The Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors seems to be leaning toward no bounties on coyotes.
Coy Harville, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said he's been hearing from his constituents in the Westover District that they don't want bounties on the animals.
"Bounties don't work," Chad Fox, district supervisor for the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, said in a recent interview. "There's nothing on a coyote to indicate it is a Virginia coyote, let alone a Pittsylvania County coyote."
Fox said that there's no way to tell if a coyote came from the county or from Texas or from someone raising coyotes.
"It's wide open for fraud and does little more than drain the county's finances," he said.
Biologically bounties do not decrease the coyote population, Fox explained.
When alpha males are killed, there is competition from other, younger males to take the alpha's place, resulting in more breeding and larger litters, he said.
"Bounties actually help increase the population of coyotes," Fox said.
No decision was made on the issue Tuesday night, but the board suggested that information Callands-Gretna Supervisor Kate Berger had obtained on coyotes be placed in public libraries around the county so residents could learn about ways to keep the animals off of their property.
Some of those suggestions include not leaving pet food dishes, trash or food sources on porches or in the yard; penning up livestock, especially at night; and placing "guard" dogs, llamas and donkeys in fenced-in areas.
Fox said that if a rancher or homeowner is having a particular problem with coyotes that the Department of Wildlife Services will come out to the farm, home or ranch to evaluate the problem and suggest specific solutions.
Contact the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - USDA Wildlife Services Virginia Cooperative Coyote Damage Control Program at (540) 381-7387 to obtain information and assistance on preventing and alleviating coyote damage to livestock or other agricultural products.
In other business, county residents are invited to attend an anniversary celebration Saturday in Hurt. The town, population 1,276, is celebrating its 40th anniversary as an incorporated political subdivision of the commonwealth.
Supervisors passed a resolution recognizing the event and congratulating residents on the anniversary. The town will begin the celebration at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Contact Rebecca Blanton at email@example.com or (434) 791-7984.