Maybe there’s a compromise in Ohio’s coyote proposal

(Ohio Division of Wildlife)

Trying to find compromise – concessions by each side – in the proposal to require coyote hunters to also obtain a trapping license may have breached the discord surrounding the subject.

If so, than the rancor, confusion, and mistrust circling the proposal is at an end.

Even so, nothing is written in fine print, let alone, stone. Consequently, the Ohio Division of Wildlife can move out of its corner and toward a middle ground.

Until it does, however, the whole cloth needs looking at with a jaundiced eye.

What the agency is proposing is that coyote hunters – not just trappers – first buy a trapping tag before shooting an animal.

Yes, I now, the agency insists that it is really a “fur-taker” permit. In truth, however, something on the order of 75 percent of the licenses issued are believed to find their way into the wallets of trappers – not hunters – who pursue raccoons, fox, and the like.

Fact is, “fur-taker permit” is one of those journalistic sour-lemon-tasting euphemisms on the order of “harvest” instead of “kill.” Or “antlerless permit” instead of “doe tag.” But I digress.

The agency’s proposal also calls for a season on the trapping of coyotes to align with that of other “fur-bearers” which are trapped, namely raccoons and fox.

Before a compromise can be reached it is important to note as well the Wildlife Division bungled this affair from the get-go. This, in a similar fashion to the Wildlife Division’s premature launch of a bobcat season in 2018.

The agency’s press release on the coyote proposal was a mush-mash of information. The document’s poorly worded paragraph featuring the matter was condensed into a sentence that melded hunting with trapping; the run-on lead failing to separate the two subjects.

Then too, the paragraph continued by noting a season for trapping but neglecting to specifically exclude the information that it does not apply to hunting. Again, here is where two short sentences instead of one poorly written would have better served the reader.

Far worse is the manner in which the Wildlife Division came up with the proposal. It never mentions they were really the offspring of the state’s trappers. Thus the agency failed to appreciate and understand that hunters needed to be brought into the loop before – and not, after – the proposal was launched. In effect, the Wildlife Division blind-sided those to whom the proposals would most impact: coyote hunters

In short, this proposal was inadequately vetted. In much the same manner the Wildlife Division groped about with the 2018 bobcat season scheme.

Yet the proposal is not without merit. For this reason, it is salvageable. With concessions and with compromise, certainly.

Clearly someone who shoots coyotes with the intent of selling their hide ought to pay something for that activity. Just as do those who hunt raccoons, fox, and the like.

Even so, a person sitting in a deer stand or blind, participating in a deer drive, or waiting for a woodchuck to appear on the edge of a cut hay field ought not to face a fine for taking the incidental coyote.

If one shoots a coyote and keeps it for personal us – a mount, a rug, or whatever – that individual ought not to have to buy an additional license. Yes, even if the Wildlife Division bays at the moon how trapping license sales have taken a 41-percent nosedive over the past 10 years.

A possible solution here features the idea that if a person brings a coyote pelt into a licensed fur-trader/buyer than that individual must also show he possesses a trapping license.

As for landowners who trap or shoot coyotes on their own property, handle that matter the same way the taking of deer, beaver, otter, and whatever is handled now.

The season thing is a bit more tricky. While the Wildlife Division is recommending coyote trappers observe a season, no such demand is being asked of hunters. Hunters therefore could still to shoot coyotes all year long.

Some trappers might argue this compromise is a gift to coyote hunters who’ll want to turn a profit on their pelts. Hunters – these trappers might advance – would get a jump on the taking/killing/harvesting of coyotes before a likely early November trapping season date arrives.

Perhaps, though that possibility is far less odious than demanding an additional state-mandated license on a hunter who simply took advantage of an opportunity to shoot a coyote.

Like I said: Compromise is all about making concessions. And this arrangement seems to meet that criteria.

Categories: Ohio – Jeffrey Frischkorn

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