Urge New York to Encourage Cohabitation Over Killing Coyotes

Target: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Goal: Encourage cohabitation with coyotes instead of killing coyotes

The current coyote hunting season in New York ranges from October 1 to March 31 for the 2012-2013 year. There are no bag limits and hunters are not required to report a coyote harvest. Over 60,000 hunters participate in coyote hunting and over 3,000 trappers trap coyotes during the season. Based on research from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) itself, as well as research from organizations such as the Humane Society, which proves that coyote hunting has no effect on controlling coyote populations or decreasing the predation of livestock, the DEC should implement educational and informational programs about how to live responsibly with coyotes rather than encouraging senseless killing of the species by coyote hunting.

In 1990, New York legislators sought to pass a bill that would have allowed for year-round hunting of coyotes in New York. In response to public outcry against the bill, the DEC conducted an investigation into the role that coyotes play in relation to New York wildlife, livestock, and people. In this report, the DEC states that coyote hunting is not an effective method of population control, that coyote hunting does not impact the deer population positively or negatively, and that coyote hunting does not limit or eliminate predation of livestock.

The Environmental Conservation Law allows for “problem coyotes” to be killed at any time during the year outside of the hunting season should they be found to be destroying private property (i.e., killing livestock). This is the only time when killing coyotes has been found to be effective, as it is an immediate response involving the one coyote that is responsible for the wrong.  However, this method is only a short-term solution as coyotes are territorial and as soon as one is removed from an area, another will move in to claim the territory. The DEC listed six other methods of preventing coyote predation on livestock which are MORE effective at preventing coyote attacks than killing the “problem coyotes.” These methods include using electric fences around pastures, utilizing guard dogs, utilizing donkeys and llamas to guard the livestock, confinement of livestock at night to smaller pastures protected by electric fences, or a combination of these methods.

Based on the fact that the DEC was able to provide more effective solutions for protecting livestock against coyote predation than killing the coyotes simply by conducting research on the issue, it is safe to assume that most complaints about coyotes (which easily become excuses for hunting them) can be solved with similar research and educational programs about coyote behaviors and lifestyle. If citizens were more informed about coyote behaviors and how to avoid unwanted contact with the species, certain measures could be taken–such as using locking garbage can lids and not letting pets roam outside at night–to prevent unwanted contact with coyotes. By signing this petition, you can help urge the DEC to promote educational and informational programs about coyotes and how people can responsibly share the land with them, rather than promoting senseless coyote killing.


Dear New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,

In 1990, you conducted research into the impact of coyotes on New York wildlife, livestock, and people. Based on those findings, you worked to limit the coyote hunting season from October to March rather than have a year-round hunting season. As part of the investigation, you found that killing coyotes is not an effective method of protecting livestock against coyote predation. Rather, you cited six other, more effective methods of protecting livestock found as a result of research into coyote behavior and lifestyle.

In addition to finding more effective and humane solutions for dealing with coyote predation of livestock, your research found that killing coyotes during the hunting season is not an effective method of population control, going so far as to state that reproductive rates were even seen to increase when populations were heavily hunted. If not for population control, why is hunting coyotes legal at all?

Based on the success of your own research in finding more effective methods than killing coyotes of preventing unwanted coyote behavior, I urge you to promote educational and informational programs about coyote behavior and lifestyle, rather than encouraging killing coyotes during hunting season. I urge you to educate citizens on ways in which they can responsibly share the land with coyotes, rather than hunting them without just cause or reason.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Bill Weaver via Flickr

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  1. Coyotes need to be shot on sight

  2. tessa connorton says:

    Anyone that thinks it’s right to behave like Caveman should be dead. No need for all this killing of our beautiful wildlife. This is very sad.

  3. You people are crazy and have most likely never seen coyotes attack anything. And the dec says coyotes do not effect the deer population because they introduced them to NYS and do not want any blame for it. Coyotes have a much greater effect on small game and have hurt small game numbers immesly. The dec has also introduced moutain lions in some parts of NY as a means of deer control but have not released any information on it. If you dont know all the information then dont comment on it. Do some research. And for the record I am a big supporter of the dec.

    • Joshua Targett says:

      If we’re going to hunt animals that are only trying to survive for eating deer than I propose that we also take out those folks that go around shooting all of them thus creating the problem to begin with. Really, I’m quite certain they’re a far bigger problem than coyotes will ever be.

    • Do these people even know what they are talking about? Thank you pat! Clearly some people have a clue as to what really goes on in the woods. These city folk… “oh that poor fury thing” I bet if these yoties start going after small children and their pet poodle, they wouldn’t hesitate to call us hunters to take out the now nuisance. Farms all over my area are losing their livelihood (chickens, ducks, geese, and sheep) to these predators.

