MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) The Vermont House has voted to ban coyote hunting tournaments in Vermont.
The measure is included in a miscellaneous fish and wildlife bill that was approved by the House Wednesday. People who violate the ban face fines up to $1,000 and jail time up to 60 days. An effort to remove the ban was defeated by a 38 to 100 vote. Another effort to send it to another committee also failed.
Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter says Vermont has a healthy coyote population and says his department did not seek the ban. Lawmakers debated the measure for nearly two-hours Wednesday.
"If they feel that they need to stop competition coyote hunts they should probably also stop competition rabbit hunts, competition deer and buck hunts, and competition fishing derbies," said Rep. Brian Smith, R-Derby.
"I hope that we will ban these competitions and I see this as being a win for the hunting community," said Rep. Susan Buckholz, D-Hartford.
Vermont becomes the second state to ban coyote hunting tournaments after California. Vermonters can still hunt coyotes all year.