BONNYVILLE - To address concerns about coyote and wolf populations, the MD of Bonnyville No. 87 introduced a Coyote & Wolf Reduction Incentive Program set to run throughout the winter of 2023-2024.
The program rewards individuals who successfully kill coyotes and wolves between Nov. 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024. Pending budget approval in the new year, the municipality will pay $15 for each coyote and $150 for each wolf brought in.
Since Bonnyville is situated near the Boreal Forest, there is a large predator population.
Matt Janz, General Manager of Environment and Protective Services, says farmers have seen increased livestock predation.
"We're not here to eliminate them entirely; we understand that's not possible. The goal is to maintain a balance in the predator population, ensuring the safety of our livestock," Janz says.
“They’re a creature of opportunity,” says Janz. Coyotes are known to prey on pets, especially smaller dogs, making them a huge problem. Pet owners are advised to keep pets on leashes to avoid any catastrophes.
When asked about how residents should deal with coyote or wolf concerns, Janz stated the municipality is in charge of issues involving coyotes, while fish and wildlife authorities handle cases of wolf predation.
Janz also specifies the Coyote & Wolf Reduction Incentive Program only applies to people living in the MD of Bonnyville and surrounding areas.
To qualify for the incentive, participants must deliver the carcasses to the ASB/Public Works Shop north of Bonnyville. Beforehand, individuals are encouraged to call the Agricultural Services Department to ensure staff availability to verify the animal count. Participants should cover carcasses with a tarp to not disturb members of the public, especially if they are stopping in town for errands.
Last year, 533 coyotes and 14 wolves were brought in throughout the duration of the program.