System begun to trap coyotes
The province is setting up a network of trappers that would be available on short notice to deal with the problem of coyotes.
The solution, agreed to by members of the P.E.I. Trappers Association in a meeting in North River Saturday, would also help limit the number of coyotes trapped or killed preventing abuse of the solution.
A phone number will be set up so a farmer, or anyone for that matter, having problems with a coyote can call and have a conservation officer come out quickly, ascertain if there is a problem and make a decision on whether the coyote or coyotes should be eliminated.
Once the idea was approved at Saturday's meeting, people with the P.E.I. Trappers Association were requested to volunteer as trappers. These people would be trained in knowing the whereabouts and habits of coyotes and would have the equipment to deal with the situation.
"It's much better than having a free bounty," said Jimmy A'Hearn, vice-president of the trappers association. "I think more farmers would be in support of an idea like this."
Chester Gillan, minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Environment, said the province will now establish a procedure as to exactly how the response will work.
Gillan said putting a bounty on the heads of coyotes would be akin to sending just anyone out to a fire call.
"Why would we send somebody out to do this type of deed if they're not trained?'' Gillan asked in an interview Sunday night.
"They (trappers) have the equipment plus they have the knowledge."
A'Hearn said using trained trappers would also ensure that the right coyote is trapped and not just a stray that happens to be in the same area.
"Very few coyotes are problem (animals)," A'Hearn said. "You don't have to go targetting every one of them."
Gillan said trappers who volunteered and he estimated 20-25 trappers volunteered at the meeting would be paid for their work but no set figure has been agreed to yet.
"While we didn't fix any particular figure, it seems that it will be a set amount and then there may be expenses over and above that," Gillan said.
"If you had to go out four or five times, you're not going to get gas and expenses for four or five times if you should be doing the job the first or second time if you're a good trapper
at this point it looks like we will probably be going with a set fee and also a cap on expenses."
The minister also explained that all coyotes trapped will be marked so the person who trapped it cannot use it again for commercial purposes.
"When an animal is taken you want to be darn good and sure somebody just didn't have four or five coyotes in the freezer and pulled one out at a convenient time. We would either mark the pelt with some sort of dye and/or ear punch it in season and then it could go into the fur auction."
Gillan said all trappers who volunteered to handle coyote problems will be issued nuisance permits and would be able to trap the animal at any time of the year, whether hunting and trapping is in season or not.
Gillan said the trappers who volunteered hail from all parts of the Island ensuring that anyone who has a problem will have an available and trained trapper nearby.
Coyote trapping facts
- Anyone who has a problem with coyotes will be able to call a number for help.
- A conservation officer will be sent out quickly to ascertain the problem.
- If the situation is deemed a problem, a locally trained trapper will be sent out.
- Any coyote trapped will be marked so it can't be used again for commercial purposes.
- All trappers will be paid for expenses such as gas and equipment but the amount will be capped.
- Trappers will be issued nuisance permits authorizing them to trap in or out of trapping/hunting season.