      • Jason, Yeah…….I don’t think so. First of all…..the “going after small children” part is way off base! The big bad wolf isn’t even “the big bad wolf”, not alone Coyotes. Coyotes are timid and shy and are far less likely to ever hurt ANY human than……other humans, are! As for “all the farmers who are losing their livelihood”……..I have lived in a farming community all my life, and have raised all of the animals you listed, and more. Yes, there are occasional losses here and there to a hungry Fox or Coyote, but it is so rare, it is hardly worth mentioning. Any farmer worth his beans would know how to easily avoid predation if it was an issue for them. The proper fencing and housing is an easy remedy. As for the poodle. If it’s a miniature poodle, yes, it would make a nice, albeit wooly treat for any coyote who was given free reign to it, as wood any small dog or cat. Again, you have to use your head if you I’ve in an area where coyotes are your neighbors. Just as you wouldn’t let small children out unattended if you knew child sex offenders lived in your neighborhood, you should never allow small pets to run unattended when you live in a natural setting that includes potential predators. However, coyotes are far from being the only thing for the owner of a small pet to be wary of. A hungry fox, any of the birds of prey that adorn the skies, even other dogs and cats can and do kill and maim peoples pets that are allowed to run unattended. So in your view we should…………what, kill all dogs bigger than a toy poodle to ensure no dog kills the toy poodles in the world?? Then we should wipe out all birds of prey, including the American Bald Eagle, as well as kill all of the cats in the world except one, to make sure no cat will kill or maim your cat. One question on that……who gets to be the single cat owner who gets to keep their one and only living cat?
        I’m not trying to be argumentative here Jason, I’m being unagressively sincere. I understand some people being concerned about sharing their yards and surroundings with animals such as wolves and coyotes, but if they knew the truth about these animals and their natural lives, they would know their fears are unfounded. As with anything in life, you have to arm yourself with knowledge before going off on a Witch hunt. Research has shown soundly that hunting wolves and coyotes only makes encounters between these animals and humans, more likely. Wolves and coyotes who are allowed to live as nature designed them, are highly family oriented. They live by a code that keeps their populations in check. Only the alpha pair breed, and they mate for life, with their offspring, or “children”, making up the rest of the “pack”. Life is hard for animals in the wild, and nature itself does the culling of excessive numbers in the clan, and does so in a smartly selective manner, leaving only the smartest and the healthiest and the best to carry on. Nature’s way is always superior to human intervention, and we all are better off letting nature run its course. The knowledge and experiences of the older pair are what keep everyone in check, and prevents the type of unacceptable behavior that causes problems between the “family” and their human neighbors. Hunting these animals, is what throws their survivors into a life of chaos, which in turn causes most of any problems between them and humans. Since the alpha pair, or “parents”, are the leaders and protectors of the family, or “pack”, they are often the ones who are killed at humans hands. This causes the unnatural breakdown of the family, and leaves the family in chaos, causing erratic and sometimes undesirable behavior, as well as unnatural and unchecked breeding, by animals not experienced enough to lead and teach their family correctly. Because the siblings are unchecked by an older, wiser pair, they break off from each other and start their own packs, therefore actually increasing the overall population in the area. However, since these new packs are being lead by unexperienced, often too young leaders, problems are far more likely, as these novices try to learn what they should know as leaders. A lot can, and sometimes does, go wrong during this learning curve. A learning curve that is completely avoided if nature is allowed to take its natural course, which would allow for the pack to be lead by the proper alpha pair until such point as the alpha pair are old and gray, and one of their offspring is ready to take over, naturally. So not only does the proper natural system result in far fewer animals in the area, but it mandates much smarter and more experienced animals at the same time, so that animal- human counters are at a bare minimal. The simple fact is, wolves and coyotes are far more intent on staying away from humans, than most humans are at staying away from them, a testament to each species values which I personally highly agree with. Knowledge is power, I always say, and never is that more true than when dealing with the natural world around us.

  4. I just want to voice my opinion as a coyote hunter and a hunter of just about everything in the state coyotes are somewhat of a problem have any of you people (against the hunting of coyotes) seen first hand what coyotes can do to a dairy calf? Because I have and it’s not pretty. have any of you been within 20-30 yards of one tried to scare it off and it still comes right at you? Better yet how many of you live in close proximity to them meaning rural areas? Finally how many of you have ever seen a coyote ? If you answer no then this issue does not concern you we don’t need your insight the people in charge of the DEC have been trained to make the decision and don’t need very uniformed people to try and make a decision for them so please stick to commenting about things you actually know about . Thanks have a nice day

    • Helga Guillen says:

      Coyotes deserve to live, eat, and feed their young. Hunters hate Coyotes and Wolves because they think Coyotes and Wolves will eat all the deer and elk until not game is left. Hunters kill for fun, pleasure, trophy, sport or hate, natural predators kill the prey for survival, they need to eat and feed their young. They can’t go to the shops to buy food. Greedy humans destroy and invaded their habitat. It is not their fault They need to find food, survive and feed their young. It is the humans fault that invaded their habitat. Natural predators are an important part for a healthy ecosystem.

