It’s time to reduce the number of coyotes in Kansas – Leavenworth Times


Somebody call ACME Corporation or maybe Roadrunner. Kansas has a coyote problem and not the looney tunes kind of thing.

The Kansas News Service reports that the number of coyotes in Kansas has nearly tripled since the 1980s.

KNS reports that this problem is not unique to Kansas, as coyotes now range from the tundra of Alaska to the coasts of Florida. However, due to the species’ intelligence, resilience, and extraordinary adaptability, coyotes thrive in the modern world, even though many other American mammals have declined or become extinct since European colonization.

Essentially, they were able to encroach on unwanted territory, wreaking havoc on crops and livestock, looting trash cans and killing pets in urban areas. Coyotes can and will eat just about anything they can find, even vegetable crops.

Kansas, like many states, has a tradition of coyote hunting. KNS reports that organized coyote hunts in Kansas date back more than 100 years, with communities ranging from Liberals to McPherson to Topeka coming together to round them up and kill them.

“(Hunting competitions) help ranchers and farmers solve a serious problem,” said one hunter. “If someone broke into your home and stole your belongings and disrupted your well-being, you would do something about it.”

The ability to impact the population seems to have a mixed bag. Americans kill about 500,000 coyotes each year. But through it all, coyote populations keep going from strength to strength. Maybe it’s biology, or maybe it’s the lack of predators like the wolves that settlers killed years ago.

Whichever way you cut it, the problem isn’t the coyotes’ fault. They’re just looking for vittles.

Humans are going to have to be the solution. Currently, coyote hunting contests could be used for something. Although quite interesting, KNS reports that cheating is a problem during these contests.

We must keep in mind that coyotes are not like other types of game.

We know one thing is for sure, it can’t be the only way to cull the population. If coyotes become a bigger problem, we will need more creative solutions.

It’s a big question. We are going to need farmers, hunters, biologists, conservationists, forestry specialists, game wardens and many more to come together to tackle this problem.

If that doesn’t work, maybe Yosemite Sam might have an idea.

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