THE INDEPENDENT NEWS
COURTHOUSE — Last month, Pungo’s William B. Dawson Jr. asked the city council to consider enacting a $75 bounty on coyotes to help protect people, pets and livestock from a creature that can be as adaptable as it is disliked by some.
“We have a problem around here,” Dawson said in an interview later, adding that he has shot two of them in his yard. He said he also saw one cross Princess Anne Road and head toward the water at Sherwood Lakes.
To be clear — there are no plans to enact a bounty here. Dawsons remarks came during public comments. Julie Hill, a city spokesperson, in June said that the issue has not been assigned to the city staff.
Dawson also said the city should consider allowing live traps for areas where shooting is not possible. Dawson was inspired to speak following the alleged killing of a Moyock, N.C., family’s miniature horse by coyotes.
There is no state bounty on coyotes, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. There is also debate about the effectiveness of such programs, and there have been some cases of fraud, according to The Northern Virginia Daily, which wrote about a program in Warren County last year.
However, localities can and do enact bounty programs. Warren offers $50 per coyote, but the sum is capped at $2,000 per year, according to its county code. Other communities set aside more funds to pay for potential bounties, such as Buchanan County with a $5,000 cap.
State game officials recommend against feeding wildlife and keeping pet food indoors, among a number of ways to help keep coyotes away from residences.
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