by Guy Page
A bill sponsored by a Senate committee would prohibit Vermont hunters from tracking coyotes with the help of dogs.
S281, introduced Jan. 27 into the Vermont Senate, would “prohibit the pursuit of coyote with the aid of dogs, either for the training of dogs or for the taking of coyote.”
Its sponsor is the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy. Chaired by Sen. Chris Bray (D-Addison), its members also include Vice-Chair Richard Westman (R-Lamoille), Mark MacDonald (D-Orange), Brian Campion (D-Bennington), and Dick McCormack (D-Windsor).
The bill was sent by the full Senate to Natural Resources and Energy for study and testimony. If approved by the committee, S281 will return to the full Senate for a vote, and then would go to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
In Vermont, coyotes can be hunted at any time during the year, according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept. A regulated trapping season begins the fourth Saturday in October and runs through December 31.
The Eastern coyote (Canis latrans) is not native to Vermont. It moved eastward from west of the Mississippi and first appeared in Vermont in the late 1940s, according to this Fish & Wildlife page, which offers extensive information on the Vermont coyote.