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 dogs.
The new proposed regulations come in response to the Vermont Legislature’s passage last year of acts 159 and 165.
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 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 bit.ly/42N0qOu.
Public comment will be accepted through the end of June. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com with the subject line “trapping and coyote regulations.”
Hearings will be held:
• June 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rutland Middle School, 67 Library Ave., Rutland.
• June 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier.
• June 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m., online on Microsoft Teams at tinyurl.com/trappinghearing.
Following public comment, revisions by the department, and a final vote by the board, the new regulations are expected to go into effect in January 2024.
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