MA Officials Investigate Discovery Of Dead Coyotes In Belchertown
Massachusetts Wildlife authorities are investigating the discovery of 14 dead coyotes at a Belchertown lumber yard earlier this week. State environmental police were contacted by the owner of Native Lumber Company, after a neighbor riding her horse alerted her last Sunday. Janis Sugrue says the dead animals had been dumped into the brush along the back of her 35-acre property, which abuts land owned by the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission.
“One was kind of hooked on a dead tree, kind of hanging there, and the other ones were just laying in a pile. It was kind of gruesome, for sure.”
Sugrue says she's never had problems with coyotes or dumping on her property in the more than 25 years she's owned the business. Officials say it is unclear where, how and why the animals were killed, and say there was no obvious evidence of gunshot wounds or trapping. Marian Larson of the State Division of Fisheries and Wildlife says the discovery comes after the coyote hunting season ended on March 8th. None of the animals was tagged and only one was skinned, presumably for its pelt. And Larson says it's clear that the person or persons responsible placed little if any value on the animals.
“There’s been some kind of wastage going on if somebody is just shooting coyotes for the sake of that. But we don’t know that at this time.It’s certainly not the kind of activity that responsible and ethical sportsmen and women would endorse.”
Larson says anyone killing coyotes during the hunting season must report deaths to the state, and dumping animal carcasses on private property is illegal in Massachusetts, regardless of how the killings occurred. There are an estimated 10,000 coyotes in the state.