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Legislators continue to push for a bounty on coyotes

GRANITE FALLS -- Local legislators pledged to once again introduce bills this session that would allow counties to place bounties on coyotes.

Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, told the Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that he believes the bill could make it out of committee this session.

Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, who also introduced similar legislation previously, was not sure how the bill would fare in the house.

The legislators said they've heard requests for the bounty legislation from Chippewa and Lac qui Parle counties as well.

Yellow Medicine County Commissioner Gary Johnson asked the legislators to re-introduce the bills. He has expressed concerns about what he believes is a growing coyote population in the county. He voiced his fears about the potential for encounters between coyotes and young people in rural areas.

Johnson and other members of the board have also said they are concerned about predation by coyotes on livestock. They also believe that coyotes prey on young deer and are hurting the deer herd in the county.

The legislators said the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has opposed the bounty legislation as an ineffective approach toward predator control, and they expect similar resistance this session.