I've written up a summary of the regulations related to hunting coyotes here.
A friend of mine emailed me about the recent coyote posts. "All the dead coyotes are making me sad". You might be a little surprised, but it makes me a bit sad, too.
When I started farming this area I figured I'd have some predator issues, and having decided that, I picked a type of fence that would exclude the majority of them -- or at least form a barrier to entry. I chose a 5' tall field fence with smaller mesh at the bottom, and larger mesh at the top. Coyotes can jump a 5' fence, but they tend not to, respecting the fence lines. I spent $4,000, and fenced in a part of my animal areas.
Part of that was to exclude dogs from the dog park, part was to exclude natural predators. Predators like eagles and hawks I figured I'd just pay the tax on -- I planned on (and do...) lose birds to eagles and hawks, both chickens and turkeys.
Snohomish county Planning and Development services, in the person of Roxanne Pilkenton, have informed me that the only approved type of fencing is 3 strand barbed wire or 3 strand electric fence on metal poles. No other form of fencing is approved. Even electric poultry mesh is not allowed. And that I could only fence 15% of the front and sides of my property. What good is a fence that only covers 15%?
I have Airedale terriers -- who do a good job with smaller predators like raccoons, possums, skunks and weasels and seem to deter the coyotes a little bit -- but both of the coyotes I've shot recently have been killed while the dogs are on the property. They can't be everywhere at once.
So I can't fence, and LGD (livestock Guardian Dogs) are only partially effective. The only thing I can legally do is shoot the dogs and coyotes that are preying on my livestock. I'd rather not handle it that way, but my hands are tied by the current state law and county regulations. I'm explicitly allowed to shoot coyotes without hunting license or permit if they're on my property and preying on livestock.
What would I prefer to do?
I'd rather put up a good fence. 1) I'd sleep better. 2) Livestock escapes would be fewer and less serious. 3) I could then contain my own dogs on the property securely. 4) I wouldn't have to clear out the local apex predators. 5) I won't have to shoot domestic dogs originating from the dog park 6) I won't have to shoot dogs dumped by irresponsible people.
The county recognizes the difference between "floodway" and "flood plain". floodway is that area that is subjected to high current or high flow in case of flood. In a floodway, a fence does become a hazard, and does collect debris. In the flood plain, which is where I am, the velocity of the water is much lower, and fences don't constitute a hazard. But the county is determined to enforce the most restrictive version of the law that they can find, interpreted in the narrowest way possible.
So I shoot coyotes. Thanks Snohomish County, for doing your part to preserve our wildlife.
18 hours ago