Hunting News

Utah DWR Offers Hunters $10,000 Contracts for Coyotes

Utah wildlife officials are currently determining whether targeted coyote removal means deer fawns have a better chance at survival.

Utah wildlife officials are currently determining whether targeted coyote removal means deer fawns have a better chance at survival.

The growing number of coyotes in Utah and the threat they present to mule deer led to the creation of the state’s Predator Control Program in 2012. By the time wildlife officials ended the program’s first year last June, more than $380,000 was paid out to 1,055 participating hunters and trappers. What many may not know, however, is that the state also awarded 13 contracts to high-performing hunters for work between December 2013 and June 2014.

According to the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Division of Wildlife (DWR) began forming the contracts last November. To be eligible, hunters had to have turned in at least 25 coyotes through the Predator Control Program. This narrowed the pool of potential hunters to just 60. According to a report released by the DWR, more than 7,100 coyotes were taken as a result of the program, but most hunters only turned in one animal.

“The program is very successful in terms of participation,” DWR mammals coordinator John Shivik told KSL.com’s Grant Olsen.

Shivik explained that the contracts work by matching up experienced hunters and trappers with areas where fawn-to-doe ratios are low. The contracts require about 200 hours of work and may reach up to $10,000. The 13 contracts in effect now will end in June, and the DWR is considering agreeing to a similar number later this year after evaluating the program.

“This is a new program, however, that hasn’t been tried at this scale before,” Shivik said. “That is why it is so important for us to collect data on deer populations and coyote removal. In a few years, we will have enough data to be able to make a good assessment of the effectiveness of the program for helping deer herds.”

The Predator Control Program is funded by the Mule Deer Protection Act. Although coyotes can be dangerous to other animals, wildlife officials are primarily concerned about the effect the predators have on mule deer fawns. The combination of harsh winters, scarce food, and pressure from coyotes can strain deer herds to their limit, and biologists hope that the program will lead to a resurgence in the mule deer population.

“If the weather is mild and the habitat is good, then removing predators could increase the number of fawns that survive. More fawns could help to stimulate an increase in mule deer numbers,” the DWR states on its website.

Other factors make it hard to gauge whether the Predator Control Program is having an effect on deer numbers, such as available forage and the severity of weather. Animal rights groups were quick to criticize the program, while some biologists say that coyote culls have historically done little to reduce their population.

DWR officials hope otherwise, although it may be a few years until the department has enough data to make a conclusive analysis. Coyotes can produce up to six pups a year and can be difficult to hunt. Currently, the Predator Control Program reimburses hunters and trappers $50 for every confirmed coyote taken.

Image from ForestWander on the Wikimedia Commons

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
  • Rich Ace

    Where do I sign up at

    • Nonameever

      Too late.

  • Nonameever

    ” “This is a new program, however, that hasn’t been tried at this scale before,” Shivik said” because he had no familiarity with bounty programs, because if he did, he would have compared this tiny bounty program with Pres. Teddy Roosevelt’s bounty on wolves that decimated all wolves in the 4 corners resulting in massive herd growth, deforestation, and ultimate mass starvation of the deer population.

  • Dee Green

    Just how many stupid people are there in the United States, especially in regard to animal issues? Everybody and their mama knows , the more coyote you KILL (the only “management” man knows), the more they breed. If you have an over-population of coyote right now, that’s your own fault. Every single wildlife issue in the U.S. today is MAN CAUSED by MAN’s “management”. Shouldn’t have killed all the wolves..the ONLY true balancers of nature. Wolves are the predator of coyote, and you killed them all for fun and are still doing so…But wait..we all know WHY you kill coyote just to make them breed more coyote…That gives the two S’s, (sportsmen/sportswomen…which are NOT and never have been “hunters”) more coyote to use as live target practice…to trap and set multiple dogs on them alive in traps to rip them to shreds for your entertainment and your video bragging posts online about it…to trap and ILLEGALLY transport them from State to State for the purpose of selling them ALIVE for deviates to watch multiple dogs rip them to pieces during penning aka field trials aka dog trials…all for the perverse entertainment of spectators/illegal betters on such horrors that they also take their little bitty children to watch. We all know penning was the politician created legal loop hole around felony dog fighting charges, because indeed penning is 100% exactly the same as felony dog fighting. Anyways, man’s management of U.S. wildlife by killing it for fun, which in turn produces more of what you call “your problem animals”…stupidity at its finest.

  • ziggypop

    It appears that Utah has become a state of psychopaths and sadists. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah have nothing on Utah as the most perverse. I just thought Satan lived in Idaho…it seems he has set up a second home in Utah. A pox upon the state who would support such blood letting and torture.

  • Thomas Kane

    Really disturbing, Truly backward and ignorant actions against coyotes. Disgusting actually

  • Peter Souza

    Utah will learn the hard way when they have a epidemic of rodents, as rodents make up 96% of coyotes diet. The more humans play God, the more humans create hell on earth.

  • Leslie Howry

    This is criminal.