Wyoming lawmakers reject bid to ban ‘coyote-whacking’

JACKSON (AP) – A Wyoming interim legislative committee has rejected a proposal to prohibit killing coyotes by running them over with snowmobiles.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that Teton County Democratic Rep. Mike Yin tried to bring forward a bill to ban killing or injuring predatory animals using snowmobiles.

Yin’s bill, which he first tried to push during this year’s legislative session, was rejected at a recent hearing in Thermopolis. It was inspired by Lisa Robertson, a Jackson Hole wildlife activist who has posted online videos of so-called “coyote whacking,” disgusting hunters and non-hunters alike who abide by fair-chase ethics.

“This type of slaughter is legal in Wyoming,” Robertson told the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee. “Our native carnivores are exceptions from common-sense protections under Wyoming law.”

Coyotes are classified as predators that can be killed indiscriminately, along with red fox, skunks and raccoons.

“I think we can all take a stance and say that there is a line somewhere,” Yin told the committee.

Most members of the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee told Yin the panel wasn’t the proper forum for the bill.

“We have a predator board that regulates predators in the state of Wyoming,” said Albany County Republican Sen. Glenn Moniz.

Robertson told the legislators she’d tried to address the issue without success through the Wyoming Animal Damage Management Board’s rulemaking process.

Yin said afterward he’d likely drop his campaign.

“I’m ultimately disappointed in the Legislature,” he said.

Remains of missing Yellowstone worker from China sent home

YELLOWSTONE (AP) – The remains of a Yellowstone National Park seasonal worker from China have been returned to his family four years after he was swept down a river.

Feiyang “Isaac” Xiang (SHANG) was swimming in the Yellowstone River with two companions on July 23, 2015, when he was pulled away from the shore by the current. Search efforts conducted for nearly two weeks after he disappeared failed to find any sign of the 21-year-old.

Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said in a statement Thursday that the remains of Xiang were found by park staff in February 2018 near where he was last seen but not positively identified until this past June by forensics experts.

Warthin says Xiang’s family returned to Yellowstone last month and collected the remains.

Man to serve jail time for illegally killing deer in Wyoming

JACKSON (AP) – A Wyoming man has been sentenced to six months in jail and had his hunting privileges taken away for 20 years for shooting four buck mule deer, taking their antlers and leaving the carcasses to waste.

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports that Stetson Long, of Thayne, also was ordered last week to pay the Wyoming Game and Fish Department $16,000 in restitution and lost his fishing privileges for 10 years.

All four animals were shot between Nov. 5 and 13 on private land near Cokeville. A ranch manager tipped off Game and Fish after finding four sets of fresh mule racks hidden in a barn at the ranch where Long worked and had permission to hunt.

An attempt to reach Long for an interview Wednesday was unsuccessful.

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