Letter: Shorten coyote season

Published: 11/18/2018 12:01:10 AM

The Eastern coyote, essentially a shy dog that is 9 percent wolf and looks like a medium-sized German shepherd, is an integral part of the ecosystem and beneficial to humans. These clever, intelligent omnivores help control small mammal populations and, as scavengers, help keep our communities clean of carrion. They eat animals that harbor Lyme disease. According to New Hampshire Fish and Game, “the great majority of them don’t prey on livestock” and “pose little risk to people.”

But some people need a dog to kick around. For this, they have the coyote, denigrating these canines for various dramatized reasons. And so these “nuisance varmints” are the only furbearers hunted year-round with no limit on how many can be taken. These dogs may be trapped, killed at night and lured with calling devices, and there are killing contests with prizes awarded. These dogs, who generally bond with a mate for years or for life, would be justified asking why we wanted so badly to break them.

But besides diminishing the benefits of having coyotes around, are the man’s strategies actually facilitating more interspecies conflicts? For example, it seems counterproductive to disrupt coyote families during April to October when young pups are taught to avoid humans and their property. If you kill a parent, training falls short and pups may be more inclined to become nuisances.

Fish and Game’s own biologist recommended closing the season from April to July. Can we at least give them a break for these few months?

WILLIAM TRENTLY

Stratham

(The writer is a board member of the N.H. Animal Rights League.)


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