Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Trapping and Coyote Hunting Public Hearings and Comment Period Announced

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board are accepting public comment and will hold three public hearings on new proposed regulations for trapping and for hunting coyotes with the aid of dogs.

The new proposed regulations come in response to the Vermont Legislature’s Act 159 and Act 165, both passed last year.

Act 159 directed the department to improve trapping safety and the welfare of animals trapped during the state’s regulated trapping seasons. The department’s proposal includes establishing a safety buffer between public roads, state-owned trails, and places where traps can be set, and restricting the use of body-gripping traps to reduce the risk to pets.

Act 165 directed the department to create rules guiding the use of dogs to hunt coyotes, a practice that is not currently regulated. The department’s proposal will cap the number of individuals permitted to hunt coyotes with dogs in Vermont to 100 hunters. It will also restrict the number of dogs involved in each hunt to four or fewer and includes safety provisions like requiring that dogs wear tracking and control collars when coyote hunting.

Complete details on both sets of legislative requirements, the proposed regulation changes approved for public comment by the board earlier this spring, and additional recommendations from the department are available at: https://vtfishandwildlife.com/trapping-bmps-and-coyote-hunting-regulations-updates

Public comment will be accepted from May 17 – June 30, 2023. Comments can be emailed to ANR.FWPublicComment@vermont.gov with the subject line “trapping and coyote regulations.”

Two in-person public hearings and one online public hearing will be held to provide additional opportunity for comment, at the following dates and locations:

  • June 20, 2023, 6:30-8:30 pm. Rutland Middle School, 67 Library Avenue, Rutland Vt.
  • June 21, 2023, 6:30-8:30 pm. Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier Vt.
  • June 22, 2023, 6:30-8:30 pm. Online via Microsoft Teams at: https://tinyurl.com/trappinghearing

Following public comment, revisions by the department, and a final vote by the board, the new regulations are expected to come into effect in January 2024.

Reasonable accommodation at public hearings is available upon request for persons with disabilities. Please include a description of the accommodation you will need. Individuals making such requests must include their contact information. Please send an e-mail to abigail.connolly@vermont.gov or call 802-793-8777 (voice), 1-800-253-0191 (TTY).