Whether it works or not, Yellow Medicine County Commissioners have elected to offer a $10 bounty for coyotes killed within county lines for the second consecutive year from December 1 to April 1.
Following the passage of state legislation legalizing the practice, YMC commissioners joined those of Swift and Chippewa counties last year in legally offering the bounties for the first time since 1965 in response to a drop-off in deer numbers attributed to coyote predation.
In what was considered a down year for coyote hunting due to the limited snow cover, the county paid $1,100 in bounties on 110 coyotes. This year, bounty payments will be capped at $2,000 total.
During initial budget discussions at their September 11 board meeting, County Administrator Ryan Krosch had omitted the bounty program from the 2013 budget as a cost saving measure before board member concensus saw it reinserted.
Echoing the official stance of the Minnesota DNR, which views the bounties on any species as ineffective and costly to taxpayers, Krosch noted that, "I don't personally believe they work. Everybody who shot them would have shot them anyway."
In 2004, Yellow Medicine County led several neighboring counties in issuing bounties on coyotes, but after Yellow Medicine County had paid out bounties on 103 coyotes, the state informed them that the practice was illegal and the program ended.
In other news:
•At the recommendation of YMC Family Services Director Peg Heglund, commissioners voted to enter into a Purchase of Services Agreement with Debra Griebel, CPA, to provide expert advice and possible testimony for child support cases.
Heglund said that at times in child support cases a parent will use deceptive financial practices to hide their finances, depressing the amount of child support that they are required to pay. Griebel's expertise would combat this, as she would be able to unravel such practices.
Services are to be paid for at a rate of $50 per hour plus telephone and gas expenses, with a total cost of no more than $300 per case, unless authorized by Heglund.
•The YMC Board decided to re-up on a three-year contract with the University of Minnesota Extension 4-H Coordinator position that is currently occupied by Amelia Ryan.
The county pays the $52,000 salary for the position, which will see a roughly $1,000 increase in 2013 and 2014, though the 4-H Coordinator is considered an employee of Extension.
•Upon the resignation of Linda Bukowski the county will seek a new food shelf coordinator.