      • Well then you better go live in the woods because your habitat took away some poor animals habitat so your living is doing more damage then the hunters that spend billions on conservation so how much do you give

      • Juan Ortiz says:

        thats not completely true i love wolves and i wouldn’t kill one unless its outta self defense if the wolf or coyote doesn’t attack me im fine i kill for food not for game.

    • Someone was NOT practicing good animal husbandry. Clearly you simply hate coyotes and it seems to be you who is clueless. There has been s large study (DEC included) since this petition began showing mass killing of coyotes does little to control numbers and predation isn’t a big deal here as it is “claimed” to be in western states. It is you that needs to research.

    • Austin, yes, I do live in an area where coyotes still live, and I thank God for it! And….yes, I understand that seeing a calf ripped apart like that must have been a bad experience. I applaud your apparent compassion toward newborn calves, though, no offense, but I have to question your sincerity since you are a hunter of just about everything in the state, by your own admission. But let’s go on the premise that you are a compassionate person concerned with the unnecessary suffering of animals. Let me ask you something: have you ever gone to a calf auction, and saw men beating newborn calves with hard wooden canes and sticks, or throwing them across the room by one leg onto a pile of other hurt and bleeding and tortured newborn calves? I have. Auction houses are filled with such brutality, and that isn’t even a tiny fraction of the tortuous hell you will find in every cow yard and meat processing facility across this nation! If you aren’t familiar with that, and are truly concerned about the welfare of calves and cows, or sheep or pigs or chickens or turkeys, etc…..etc…….I highly suggest you educate yourself on the merciless meat industry in this Country. My point, if it’s not clear yet, is that nature can be harsh, but it’s not nearly as much so as what humans do on a normal daily basis. As for the coyote snarling at you in close proximity……..how bout you stop hunting and killing them and threatening their families, and I bet they will be happy to leave you alone. And if you doubt my use of the word “family”, where coyotes are concerned, I suggest you educate yourself on the true nature of coyotes, as well. Yes, coyotes do have strong family values. They mate for life, which is more than can be said for the majority of human beings, and they live in family oriented groups which highly rival a lot of human families. If someone had been hunting and killing your family members on a regular basis, do you think you might stand up to them, as that coyote did to you? Can you really blame that coyote, Austin? Knowledge is power, Austin. Ask your DEC about the true nature of coyotes, and whether hunting makes coyote/human encounters better, or worse. Any decent and honest DEC employee will confirm all I have said, and more!

  5. Brad Bane of Coyotes says:

    Coyotes can be exterminated in 50 if 75% of the population is removed each yeah. SUNY ESF claims there to be 20-30thousand Coyotes in NYS. (Let population be 25000) This means that every year, 18750 coyotes will need to be removed. Nearly 1,000,000 over the 50 year mark. I myself and many others plan to, and have been making their contribution to eliminate them, we’ll see where we stand in 50 years. Nothing good comes from those disease harboring canines. Source: SUNY ESF website, WILDLIFE ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT 5th edition. Eric G Bolen, William L Robinson. Chapter 9 predators and predation, Effectiveness of control methods on coyote numbers. Page 172.

  6. Brad Bane of Coyotes says:

    As a further comment, Oswego county rabbit population is nearly destroyed. Coyotes didn’t help.

  7. Coyotes do not belong in City areas. Coyotes attack and kill small pets. They should be forced out of populated areas.

  8. Coyotes love to eat cats so you pussies bet watch out, they also hunt your pet dog and have been known to attack children.
    Our forefathers exsterminated them for good cause. But I guess you do gooder tree hugger know much more then they ever did. Oh that’s right you live in a city.

  9. Sorry but coyotes can be dangerous I’ve know people that have been killed by them and I’ve come close to that out hunting deer for food for my familyand really if you don’t hunt and are some silly animal activist really get a life this is a way of life not just hunting but survival of the fittest yes over killing is wrong but it’s a way to both keep our animals and our lives safe because out here in the country area coyotes lose there fear of people and will attack when given the chance

  10. Well they should of never been brought back coyotes in by the NYS DEC in the first place. So 365 day open season should be set. People who say coyotes have no impact on other wild life please tell me what the coyotes eat.

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