Councillor targets coyotes

Mike Pearce files notice of motion to address burgeoning coyote populations

  • Oct. 20, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Having dealt with deer, a Penticton politician is beginning to howl about the growing population of another wildlife species with the potential to pose problems: coyotes.

Coun. Mike Pearce told council Monday he would be monitoring the number of complaints about coyote encounters in town, as he was considering putting a notice of motion on the table to address burgeoning coyote populations.

He mused on the matter, he said, even though bringing up another wildlife issue will put him “at the risk of sounding like Elmer Fudd.”

Pearce said Tuesday he has already heard some anecdotal reports of coyote problems in town, including one resident who told him about coming home Monday to find five deer trying to evade a canine predator.

“The deer were making all sorts of noises, and the coyote was waiting to pick off one of the smaller ones,” he said. “We have to show who’s in charge: the people or the animals.”

Pearce has spent the last few months advocating for ungulate population control, going so far as to prompt the city into moving forward on a deer management strategy that includes public hunt and capture and cull programs.

He said that the deer problem was likely caused by less food as orchards were fenced in, and less hunting transpiring in outlying areas. The decline in hunting also likely applies to coyotes, he said, leaving populations to get out of control.

“If a coyote is an issue and I hear some more on it, then I have no problems bringing it forward,” he said.