Coyote management remains a concern in the region | Public security


The Missouri Department of Conservation opened the year-round coyote hunt in February to combat overcrowding, but an expert said the impact has yet to be felt.

The conservation service is going even further in 2022, allowing the use of thermal imaging and night vision when hunting coyotes between February 1 and March 31.

Part of the reason there is little visible effect could be due to the novelty of the rule, but another contributor could be the lack of money to be made from coyote fur, the agent said. conservation Dave Carlisle.

“A lot of people don’t even hunt them anymore, other than hunting them with dogs because there just isn’t a lot of money for fur,” he said. “And they wish they could come back and run their dogs more in that same area… There is more money to be made buying, selling, trading their dogs than killing a coyote and trying to sell the fur. “

Coyotes aren’t just a rural Missouri problem. They also have a tendency to bleed in suburban and urban communities, which can strike residents closer to home, said biology professor Julie Jedlicka of Missouri Western State University.

“It’s a real scare if you have small dogs,” she said. “There are things you can do to help minimize the impact coyotes can have, depending on where you live, but the fact that the numbers are increasing is basically a response to the fact that they don’t. no natural predators. “

The risk of attacks on small animals can be mitigated by not leaving them alone at night, as coyotes are less likely to attack something as large as a person, Jedlicka said.

Since coyotes are so adaptable, one of the best ways to limit their impact is to remove their food source. People should limit the food kept outside for cats and dogs, avoid taking out the trash at night before picking up and removing bird feeders, Jedlicka said.

“It will be something that will attract wildlife,” she said. “If you feed the birds, don’t let your birds eat outside. Sometimes urban coyote packs can be intelligent and are omnivorous, so they also eat trash. They don’t need to hunt.

Food is a factor, but coyotes might also be attracted to things like water, shelter, and enough open space, Carlisle said.

“These animals, when they enter an urban environment, will behave differently than in a rural environment, that’s for sure,” he said. “They get used to people more so they’re going to be more used to the different sources of food that (are) readily available. And there are so many contributing factors that can explain why a coyote is there. “

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