Coyotes A Headache for Agricultural Producers
Coyotes are a relatively common predator in southern Saskatchewan. While they mostly prey upon deer, rabbits, other rodents and sometimes reptiles, they won’t turn down an easy meal, which makes them a massive headache for farmers once they discover easy to access livestock.
“They seem to co-exist very well around human beings, and take advantage of any opportunity they can to thrive,” said Darrell Crabbe, the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Foundation. This includes learning where to find an easy meal, whether it is a herd of cattle or a roost of chickens.
At one point in time, the province of Saskatchewan had a bounty on the animals, paying out upwards of $70,000 a year in total. The bounty is gone, but hunting and trapping coyotes are something that can still happen.
"You don't require a license and only Saskatchewan residents can hunt them,” explained Lindsey Leko, a Conservation Officer with the Ministry of Environment. “There isn't a limit on how many you can shoot and there isn't a season date or anything like that. They're deemed a predator and that's in place so that we can help control the population of our coyotes."
Those who wish to keep the fur, however, will need a trapper’s license. Without it, they will need to leave the animal behind. Unlawful hunting and trapping can result in fines that start at $1000.
For farmers, there are some benefits of having a coyote population in the province, mainly keeping the population of gophers and other rodents in check. Crabbe pointed out that if there are issues with coyotes, being diligent and ensuring they don’t have access to an easy meal is key in preventing them from becoming problematic.