Letter: Coyote killing contests deserve condemnation

Posted
To the Editor:

Regarding Arden Scranton's recent letter to the editor of the Bennington Banner about a proposed statewide coyote hunt, I offer for consideration the following comments: Arden's presentation of coyote biology is completely accurate and was obviously well researched. The misplaced rage against coyotes is epidemic in all the Northeastern states. Fish and Wildlife agencies in these states are never going to condemn these frankly stupid hunts as they offer an excuse for those agencies' bewildering deer management programs. Blaming the coyote for lower deer numbers is the universal mantra of deer biologists who year after year recommend higher anterless deer harvests.

Having been a conservation law enforcement officer in two states for a total of 34 years, I have seen the bloodthirsty demeanor of "sportsmen" who engage in organized coyote hunts. Too many of these so called "hunters" are nothing more than killers. Controlling livestock depredations, well, that's a different story. Laws are in place which allow for that. There is no sound best practice wildlife management behind body count coyote hunts. As a hunter for over 50 years I ask responsible sportsmen to avoid participating in coyote killing contests.

Tony Winters

Shaftsbury

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