The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has passed a bill to allow for a coyote bounty of $25 to be rewarded to hunters who can harvest the predators within the legal boundaries. If it passes through the Senate, it will be the first bounty placed on a wild animal in the Keystone State in 50 years.
The “coyote incentive program” will be authorized by the state Game Commission and is intended to address the rising population and increasing complaints from residents. Rep. Michael Peifer, the bill’s sponsor, said anecdotal evidence has proven the need for such a measure, and that pets and livestock will continue to face a serious threat until the coyote population can be brought under control.
Coyotes a nuisance or a threat? Read more here.
Opponents of the program claim that more hunting might cause the coyotes to breed earlier and produce larger litters, spiking their population even higher.
As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, coyotes have moved into suburban and urban areas, increasing confirmed pet and livestock deaths from 114 in 2001 to a high of 247 in 2008, according to Game Commission stats. The majority of last year’s 213 recorded cases involved poultry.
Coyotes are found in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, and hunting season for the species is year-round.
What do you think? As game management practices continue to be implemented and evaluated, is a coyote bounty the right decision for Pennsylvania?