Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coyotes are always in season
The Board of Supervisors want to make it clear that coyotes are a nuisance species that residents can shoot, any time of the year.
“They should be treated the same way as groundhogs,” said Chairman Joe Grzeika.
The issue came up last night when Supervisor Dale Sisson Jr. said a resident had asked what kind of weapon could be used to shoot coyotes and when. Rifle hunting isn’t allowed in King George, and the resident wondered if he could use a rifle to shoot a coyote.
What followed was a confusing discourse from County Attorney Matt Britton about game seasons, shooting from elevated heights and what other counties have done.
Then, he clarified: “They are a non-game, nuisance species. You can kill a coyote at any time. It’s not hunting and you can use a rifle to do it.”
Supervisors want to make sure residents know that they can dispose of coyotes, just as they would destructive groundhogs.
Grzeika said he had a coyote in his yard recently, and Sisson said he saw three the other night.
A 2009 story in our paper said the area population of coyotes has increased in recent years. Officials with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said they pose little threat to humans, but they’re opportunistic animals that are considered a nuisance because they sometimes kill domestic animals.
“They are able to find food sources, and they’re thriving,” said district wildlife biologist Mike Dye.
Males can grow up to 45 pounds and range 15 to 28 miles from their home dens.
More information about coyotes is available at the game department’s website.