Osgoode Club Official Statement on Coyote Cull Contest!

Much thanks to Gordon Atkinson of the Osgoode Fish, Game and Conservation Club for providing me with an official statement on the Great Coyote Cull Contest:




The Osgoode Township Fish, Game and Conservation Club (OTFGCC) is a volunteer organization which exists to promote an interest in the outdoors.  Over the past 20 years the club has been actively involved in the community of Osgoode Township raising funding and hosting community projects such as the Annual Kid’s Fishing Day, a Family Ice Fishing Day, the funding of local children’s sports teams, the installation of new lighting and a dock at Taylor Park, Big Buck Contests and the building and running of a Club Ice Fishing Shack.  Conservation projects have included things such as erecting Osprey nests along the Rideau River and constructing wood duck boxes throughout the township.


Over the last few years, the Township of Osgoode has seen a dramatic increase in its coyote numbers. The growing coyote population is not only a local problem, but also a provincial-wide problem that the Ontario Government doesn’t seem to want to address.  The costs of ignoring the problem are, however, starting to add up.  In 2008, coyotes killed 4829 (reported) livestock in Ontario resulting in $965800 in compensation paid by the Provincial Government to farmers.  Ontario is not alone with regard to the ‘nuisance’ coyote problem.  The Saskatchewan government currently offers a $20 bounty as part of their Coyote Control Program to help farmers and ranchers who are having trouble with coyotes killing their livestock.    


To support our local farming community and to address the local problem of coyotes that are killing livestock, pets, and endangering the rural public, the OTFGCC initiated “The Great Coyote Cull Contest”.  Culling is the process of removing animals from a group based on specific criteria. This is done in order to either reinforce certain desirable characteristics or to remove certain undesirable characteristics from the group. For livestock and wildlife, the process of culling usually implies the killing of animals with undesirable characteristics.  In accordance with the definition of the word ‘cull’, we are hoping that the coyote contest will help to reduce the number of ‘nuisance’ coyotes in Osgoode Township.     


In the September 2009 O.F.A.H. News Update, O.F.A.H. Biologist Ed Reid “suggests that the increase in coyote-human conflicts reflects two things: when prey is abundant, coyote numbers increase.  Reid also thinks coyotes and ‘brush-wolves’ appear to be losing their natural wariness in areas where they are not hunted.”  Reid is then quoted as saying that “[t]he greatest benefit of hunting coyotes may not be the reduction of their numbers, but the impact hunting has on their ‘education’.  Hunted coyotes are more wary of people and our enterprises and livestock.” 


Stringent laws regulate what, when, where and how a person can hunt. Only people who have completed an Ontario Hunter’s Education Course Exam, a Canadian Firearms Safety Course Exam and who have purchased an Ontario Small Games License may participate in the contest.  The season for coyotes in Osgoode Township is open year round and there are no limits on the number of coyotes that can be harvested.  Hunters need to be aware of the City of Ottawa Discharge of Firearms By-law no. 2002-334 and its boundaries before going hunting.  Furthermore, licensed trappers can also harvest coyotes for the contest. 


To enter “The Great Coyote Cull Contest” licensed hunters and trappers are to bring their coyote and $2.00 to The Old Co-op in North Gower.  Participants will be given a ballot to be entered into the draw.  First prize is a Mossberg model535 AP shotgun. Second and third placed prices are also geared towards coyote hunting. Contest winners will be announced Monday March 15, 2010.  For further information regarding the OTFGCC and our activities please see our website at http://www.ofah.org/ZoneF/Clubs.cfm?A=Osgoode




Gordon Atkinson


Osgoode Township Fish, Game and Conservation Club

5 thoughts on “Osgoode Club Official Statement on Coyote Cull Contest!”

  1. Thanks to the OFAH and local conservation clubs like the OTFGCC, the number of coyote kills on area farms is far less than they might otherwise be. Nevertheless, the problem is significant and it is now spreading into the urban areas where cats and dogs are prime prey, and there are more incidents of coyote/human encounters being reported.

    Coyote numbers have exploded in the last 7-10 years to the point that we have daily sightings of one or more large males roaming the fields, and the fox and rabbit populations have almost been entirely elimiated. There are fewer and fewer hunters to control preditor coyotes due to the reluctance of some landowners to grant them permission to hunt on their property, yet these same people and their urban friends are the first to write to the Township Council complaining that the favourite calf, lamb or family pet has been lost. The Humane Society and others animal rights groups are now jumping into the fray to protect the coyotes, and to express concerns that coyotes will somehow suffer inhumane treatment at the hands of hunters. Give me a break! Hunting has been here since the year dot, and hunters that I know are just as caring as your local veterinary. So please, stick to what you know and stop critizing hunters for playing an effective role in the mangement of local wildlife.

