Today's Hunter and the Coyote
By Kim Royar, Department Furbearer Project Leader
Coyotes are an integral component of a healthy ecosystem and are here to stay in Vermont. Predators, such as coyotes, evolved over eons with deer and other prey species, and, in good habitat, don’t pose a threat to their populations. In fact, they often help maintain prey in balance with available habitat. Therefore, the department supports maintaining a healthy, functioning population of coyotes in the state.
Like all wildlife, coyotes are part of the public trust; that is, they are owned by everyone, hunters and non-hunters alike, and are managed in trust by the department for future generations. Wildlife has intrinsic worth and the department manages populations, including coyotes, for all the values they provide to society – from hunting and the use of their pelts to the viewing of a family group stalking field mice to simply hearing their night time yips and howls.
Today’s hunter recognizes the vital role that coyotes play in the ecosystem and appreciates their unique ability to successfully adapt to living here in a new environment. Like all wildlife that are hunted, they deserve admiration and respect from those that hunt them. Humans and coyotes share a common legacy in that we are both hunters, often competing for the same quarry. We both have the right to pursue that quarry. The way we relate to coyotes, and how we view them, could be a guide to better understanding our own connection to, and role in, the natural world.
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Photo by Everett Marshall