Fairfield allows licensed trappers to catch coyotes, nuisance animals

Fairfield residents are now allowed to hire licensed trappers to catch coyotes and other nuisance animals.

City Council approved on Monday by way of a 5-1 vote to allow trapping, which Councilman Terry Senger opposed.

While Senger agreed with the legislation that allows residents to hire a licensed trapper to capture coyotes, he wanted the city to consider hiring a trapper in an attempt to cull the coyotes in the area south of Nilles Road. This area, specifically in the 5200 block of Winton Road and south, and in the neighborhoods around Oakwood Park.

“I think a lot of the plan is good, but I think we’ve heard enough input from this one local area that I think we need to get to the aggressive part in this local area now,” said Senger.

Some on City Council called the legislation approved on Monday “a good first step” in the overall Coyote Management Plan Fairfield is assembling. The city’s draft plan, which is available on the city’s website, has incorporated best-known management practices from 16 communities, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. The Humane Society of the United States. Council has not determined a timeline to approve that plan, though the city’s administration is continually reviewing and updating it.

The city began developing this plan over the past several months because more and more residents have voiced complaints with Fairfield leaders about their pets being attacked and killed by coyotes. Over the last few meetings, some residents have pleaded with City Council to be more aggressive in getting rid of the coyotes in the city, while others have said the city should follow the recommendations by the state wildlife department, including hazing the animal with loud noises and not leaving pets alone outside.

The city is also looking at developing a coyote reporting system when the animals are spotted and developing a citizen-involved group to help address the growing problem.

Vice Mayor Tim Meyers said he agreed with Senger that the city needs to focus on hotspot areas, “especially where we know there are problems,” but felt the legislation approved Monday was “important to go forward with because it’s a starting point” and it allows the residents to be actively involved in addressing the issue.

In addition to the passage of the legislation, Council member Adam Kraft instructed the city to do a more significant job of educating residents about what to do after a trap set by a licensed trapper is captured.

“We need to come in as a group to get that education out there to the public, on who to call and if there’s some specific path they take so they don’t approach an animal,” he said.

The draft Coyote Management Plan calls for tracking and census data of the city’s coyote population, saying “it is difficult to understand how many coyotes currently occur around Fairfield,” though they do know the wild animal are in all corners of the city.

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