    Coyotes have become a common sight on my farm. One day a few weeks ago I scarred off a large male that was hanging around my cattle feeding yard. I can’t say with certainty whether or not he was eyeing 1 of the 4 young calves in the herd, but he wasn’t in any hurry to leave the area either. All summer long I hear coyote packs howling at night as they travel along the river bank about 200 meters from my house. I’ve been awakened at 2:00 am by cattle running frantically around the field searching for their young and presumably chasing the preditors away. I approached the MNR in the past asking them to renew the bounty of years ago, but they say it’s not in the cards….which is code for “it’s not politically acceptable”. Meanwhile, more deer (yes, I talking about Bambi and her fawns), fox, rabbits, cattle, and neighbourhood pets are falling victim to the coyote overpopulation.

    I applaud the OTFGCC for it’s creative thinking and the initiative it has taken to deal with a local problem for which no one else will take ownership, and for having the guts to fly against the wind of “what’s politically correct” for the better good of the local community. Keep up the good work.

  2. Thank you Mr. Patterson for your informed and educated opinion.

    One would think the firsthand views of a landowner such as yourself, would carry more weight on this issue, and I’m glad to know there are solid folks like you to help in our fight against political correctness…on not just the coyote issue, but others.

    I had always believed that sound conservation practices would speak loudly enough to convince people and public opinion that hunting was acceptable…but I was wrong!

    Political correctness, as I have discovered, often carries more weight around here than any biological data or scientific proof put forward.


  3. I took a walk today in my 25 acre woods in the heart of the forested area of Osgoode Township. The cedar bush is full of rabbit tracks. Lots of wild turkey tracks. Also squirrel tracks and mice tracks. The feral barn cats have been hunting in the woods too. There was an older deer track, and two recent wolf or coyote tracks, one bigger and one smaller. The deer are invariably 24 hours ahead of the wolves on their trips through my woods and across my fields. I saw one fox track, and also saw a fox running along the side of the road near here while coming home the other night. The report declaring that rabbits and foxes have been “almost entirely eliminated” by coyotes appears to have been greatly exaggerated!

    I built here on a long abandoned farm 38 years ago. I raised dairy goats for 15 years, and had a herd of about 35 Toggenburgs. I never lost any to coyotes or wolves because I put them in the barn and closed the door each night. Coyotes or wolves howl all around some evenings, especially when a full moon is rising. The sound is music to our ears, as is the sunset chorus from the gathering of thousands of crows in nearby trees, or the orchestra of frogs singing in the swamp, or crickets in the fields. I find it enjoyable and reassuring to be living in such close touch with the natural world, as do my neighbours.

    There have been periodic hunts and ongoing trapping of wolves across Osgoode Township. I was back in my woods clearing a rink on the frozen pond one winter when bullets were suddenly whizzing past me and a volley of gunshots sounded from the direction of the road. I dove for cover behind a tree and a timber wolf ran past me, leaping my trail and disappearing into the frozen swamp. So much for the claims that hunters don’t endanger the lives of others! I could have been injured or killed by the bullets flying past me on both sides.

    I’m not opposed to farmers protecting their livestock, or people protecting their children or their pets. But if a wild animal is threatening you, eliminate that particular animal, don’t slaughter the entire species! There are 460,000 people bitten by domestic dogs in Canada every year according to the Canada Safety Council, which means 11,000 people in the Ottawa area alone. Yet nobody is suggesting we slaughter dogs, in fact we barely hear about aggressive dogs at all.

    The wildlife populations have been balanced by nature since the beginning, coyotes have been around for 2 million years. The gray wolves are their natural enemy and keep coyote numbers in check. The coyote population in Yellowstone Park declined by 50% within 2 years of Gray wolves being reintroduced there.

    I suspect that the grayand black and red wolves in the Osgoode area are being slaughtered along with the coyotes, certainly they both get caught in the same snare and leghold traps. Leaving the wolves alone will do far more to control coyotes than an indiscriminate cull.

    I think the coyote cull is the wrong approach to protecting people. Reducing coyote numbers so the food they eat is abundant will just cause the survivors to produce far more pups and the numbers will rebound within a year. Their wolf predators are not as prolific, so the coyote problem will be made worse because of the wolves killed. In my experience the threat to the public from hunters shooting at coyotes near residential areas and rural homes is greater than the threat of harm from coyotes.

