The Utah Legislature passed two predator-related bills in 2012. The first bill, Predator Control Funding (Senate Bill 87), adds a $5 fee to all Utah big game hunting permits. The money will fund a program to control populations of predatory animals that endanger the health of Utah’s non-predatory wildlife.
The second bill, Mule Deer Protection Act (Senate Bill 245), allocates general funding to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources ($500,000) and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food ($250,000). The legislation directs our agencies to work together — and with other government entities — to administer programs that reduce and control coyote populations, particularly in areas where predation of mule deer occurs.
Outstanding and it is good to see a state implement a ‘state-wide’ bounty program, as opposed to having counties within the state do this. The reason why this is a better program is because then hunters in one county can’t bag a coyote and take the thing to another county that posted the bounty. It is easy for hunters to ‘game’ the system, and it is unfair to those counties that bare the costs of such a thing.
Now when it comes to hunters going out of state and killing coyotes, and then bringing them to Utah to try and collect the bounty is another issue. Of course the DWR have tried to set up appropriate measures to keep folks honest, but I am sure there will be those who will test the system.
Plus, coyotes could care less about state borders. Perhaps if Utah tried to convince their neighbors to implement a regional plan, and maybe even appeal to the federal government for such a thing, then maybe this program could be more effective?
The funding of this is interesting as well. It takes one group of hunters that go after big game, and attaches a 5 dollar fee to their tag, so that another group of hunters that focuses on coyotes will be compensated. The culling of coyotes helps to increase the amount of deer, or one system helps another system.
Plus, a hunter that goes after both deer and coyotes could potentially cover the cost of their hunting trip by bagging a few coyotes! In a poor economy, a program like this is a win win– deer meat in the freezer and income from culling coyotes.
The other reason why I like posting these deals is that bounty systems are excellent studies for offense industry. You can see how hunters operate and how the system supports the overall goal of culling. You can also observe any unforeseen consequences and see how that group changes the program to mitigate that. My one advice to Utah is to remain flexible and use the data collected to apply some Kaizen to their culling program.
Below I have posted the FAQ, but if you go to the website you will see all of the forms and links that are associated with the FAQ. Good luck and happy hunting. -Matt
Utah’s Predator Control Program
Our offices have received many phone calls and questions about Utah’s new laws to control coyotes and other predators. This page provides details about the new Predator Control Program and addresses the most common questions. Please keep in mind that this information is subject to change and may be updated at any time. We encourage you to check back on a regular basis for the latest updates.
Frequently asked questions
How will the new Predator Control Program work?
This year, in addition to maintaining an aggressive predator-management policy, the DWR is implementing a predator control program that provides incentives for members of the public to remove coyotes. Participants in this new program will receive $50 for each properly documented coyote that they kill in Utah. For details, see the rest of this FAQ page or download the fact sheet (170 KB PDF) and the map (382 KB PDF).
When does the program begin?
You may register for the program starting July 1, 2012. There are no restrictions on removal dates after the program has begun, but reimbursements will not begin until after Sept. 1, 2012.
How do I register for the program?