Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 08:09
This year, in addition to maintaining an aggressive predator-management policy, the DWR has launched a predator control program that provides incentives for members of the public to remove coyotes. Participants in this new program will receive $50 for each properly documented coyote that they kill in Utah. For details, see the rest of this page or download the fact sheet (170 KB PDF) and the map (382 KB PDF).
To register and receive compensation for coyote removal, you must follow the program rules and guidelines. Specifically, you must:
The DWR regularly updates the list of coyote check-in locations and times. When you visit a check-in site, you must bring proof that you completed the registration and training course and a filled out compensation form, including the GPS location where the coyote was taken.
There are a variety of ways to collect and store coyotes. Put the scalp and lower jaw into a paper bag so that they can dry out. On the bag, write the coordinates where the coyote was killed. If you plan to submit the whole pelt, salt the pelt as you would to prepare it for sale. Put the clean jaw into a paper bag so that it can dry, and write a note (on the bag or attached to the pelt) that identifies the location where the coyote was killed. Storage in a freezer is also acceptable, but the jaw and ears must be defrosted so that the ears can be notched and a tooth removed at the reimbursement location. The DWR will not take whole heads or carcasses, and their disposal is the responsibility of the person seeking reimbursement.
Individual counties regulate spotlighting for coyotes and other nonprotected species in Utah. Contact the sheriff's department in the counties where you wish to hunt to find out if spotlighting is allowed.
The recommended coyote removal zone is based on the boundaries of areas that are important to deer. Coyotes primarily kill fawns and can produce more than six pups per year. They have high reproductive potential and can be difficult to hunt. It will be impossible to remove all coyotes from Utah, even with a large effort by the public. Although any coyote taken in Utah can be submitted for compensation, the DWR is recommending specific areas and dates when coyote removal has the greatest potential for benefiting mule deer.
A statewide map (382 KB PDF) identifies areas where control should be targeted to provide the most benefit to mule deer.
Coyotes mate during the winter, usually January and February. The most effective control efforts will remove coyotes after pair bonds and territories are set, and before pups are raised. Coyote removal is less effective in late summer. That is when coyotes typically wander and disperse, often dying of natural causes in their attempts to find new territories. Recommended removal dates (December through June) are timed so that the majority of removals are after coyotes have established territories but before pups can be raised, or when deer are fawning. It is during these periods that deer populations are most susceptible to coyote predation. For the greatest benefit to mule deer, coyotes should be removed in the recommended locations and season.
The severity of weather and the amount of forage available are usually the most important factors that limit deer numbers. If the weather is mild and the habitat is good, then removing predators could increase the number of fawns that survive. More fawns could help to stimulate an increase in mule deer numbers. If there is not enough good habitat or there is a harsh winter, then fawns may die from other causes besides coyotes, and predator removal won’t help deer populations to grow.
An assessment of the program is necessary to determine if the money spent compensating for coyote removal has resulted in lower coyote numbers, improved fawn-to-doe ratios and higher numbers of mule deer. The DWR will track locations where coyotes are being effectively removed and identify areas where additional removal is necessary.
Utah has privacy-protection laws that the DWR will follow in implementing this program.
Not yet. The Mule Deer Protection Act also calls for the DWR to create a more targeted program that uses contractors to remove coyotes from areas where it may help deer. The DWR will use information gathered during the first year of the program to identify areas where additional coyote removal is needed. Then, the DWR will use reports of coyotes taken by individuals to identify a list of preferred vendors who can be contracted to remove coyotes from targeted areas. Clear and accurate reporting is essential.
The DWR expects to have enough funding to provide reimbursement for all coyotes. However, a finite amount of money has been appropriated. If reimbursements deplete all of the funds, the program will be suspended unless alternative funding is found or until the next fiscal year. Notices will be posted online if the program has to be suspended for any reason.
If you have questions or comments about how the program will work, please send them to
The Utah Legislature passed two predator-related bills in 2012. The first bill, Predator Control Funding (Senate Bill 87), added a $5 fee to all Utah big game hunting permits. The money funds a program to control populations of predatory animals that endanger the health of Utah's non-predatory wildlife.
The second bill, Mule Deer Protection Act (Senate Bill 245), allocated general funding to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources ($500,000) and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food ($250,000). The legislation directed our agencies to work together — and with other government entities — to administer programs that reduce and control coyote populations, particularly in areas where predation of mule deer occurs.
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