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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another no-nothing nimrod is Utah State Senator Ralph Okerlund, who is calling for the genocide of Coyotes through a $50 bounty........The Senator chooses not to do his homework on what western coyotes eat(small game, rodents, rabbbits, winter killed deer) and the fact that 300 years of concerted efforts to use bountys as a tool to reduce coyotes has failed each and every time implemented.......While Coyotes do take a % of fawns in the Spring and early Summer, the mechanism known as "prey swamping"(female deer give birth to fawns simultaneously across the population and thus ensures that a % of them escape bear and coyote predation--fawns are born odorless and therefore predators only find them randomly rather than zeroing in on them from miles away).......And as we have spoken about time and time again on this blog, Coyotes respond to human hunting by those remaining adults having larger and larger litters to compensate for losses...........And these coyotes tend to then makeup a more inexperienced coyote population which is much more likely to raid farmer livestock than experienced coyotes who have learned that livestock ='s death by gunshot or trap

Utah bill seeks to exterminate up to 20,000 coyotes
It might become the closest thing to a feral cat bill in the 2012 Legislature. Coyotes could wind up with a price on their head, with one lawmaker looking to pay $50 for each pair of ears from animals that have been shot or trapped, a plan that could encourage hunters to kill more than 20,000 of the animals.
Sen. Ralph Okerlund says coyotes are jeopardizing Utah deer herds and doing extensive damage to sheep and cattle herds and is proposing raising the bounty.

"We’ve got a lot more coyotes than we’ve got livestock and wildlife now and we need to do something about that," the Monroe Republican said. "What we’re hoping is this will encourage a lot more people to go out and hunt these animals."
There already is a smaller bounty program in place. Currently, hunters or trappers in certain counties that turn in a pair of coyote ears can be paid $20: $10 from the county, matched by $10 from the state.
But Okerlund said when gas and supplies are taken into account $20 isn’t enough incentive to exterminate this member of the dog family. His SB245 seeks to raise the bounty, using the revenue from a $5 increase in fees for hunting licenses and additional funds from the state.
Last year, the House considered a bill that would allow feral cats and birds to be shot to try to control the nuisances. It created a stir among animal rights groups and a sideshow before it was abandoned.
Don Peay, president of the group Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, said the goal of the coyote control is to infuse $1 million into the program, which could remove 20,000 of the predators. Peay said sporting groups could give additional funds to control coyote populations.
  • But Gene Baierschmidt of the Humane Society of Utah said the bill could encourage indiscriminate killing, "annihilating all the coyotes" in one area that does nothing to help the deer populations. The group also opposes the use of traps and poison as inhumane.
"We think the whole idea of a bounty system is kind of abhorrent to us," Baierschmidt said. "It is very controversial and the question has to be asked is: Is it based on science or is it just based on guesswork?"
Peay said the Division of Wildlife Resources has spent $75 million restoring deer habitat, but studies have shown deer populations are stagnant or declining.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources also does coyote control and has spent $3.4 million over the past six years hiring trappers and aerial hunters to kill the predators, focusing efforts during the breeding season. Okerlund said he decided to sponsor the bill after a constituent reported losing $30,000 worth of lambs to coyotes after he moved to a new lambing range.
"This program is really targeted more toward the livestock-men than the sportsmen," he said.
Sterling Brown of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation said the group supports the bill because coyote populations have increased and are claiming up to 15 percent of newborn lambs.

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