt, with most objections being about the use of dogs in hunting coyotes.
The following individuals gave their opinion and facts on coyote hunts:
Andrew Harris who brought the widely advertised hunt to the bloggers.
Ken Baginski, a wildlife biologist for the New York State Department of Conservation, who weighs-in with the state’s viewpoint.
Whitesville Rod and Gun Club Vice President Mike Edwards, who will tell the club’s side of the story.
Question: Is there an over population of coyotes necessitating that they be hunted?
Baginski — “That’s a difficult question because we don’t know exactly what the estimations are statewide. There are a couple of ongoing research projects. We believe the population is increasing, but we won’t know until the research is done. We do know there is no shortage of coyote except on Long Island.”
Edwards — “The coyote population is getting bad. They’re wiping out the deer. I’ve probably found six or more deer that were killed by coyote. Over a dozen people who raise sheep and goats have called us about getting hunters on their land to thin out the coyote population.”
Harris — “I don’t believe there is an over population. If there is and they are a nuisance then there are other and more humane ways they can lethally be taken care of. I’ve seen them all around me where I live and they’re not interested in me or my pets. The only thing they’re interested in are the field mice.”
Question: Why hunt coyote with dogs?
Baginski — “It is legal to hunt coyote with dogs. Hunting them is regulated just like any other game. Hunting them with dogs is allowed. The dogs run them to the hunters. The dogs aren’t supposed to attack the coyote and kill it.”
Edwards — “They (the bloggers) get these videos of dogs ripping and tearing coyote to pieces. I don’t know where they get them. These guys who hunt with dogs have a lot of money in their dogs and they don’t want them getting hurt fighting a coyote. They want the dogs to run the coyote to them, so they can get a clean shot. Yeah, sometimes after they’re dead they let the dogs chew on them a little.”
Harris — “They let trained dogs kill wild dogs. It is brutal and gruesome. It is not pretty. It is not a natural thing to allow dogs to pursue and attack other dogs. We put our pets down humanely. Why should coyote have to suffer needlessly. Why would we be so outraged over (Michael) Vick’s dog on dog violence and not this? Dogs don't hunt and attack dogs unless they are trained to.”
3. A failure to communicate?
Baginski — “The DEC does not sanction coyote hunting. If they follow the regulations there is not a violation. There is a hunting season and a trapping season.”
Edwards — “I just wish they’d come to our meetings. We’d love to explain just how everything works. Maybe they could convince us to stop.”
Harris — “I plan to go to one of their meetings, but I don’t know them. I’ve emailed them repeatedly, but have never gotten a reply.”
The Last Word
NYDEC official statement — Coyotes provide a great deal of benefits to New Yorkers through observation, photography, hunting and trapping.
Whitesville Rod and Gun Club — pays prize money for the first coyote taken, the first, second and third largest weighing males and the largest female taken and will award the successful oldest and youngest hunters.
Harris — “I don’t think they are bad people. I’m concerned about them hunting coyote with dogs and the impression it leaves with young hunters.”
websites — whitesvillerodandgunclub.com
Washington Nature Mapping Program
• also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf
• a species of canine found throughout North and Central America,
• evolved in North America 1.81 million years ago
• are 30–34 inches in length (not counting a tail)
• stand about 23–26 inches at the shoulder
• weigh from 15–46 lbs with Northern coyotes weighing as much as 74 pounds
• can reach speeds up to 43 mph and jump over 13 feet
• travel in large groups, but primarily hunt in pairs.
• are nocturnal,
• primarily eat rabbits, squirrels, and mice, BUT also birds, snakes, lizards, deer, livestock, fruits, vegetables human rubbish and domestic pets