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:
OSGOODE TOWNSHIP FISH, GAME and CONSERVATION CLUB: A Proud Affiliate Club of the OFAH
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
Osgoode Township Fish, Game and Conservation Club