Regarding your recent editorial: Utah taxpayers have been subsidizing coyote slaughter since 2012. $50 bounties are paid annually from the Mule Deer Protection Act (SB245). As it turns out, fraudulent claims were paid out of taxpayer money!
The fund tops at $750,000 annually. The number of documented coyotes slaughtered since 2012 is an annual average of 14,892, for a total of 74,460 harvested as of 2017. The majority of Utah taxpayers abhor this slaughter of wildlife, yet it continues.
Coyotes are killed by trapping, shooting and poisoning with no end in sight because of this ethically indefensible and fiscally foolish bill. “Coyote hunting contests” are held “for entertainment”; even youngsters participate in this. Taxpayer money is being squandered for the “entertainment” of a minority, while peer-reviewed science proves mule deer decline is rooted in lack of adequate food sources, caused by climate change and human development, not predators.
Causes of coyote deaths include predation, disease, weather, hunting, trapping, poison, automobiles and rampant “predator control” by the state of Utah. Coyotes are useful predators eliminating vermin that damage agriculture and other property. Predators have a place in healthy ecologies. Stop this senseless slaughter and the squandering of tax money!
Maria Roberts, Park City