WV ag chief proposes coyote bounties - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

WV ag chief proposes coyote bounties

Posted: Updated:
  • GovernmentGovernmentMore>>

  • National Preparedness Month encourages residents to plan response to weather, other emergencies

    National Preparedness Month encourages residents to plan response to weather, other emergencies

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:26 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:26:18 GMT
    National Preparedness Month, celebrated each September, is a nationwide program hosted by the Ready Campaign to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. 
    The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is participating in National Preparedness Month, now in its 11th year. National Preparedness Month, celebrated each September, is a nationwide program hosted by the Ready Campaign to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. 
  • UPDATE: Two appointments made to commission tasked with studying chemical spill bill

    UPDATE: Two appointments made to commission tasked with studying chemical spill bill

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:43 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:43:38 GMT
    Senate Bill 373, a bill drafted in response to the Jan. 9 chemical leak, establishes a commission to do studies and report back to the Legislature. Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, made the first appointment to that board on Aug. 29. Kessler appointed Dr. Rahul Gupta, Executive Director of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department.
    Senate Bill 373, a bill drafted in response to the Jan. 9 chemical leak, establishes a commission to do studies and report back to the Legislature. Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, made the first appointment to that board on Aug. 29. Kessler appointed Dr. Rahul Gupta, Executive Director of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department.
  • Treating toxic water may cost New Castle, Delaware $1M

    Treating toxic water may cost New Castle, Delaware $1M

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:09 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:09:22 GMT
    Officials have focused on the longtime use of fire-fighting foams at the nearby Delaware Air National Guard Base at New Castle Airport. Those foams contain perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, which are an emerging health concern for drinking water supplies nationwide.
    Officials have focused on the longtime use of fire-fighting foams at the nearby Delaware Air National Guard Base at New Castle Airport. Those foams contain perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, which are an emerging health concern for drinking water supplies nationwide.

BECKLEY, WV (AP) — Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick believes he has the solution to West Virginia's coyote problem.

Helmick is looking at establishing a bounty to encourage hunters to kill the critters.

He said coyotes are the state's biggest predator problem. They are in all 55 counties and pose a threat to both farm animals and domestic pets.

"More of them are being born than we're removing. They're winning the battle," Helmick told The Register-Herald of Beckley.

"We spend a significant amount of money on predator control. About half a million dollars. The feds helped us out a few years ago but aren't doing anything at all now. We've lost the federal support."

Under Helmick's plan, coyotes would be trapped and their ears would be marked with an identifying number. They would then be released in a different area. Hunters who kill a coyote marked with a number would receive a bounty.

"Hunters will be out there all the time, looking for this type of opportunity, and will probably kill another 25 trying to get to that one, or maybe even kill 100 of them," he said.

Details of the plan, such as the bounty amount, are still being worked out.

Helmick wants to expand the state's sheep industry. But he said that will be difficult unless the coyote population is reduced.

"I know we have a problem with the sheep industry," he said.

"And the coyote is not all the problem, but it's a significant part. For the rebirth or growth of the sheep industry, it would be almost impossible with the amount of coyotes we now have on the loose."

A personal anecdote shared by Helmick shows that a coyote is a cagy foe.

He said his son, Brian, had rigged bells at his home in Charleston that the family's cat could ring when he wanted to go outside or come inside. A coyote pounced on the cat one night as soon as he rang the bell and stepped outside.

"That coyote had figured out the bell," Helmick said.

"He knew that sooner or later, that cat was going out. He had watched before when the bell rang."

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press