For months, folks have complained that the PGC has been releasing coyotes in an effort to reduce the deer population. Some have even accused them of releasing mountain lions.
There are stories about this all over the place.
In December, 2004, the Commission and the insurance companies canvassed the news in an attempt to debunk the myth, claiming it would be absurd and no one ever comes forward with any proof.
An Amish farmer along 944 in Cumberland County complained to the PGC a mountain lion was killing his sheep. They came out and investigated. Their conclusion: “Sir, you don’t have a mountain lion.” A week later the farmer shot the mountain lion. The very sad news: there was a PGC ear tag on it.
A taxidermist near the Hazelton area reported getting about 100 deer in this past season, and also 50 some coyotes. Very unusual, the deer number was way down and the coyote number was a huge increase. Making it even more unusual, some of the coyotes had ear tags. He contacted the PGC and was told the Commission does not release or tag coyotes, that it must be from Prudential. Prudential, as in insurance company.
One camp, convinced the coyote problem was destroying the local deer herd, set up a camera right near one of the coyote dens. In 19 of the 20 days, the mother coyote brought a dead fawn back to her pups.
When I shoot my coyote this year, I’m going to tell the taxidermist to leave the ear tag in place, it will make for a better story.