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Yellow Medicine County officials express frustration over state rules regarding overpopulation of coyotes

GRANITE FALLS -- Dare we say it, but the Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners intends to continue to raise a howl of protest over state rules that prevent aggressive action against what the members see as an over population of coyotes.

The commissioners reiterated their concerns Tuesday that coyotes are threatening farm livestock and pets, as well as taking a toll on small game and deer populations.

They cited their frustrations and failed attempts dating back to 2001 to obtain legislation allowing them to place a bounty on coyotes. They've also been unsuccessful in requests to the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources to authorize the use of paid "predator controllers" to take coyotes in the county.

But the commissioners said they do not intend to pursue either of those efforts. "I'm not wasting my time," said board chairman Gary Johnson after expressing his frustration with the lack of progress.

Instead, he and the other commissioners said they will encourage constituents to make their voices heard by contacting legislators and DNR officials.

The county will also do what it can to encourage those who wish to hunt the animals, the commissioners decided.

Johnson said he's heard from a number of hunters outside of the county interested in pursuing coyotes.

Commissioner Ron Antony said he would oppose efforts to attract hunters from outside the area. He pointed out that hunters use high powered rifles and sometimes shoot at fast running coyotes in their pursuit.

Antony expressed his concerns about a "wild west show coming in" if the county attracted too many outside hunters.