Senate panel passes bill targeting state’s coyotes

Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN

February 15, 2011

Coyotes beware: The Legislature is taking aim at you.

A proposal to allow counties and townships to offer a bounty for killing coyotes easily cleared a Senate panel Monday, passing by a 10 to 1 vote.

The legislation, which still has several hurdles before becoming law, was actually passed last year by the Legislature but was part of a larger game and fish proposal vetoed by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

“It’s a big problem for the livestock people, particularly those that are raising free-range poultry and sheep,” said Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, the proposal’s lead Senate author. “Coyotes are now in the suburbs.”

But Mike DonCarlos, the state Department of Natural Resources’ acting deputy director for fish and wildlife, dismissed the proposal, saying placing bounties on coyotes and other predators usually does not work.

Kubly, however, said bounty supporters “do not see it as a complete resolution. They see it simply as one of the things that will help them keep the [coyote] population in check.”