New trapping, coyote hunting regs get public hearings

Coyote hunting dog with tracking/control collar

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board are accepting public comment and will hold three public hearings on new proposed regulations for trapping and for hunting coyotes with the aid of dogs, set to take effect next January. 

The coyote-hunting regs would limit to 100 the number of coyote hunters using dogs. They also would limit each hunter to four dogs or fewer, and require the dogs to wear tracking/control collars. 

The new proposed regulations come in response to the Vermont Legislature’s Act 159 and Act 165, both passed last year. 

Act 159 directed the department to improve trapping safety and the welfare of animals trapped during the state’s regulated trapping seasons.  The department’s proposal includes establishing a safety buffer between public roads, state-owned trails, and places where traps can be set, and restricting the use of body-gripping traps to reduce the risk to pets.

Act 165 directed the department to create rules guiding the use of dogs to hunt coyotes, a practice that is not currently regulated.  The department’s proposal will cap the number of individuals permitted to hunt coyotes with dogs in Vermont to 100 hunters.  It will also restrict the number of dogs involved in each hunt to four or fewer and includes safety provisions like requiring that dogs wear tracking and control collars when coyote hunting.

Complete details on both sets of legislative requirements, the proposed regulation changes approved for public comment by the board earlier this spring, and additional recommendations from the department are available. Public comment will be accepted from May 17 – June 30, 2023.  Comments can be emailed to ANR.FWPublicComment@vermont.gov with the subject line “trapping and coyote regulations.”

Two in-person public hearings and one online public hearing will be held to provide additional opportunity for comment, at the following dates and locations:

  • June 20, 6:30-8:30 pm.  Rutland Middle School, 67 Library Avenue, Rutland Vt.
  • June 21, 6:30-8:30 pm.  Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier Vt.
  • June 22, 6:30-8:30 pm.  Online via Microsoft Teams at: https://tinyurl.com/trappinghearing

Following public comment, revisions by the department, and a final vote by the board, the new regulations are expected to come into effect in January 2024.

Categories: Outdoors

2 replies »

  1. To whom this may concern,
    I am a hunter, fisherman, and in general, an outdoors oriented person. I am also a native Vermonter with many generations in my ancestry, and as such, I wish to make my position known about new regulations regarding trapping, and hunting coyotes with dogs.

    It has been very distressing to see the change in this state regarding the bending, and reshaping of the Fish and Wildlife Department to accommodate the differing philosophies of recent arrivals to this state in regards to the use of the land, and the wildlife, both, renewable resources. I have witnessed the Department change it’s very name from the Fish and Game Dept. to the Fish and Wildlife Dept. to placate these flatlanders. I have seen attitudes towards hunting change from it being accepted as an honorable pastime, to something that those of us involved in it should be so ashamed of, that we hide their accomplishments so as not to offend those who would love to see it abolished.

    I would point to “Facebook”postings by hunters, trappers, and fishermen of their successes, and the harassment by those opposed to it, to the point that sportsmen take down their posts. Years ago when there was a program on the TV, or a movie that you disapproved of, you did not go to see it. Now, you protest it until it is taken off so no one can see it. I would point to the case of dead coyote pups being displayed by hanging them from a flagpole in the NEK a few years ago. Now this was not something that I agreed with, but it was not illegal. Someone from the “animal rights” group “Protect our Wildlife” reported it to F&W, and a F&W law enforcement officer was dispatched to “have a talk” with the hunter. Somehow people from the POW got wind of this capitulation by the department, and the action was used by the POW as an example of a win against the hunting community. This should not have happened !

    Today it’s trapping, and hunting coyotes with dogs, and you know better than I that banning bear hounding is already in the works. Next ? Moose ? Archery ? I propose a camel season, as if we do not control this invasive critter soon, there will be no room under the tent for Vermont sportsmen, and women.

    I call on the Fish and Wildlife Department to not forget who brought you to this dance. If you think that the animal rights groups are going to support you, be it politically, or financially the way that sportsmen, and women do, you are sorely mistaken. They will dump you like the fat, ugly chick that they in fact see you as, and install various Disney loving, fruitcakes, and you can take that to the bank ! Without hunting, trapping, and yes, eventually fishing, there will be no need of as many Game Wardens, or any of the rest of the department that we presently have. That is their utopia. Stop them in their tracks, here, and now, once and for ever !

    Most sincerely,
    Pat Finnie

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