Grayson offering coyote bounty

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By Larry Chambers, Staff

INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors is getting ready to declare war on coyotes.
A draft coyote ordinance has been provided to members of the board.
Wilson District Supervisor Eddie Rosenbaum said the large number of coyotes roaming the hills of the county was causing a big problem for farmers.

“They are also killing off our rabbits and other small animals and whitetail deer,” Rosenbaum said. “Coyotes are also a threat for rabies. They are definitely here to stay to cause problems in the future.”
County Administrator Jonathan Sweet provided the draft ordinance and pointed out that it could be changed prior to adoption. Supervisors were expected to discuss it further at their monthly meeting on Thursday, and hold a public hearing.
There was also some discussion about the proposed bounty last month. Board Chairman John Brewer said he didn’t want to bankrupt the county paying people a bounty for coyotes.
A figure of $25 per coyote was discussed, but no action was taken.
The resolution prepared for the board said that Virginia Code 15.2-926 authorizes the board of supervisors to permit by ordinance the killing of coyotes within its boundaries. It would allow Grayson to pay, out of any available funds, a bounty for each coyote killed within the county.
The draft ordinance points out that agriculture is the county’s single largest industry and includes a substantial number of livestock. “The proliferation of coyotes in the county poses a significant threat to those livestock, as well as the county agricultural economy,” the resolution says.
The document also says that coyotes pose a negative effect to indigenous wildlife, such as small game and whitetail deer.
“Whereas, due to the importance of agriculture in the Grayson County economy and the value the community puts on wild game hunting, the Grayson County Board of Supervisors finds it to be in the best interest of its citizens to permit the killing of coyotes and to establish a bounty.”