To The Editor:
Coyotes in Vermont may be hunted 365 days a year, at any time of day, any way the hunter wants, and any amount they want to kill. Coyote pups are left orphaned when their mothers or fathers are killed (both coyote parents tend to the young). The activity is unregulated and coyote hunters aren't even required to report their kills. Vermont Fish & Wildlife has allowed this to continue and despite pleas from the public, they have no interest in changing the status quo.
Coyote hounding is a method of hunting coyotes that's been getting a lot of attention in the media lately. Mainly in the winter, hunters, often referred to as hounders, use packs of hounds to run down and maul coyotes. This "recreational" activity is referred to as coyote hounding. Coyotes are chased for hours over large tracts of land, including private posted property, until they collapse from exhaustion and are left to defend themselves. They can’t run up a tree to flee, so the lone coyote is left to fight off a pack of hounds. The hounds are trained to attack, maul, bite and even kill their prey -- this is legalized dog fighting. The hounders are nowhere in sight and when they do show up, they photograph and videotape the fight. The coyote is ultimately shot and killed by the hounder. Their bodies are often left to rot where they were killed. Coyote fur isn’t selling anymore/ There’s little incentive to retrieve the coyote and utilize it.
These so-called hunters are not required to register their hounds, there are no special permits and they aren't required to report their kills. The state is sanctioning this abusive, dangerous and cruel activity. In Craftsbury on private property, a mother and her two kids witnessed, from their window, hounds tearing into a lone coyote with blood everywhere.
Please support bill S. 281, banning the inhumane, unethical and horrendous sport of coyote hounding in Vermont and write your state representatives today.