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  • Last modified 19 days ago (April 4, 2018)

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TO THE EDITOR

Of boys and coyotes

To the editor,

I would like to apologize for any offense taken by my using the term “boys club” in comments on the recent coyote hunt.

I realize that women hunt, too, and did not mean to indicate any gender bias by use of the term. I think I was reacting to the revulsion I felt when viewing a photo of a pickup load of beautiful, dog-like animals bloodied and dead.

I am curious as to what the disposition of the 25 dead coyotes was after the hunt. When my family moved to Marion County in 1961, it was common to see dead coyotes hanging by their rear legs on fence posts at the corners of pastures.

They were fully intact except for the ears, which were removed and taken to the courthouse in town as proof to claim the bounty.

This practice was abandoned long ago so I doubt if the coyotes from the recent hunt are hanging on any posts.

Since there is a cultural bias against eating the flesh of dog-like animals in this country, I doubt if the coyote corpses were donated to the food pantry for the disadvantaged.

The coyotes could have been skinned and the pelts sold had they been harvested earlier in the colder months of the winter. Current market for coyote pelts range from $7 to $10 for prime furs, but generally fur buyers want pelts from trapped animals without bullet holes.

While attending KSTC in the late ’60s I took several courses in economics and developed a lifelong interest, particularly in the concept of utility or the usefulness of something to meet a need or demand.

This is a basic instinct that animals and humans both posses and is clearly illustrated in the act of hunting to obtain food.

The reasons for hunting and killing the coyotes given by Jordan Metro in his explanation of the hunt are more theoretical: protection of cattle in a confined animal feeding operation, predator affects on deer populations, loses in pasture calving and spread of disease by coyotes.

All of these reasons would seem to require some scientific backing and in just a cursory survey on the Internet I find that there is a lot of differing opinions among wildlife biologists on human control of predator populations.

I guess I fall back to my father’s and grandfathers hunting instruction: If you kill it, eat it.

Economically, for coyote hunting this could also include killing coyotes to obtain the pelt for warmth or money and killing for a bounty to gain utility from the life of the coyote.

Theoretical reasoning for this type of hunting and contests are more analogous to the reasoning for going to war.

Harry E. Bennett
Madison, Wisconsin

Last modified April 4, 2018

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