October 20, 2019

Government Sponsored Coyote Control vs. Private Sponsored Coyote Control

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Recently I have received two separate reports from two different individuals/groups about coyote control in Maine. Even though state officials still cringe at the thoughts of actually doing something about killing coyotes to save deer, some effort to control those coyotes around deer wintering areas is seeing some success.

I received one report, which I cannot say is an “official” report from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), that says that the government has budgeted $50,000 for predator control. At the time the email was sent, expenditures from the $50,000 totaled $8,500. This expense resulted in the taking of 50 coyotes by paid hunters and 35 by volunteers (I assume meaning they helped out but didn’t get paid).

The coyote control program is targeting 9 deer wintering areas – Some in Northern Maine, one in Northwestern Maine and a couple downeast.

A quick working of some simple math tells us that, including the coyotes killed by “volunteers”, the cost is $100.00 per coyote kill.

We can compare this to a brief report I received from the Aroostook County Conservation Association that just completed a coyote killing contest. Private donations amounted to $3,280 for the contest. 149 coyotes were brought in and registered. Simple math tells us the cost per coyote was $22.00.

Not intending to mislead, let me say that the MDIFW’s program targets deer wintering yards, while the contest involves killing coyotes anywhere at anything…..legally.

I have also read another report that says that up until this point conditions on the ground and the timing of the winter season may not be prime for taking coyotes around deer wintering areas. One might expect the deer mortality by coyotes on deer would begin increasing as the winter wears on, the coyotes get hungrier and the deer weaker from the stresses of the cold and snow.

I’ll attempt to get data on this program and keep readers updated.

Tom Remington

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