    Just follow the procedures in the Near North communities for controlling nuisance bears. Keep food sources like road kill and garbage and pet food and bird seed away from them. Farmers, stop dragging your dead calves to the back 40 acres. When you feed coyotes and wolves dead farm animals, you are inviting them to kill live ones! That’s just common sense.

    Use cage traps baited with these items to live catch coyotes in residential areas, and euthenize these nuisance coyotes who don’t fear humans. Leave the coyotes who stay away from people alone. And tell people to tell their children to be cautious around all wild animals and to stay away from them and to report their presence in residential areas so they can be trapped. As for the coyote cull contest, the sooner it ends the better for both humans and the world of nature that we keep forgetting we are one with. I can understand city people panicking when faced with nuisance wild animal encounters, but I expect a mMarc.Desjardins@ottawa.caore reasoned approach from a Fishing and Hunting Club. Leave political considerations out of it, respect all living things, and do what’s sensible on the basis of factual information. Don’t be swayed by lynch-mob mentality irrational emotion. That’s my advice.

  4. Correction to my previous comment – I inadvertently hit a key combination that added “mMarc.Desjardins@Ottawa.caore” please remove or ignore this error.
    Marc is the Committee Co-ordinator for speakers to this issue at Thursday’s
    meeting at City Hall. His correct address is Marc.Desjardins@Ottawa.ca

  5. Thank you Jim, for your perspective and personal view on the Osgoode coyote issue. It is one heated discussion, to say the least.

    Although you do have me onboard in parts of your argument, you also have bewildered me in others. I too thoroughly enjoy the sights, sounds, smell and feel of nature – as do you – although I must tell you that your theory on how ‘nature has always maintained a fine balance’, no longer holds any water in today’s day and age. It’s just not realistic!

    Your ‘preservationist’ view that “wildlife populations have been balanced by nature since the beginning, coyotes have been around for 2 million years” simply does not work any more. By leaving nature to its own recourse today, we witness populations falling gravely out of balance. The fur industry is at an all-time low and fur-bearers are no longer being harvested on a regular basis. I can tell you, unequivocally, that although animal population may balance themselves eventually, it is only through disease and population turmoil – a fate much harsher and cruel than a well-managed population with human intervention.

    I can also tell you that the chances of you seeing a pure bred timber(grey) wolf or Canis Lupus in Osgoode today is about the same as seeing a wolverine in Orleans. The true timber wolf of the north does not exist here anymore? And you know why? You can thank old Canus Latrens for that! The coyote has nearly single-handily spelled the end of the timber wolf population in North America – through a slow and meticulous process.

    First, the highly adaptable ‘big-eared’ coyote made it’s was eastward from the Prairies, as a solitary predator of small mammals. Gradually they began to out-compete the timber wolf in most regions and in almost every aspect – by learning how to hunt as a group and take down larger game. Then they infiltrated the gene pool by inbreeding with the timber wolf; thus displaying what biologists often refer to as ‘hybrid vigour’ – where the strongest attributes of both species is retained to form a new super predator.

    This new super predator looks so much like a timber wolf, it is often referred to as a ‘brush wolf’. Gone are the days of the skinny 30 pound coyote with a narrow nose-pad and long ears. These eastern brush wolves are now ubiquitous and as much or more ‘wolf like’ than the actual timber wolf itself. They hunt in packs – which coyotes never did on the prairies – and save for a running gate with their tail held downwards, are nearly impossible to tell apart from a wolf (A true timber wolf always runs with its tail pointed straight out)

    Also, in one comment you suggest we leave everything alone and it will work itself out, and then in the next breath you give the example of Yellowstone National Park where coyote populations declined by 50% within 2 years of Gray wolves being reintroduced there. So, which is it? Do we leave things alone or do we manage them?

    You fail to mention why the grey wolf was reintroduced to Yellowstone the first place. It is because the coyote had out competed and displaced the timber wolf in the park. Just as they have in most parts of southern and central Canada.

    So, although you paint a nice picture of how nature should be, that way of thinking simply does not fly in the animal world today. Wildlife management is a necessity and a fact of life. Conservation, not preservation, is the only answer and I believe if you read through the coyote issue again, you will see that a slaughter is not the intent. The coyote cull is simply a last resort measure; for a population that greatly needs managing and control.

    Jim, you need to keep in mind that hunters and conservationists are every bit the animal and nature lover that you are, however, with a slightly more realistic expectation of how things work in the Great Outdoors.

    Best regards,


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