Decision delayed to offer bounty on coyotes

Published 8:29 am Friday, January 25, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight County supervisors delayed deciding to offer a bounty on coyotes until their Feb. 21 meeting.

“As a minimum we should at the least encourage our hunt clubs to do all that they can to limit the population,” said Carrsville District Supervisor Rex Alphin.

Alphin during the December meeting asked the staff prepare a presentation regarding the problems associated with the increased population of coyotes.

County Attorney Mark Popovich presented the board with several studies where bounties are offered in Virginia.

“The standard rate from the study was $50 per carcass,” Popovich said.

Alphin thanked Popovich for his research.

“I had no idea there was so much information on this topic out there,” Alphin said. “I have mixed views on this topic.”

He felt he did not have enough information to vote on the matter.

Alphin said he also did not want to place a burden on Animal Control for possible carcass disposal.

“I think it would be a minimal cost to the county,” he said. “But I do have a concern that their population will increase substantially over the next five years.”

Alphin recommended a $50 bounty, but does not want the county to spend more than $2,500 a year.

Windsor District Supervisor Dee Dee Darden said she also wanted to know how the carcasses would be disposed of to make sure the county did not pay for a coyote twice.

“I have no problem with a bounty,” Darden said. “I would like to postpone a vote until a few of those questions are answered.”

Coyotes are known for preying on cats, dogs and newborn calves, said Newport District Supervisor Byron Bailey.

“They are a nuisance,” Bailey said. “I have heard many people talk of going to walk the family pet and all of a sudden they’re gone.”

Smithfield District Supervisor Al Casteen is concerned that adding a bounty could have a negative outcome.

“I don’t want to be the incentive for somebody’s hound dog being shot,” Casteen said. “I would like to start by encouraging our hunt clubs before we actually offer a bounty.”