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Killing coyotes for sport not justified

January 2, 2013

Out here, nestled in the small western hills of Winnebago County, we are blessed to experience a plethora of wildlife. Sometimes, if we are lucky, we are awakened to the sounds of the coyotes’ midnight howl.

Coyotes form strong family bonds. Males and females work together to raise their young and, later, when the pups are old enough, the families hunt and defend together.

Listening to the yipping, calling and chorus of a family of coyotes is a magical thing. Not so magical is the gunfire of a coyote hunter’s rifle. A group of men will spread out in these hills to hunt, corner and kill the coyote purely for sport.

I have watched in horror the brutal and vicious assault as this group of hunters surround a frightened coyote, aim their rifles and destroy a life that was never theirs to take. These men are not protecting their property or mine. They are not defending a herd of grazing cattle or a beloved family pet. They simply kill for the sake of a “sport.”

As Immanuel Kant said, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

Tammy Nordberg

From the Jan. 2-8, 2013, issue


  1. James C. Davis

    January 2, 2013 at 7:03 am


    I live just outside of western Winnebago County. When I moved here 49 years ago I could sit on my porch and count 100′s of Pheasants, rabbits, deer, fox, racoons, ducks I also have a small creek that runs through my property,my property is, was, a heaven for animals. I went for a walk around my property yesterday, I saw 1 pheasant, no rabbits NO small animals. I to hear the “HOWLS” of your beloved Coyotes they are killing your plethora of wildlife. If you leave your small dogs, cats etc outside at night don’t be surprised if they eaten by 1 of your beautiful coyotes.

    You quote Kant maybe you only cherry pick quotes that agree with you warped opinions, how about another Kant quote
    “Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.”
    I suggest that You have no experience, only theory.

  2. John

    January 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I have to agree that killing animals for the sake of killing is wrong. However, as Mr. Davis notes, invasive species are either dealt with, or we suffer the resulkts.

    PETA had a problem with culling the deer herds of chronic wasting disease, as I recall. What would the deer population look like today fi we listened to them?

  3. Gary Philbrant

    January 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I completely agree with the author and her viewpoint. Mr. Davis, I have to point out your ignorance. Coyotes do not kill for sport or pleasure. They kill for food and only for food. The lack of wildlife around your property has nothing to do with the coyotes. It is the hunters who kill for sport and pleasure that have removed the “plethora of wildlife” from your property. You ignorantly blame coyotes who are merely attempting to survive in a world of ever encroaching humans. There are no creatures in nature that kill simply for pleasure other than the human. A quick check with the Illinois DNR shows there are an estimated 700,000 to 750,000 deer, 200,000 foxes, 513,000 raccoons and a mere 30,000 coyotes within Illinois. You might need to look around your property and see what did drive your wildlife away.

    I also googled a quote: “The quicker we humans learn that saving open space and wildlife is critical to our welfare and quality of life, maybe we’ll start thinking of doing something about it.” – Jim Fowler

  4. James C. Davis

    January 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Mr. Fowler

    How many pheasants did the DRN say were in Illinois. Why does the state of Illinois need 30,00 coyotes?
    Mr. Fowler me thinks maybe you are a PETA person along with Tammy. Do you eat meat?

  5. Gary Philbrant

    January 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

    First off, my name is Gary, not Jim Fowler. Jim Fowler is a zoologist and best know as being host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

    The IL DNR does not report pheasant populations because farm raised pheasants are released into the wild for each hunting season making it difficult for an accurate count.

    Coyotes control rodent populations, eat carcasses and basically fill in the void left when wolves and cougars were removed from the area. That is why Illinois needs 30,000 coyotes.

    It is always funny how when a person has run out of arguments to support eradicating a species they always accuse the other side of belonging to PETA. I am not a member of PETA and do not agree with many of PETA’s positions. I also happen to enjoy steak, pork, chicken and fish. That also has nothing to do with the topic but I guess when backed into a corner it is human nature to try any argument.

    The real question here is do we as a species have the moral and ethical right to eradicate another species simply because it may have a perceived impact on our economical and recreational pursuits? How many species can we eliminate until we cross that unseen threshold of no return and push our environment to a breaking point of crisis? Hopefully we’ll be smart enough, and compassionate enough not to find out.

  6. James Kirk

    January 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Time to cull the herd (humans that is).

  7. Ryan

    April 26, 2013 at 1:18 am

    The reason the dnr can not come up with numbers is there are not many pheasants left. Farm raised birds do not survive in the wild we have been trying to do it for years. Pheasants forever will even tell you that.

  8. unknown 123

    April 26, 2013 at 10:54 am


    I dont agree with you. I live in eastern Iowa.
    I’m 13 and I hunt coyotes. I know that there are way to many coyotes around, are group shoots about 20 a year and that is not enough coyotes shot. You dont understand. How many Quail or Pheasants do you see, not enough I try to shoot as many coyotes as I can. Over .5 million are shot each year and that is not enough.

  9. Unknown 123

    April 26, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Gary Philbrant

    Obviously you don’t understand how life works. There is no reason that there should be 30,000 coyotes. That is to many coyotes. I’m 14 I know that coyotes should be shot. I understand life and my life is HUNING.

  10. Jack Klink

    April 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    If it bothers you so much, then move your lazy a** out of the location

  11. unknown 123

    April 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I agree with you Jack Klink

    The deer population hasn’t decreased only because of Blue Tongue, but a main reason is because of coyotes. Someone set up a trail cam over a coyote den and coyotes dragged in 23 fawns in that den. Does that change your mind about coyotes. I’am big deer hunter and there is not reason that should happen, this year when we didn’t shoot close to as many deer that we usually do

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