Vermont hosting hearings on proposed trapping regulations

By FRANCES MIZE

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 05-17-2023 8:49 PM

Vermont officials are scheduled to host a series of public hearings on proposed regulations for trapping and for hunting coyotes with dogs.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, along with the state’s Fish and Wildlife Board, proposed the regulations after being directed to do so by a pair of bills passed last year by the Legislature.

Regulations proposed out of Act 159, which is aimed at improving trapping safety and the welfare of trapped animals, establish safety buffers between places where traps can be set and public roadways. They also restrict the use of body-gripping traps to reduce the risk to pets.

Act 165 directed the department to create rules for the use of dogs to hunt coyotes, a practice that isn’t currently regulated. The department’s proposal would limit the number of hunters using dogs to track coyotes to 100, restrict the number of dogs involved in each hunt to four or fewer and include safety provisions like requiring that dogs wear tracking collars when hunting.

Public in-person hearings regarding the proposed regulations will be held at the following dates and locations:

■June 20, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Rutland Middle School, at 67 Library Avenue.

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■June 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Montpelier High School, at 5 High School Dr.

A virtual hearing will be held on June 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at this link: https://tinyurl.com/trappinghearing.

Written comments can be emailed to ANR.FWPublicComment@vermont.gov, with the subject line “trapping and coyote regulations,” and will be accepted until June 30.

The new regulations, after revisions from the department following the public comment period, will come into effect in January 2024.

Frances Mize is a Report for America corps member. She can be reached at fmize@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.

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