MONTEVIDEO, Minn. -- For the first time in almost half a century, a Minnesota county will offer a bounty on coyotes. Chippewa County in western Minnesota will pay $10 per animal delivered to the County Sheriff's office in Montevideo.
The County Board has been concerned by reported attacks on sheep and cattle farms in the county. The Board voted Tuesday night to implement the bounty program beginning on December 1.
Minnesota ended its coyote bounty programs in 1965. The state legislature reinstated the ability of counties to offer the payments during the last legislative session. It applies to all counties in Minnesota that desire such a program.
There have been increasing reports of coyote sightings in the Twin Cities metro area. However, it is considered unlikely that bounties will be offered in the state's largest urban communities. Municipalities in the Twin Cities have ordinances that forbid trapping or shooting wildlife.
David Trauba, DNR Lac qui Parle Area Supervisor, said he believes bounty programs are "ineffective" and do not change the coyote population in a locality. In fact, the DNR sent Steve Merchant to testify against the then proposed change in state law last year. Instead, the lawmakers approved the bill.
The legislation reads, in part, "A county or town board may, by resolution, offer a bounty for the taking of coyotes (Canis latrans) by all legal methods. The resolution may be made applicable to the whole or any part of the county or town."
It is expected that some Minnesota counties adjacent to Chippewa County may follow suit and establish coyote bounty programs as well.
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