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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

Vermilion Declares War On Coyotes

Back in 1949, Vermilion was coming out of the Second World War as a prosperous community. The economy was booming, and things were going well.

But there was one thing that was causing problems for livestock producers in the area and that was coyotes. Throughout the previous year, an influx of coyotes had been taking out livestock left and right, and costing livestock producers a lot of money.

Many farmers and producers put the blame squarely on the provincial government, which had removed the bounty on coyotes the previous year, and the low price on coyote hides. With little money in killing the animals, they began to rebound from hunting and fill areas where they had been for thousands of years.

Coyotes were now being seen walking through farmyards, even during daylight. For anyone raising sheep or chickens, the coyotes were a serious danger. Some calves and even cows were also falling victim. One farmer lost a cow and two calves to coyotes in one night. Another farmer lost a cow and a calf in the same week.

The coyotes were particularly bad during the calving season as they had learned that the cows were mostly helpless to fight back when they were giving birth to a calf. One farmer lost a cow and a calf to this in one night.

The Edmonton Journal reported on the number of coyotes in the area,

“Instead of the animal being a marauder seldom seen in daytime and only heard at night, he now is a common sight and can now be seen in packs numbering as high as 10.”

The problem was bad enough that in May 1949, the Vermilion Board of Trade began to petition and meet with both municipal and provincial authorities in order to get the coyote dilemma dealt with before anymore farmers and livestock producers lost livestock.

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