Should Coyotes, Predators Have Financial Kill Bounties?

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Bounties on predators are nothing new. They were common back in the 1800s and early 1900s on a variety of wildlife including wolves, mountain lions and other predators.

Some of these bounties worked pretty well. Others, maybe not so much. They’re still in use today in some parts of the country. Louisiana, for example, offers a nominal bounty for each tail of a nutria brought in for the money. A nutria is a big ol’ swamp rat that eats vegetation, which helps denude the coastal marshes and leads to erosion.

In 2013, Pennsylvania’s legislature considered a $25 bounty on coyotes. Hunters often ask for bounties when they believe, whether right or wrong, that coyotes or other predators are to blame for declines in game animal populations. Wolves in the upper Midwest are a hot-button topic right now. Coyotes are being studied in the Southeast for their impact on white-tailed deer, turkey, quail and other game animals.

Do financial incentives help? Would it make you become more tuned into predator hunting if your state put a bounty on wolves, coyotes or some other nuisance animal? These predators fit into the cycle of life and have a place, of course, but where’s the tipping point and would a few extra bucks in your pocket matter?

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