ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) - The coyote population is growing in Hampton Roads and leaders in Isle of Wight County are proposing putting a $50 bounty on the animal.
Farmers in the county told 10 On Your Side coyotes are a nuisance for their livestock.
"We feel one of our roles as farmers is to protect our animals," farmer Rex Alphin said. "You grow to love your livestock and you hate to see anything come in and hurt it. We are concerned in our county about them becoming a problem."
Alphin is also a member of the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors. He created the bounty plan because he believes it would help control coyote concerns.
Coyotes, a "nuisance animal," can be hunted in Virginia without a permit.
"We're looking to offer a bounty to hunters," Alphin said. "It might keep a little lid on this population before it gets too much out of hand."
If passed, the county would pay hunters $50 for each animal.
"[The hunters] usually do what they can to eliminate coyotes whether there is a bounty or not," Alphin said. "We're hoping this will add a little additional incentive."
Jack Arrington, president of Central Hill Hunt Club, said hunters will be glad to get a little bit of cash.
"Coyotes have been here for 10 or 15 years," Arrington said. "The guys we hunt with know our land owners want them gone and we want to take them out regardless."
The Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the bounty program at its next meeting on Feb. 21.
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