Dead coyotes found bound and gagged

Dead coyotes found bound and gagged

By Spencer Lubitz. CREATED Feb 10, 2012

Apex, NV (KTNV) - A disturbing sight in the desert, piles of dead coyotes found with their mouths tied shut has left people wondering, who was behind it all?

Terry Snyder, a hunter, isn't startled by the sight of a dead animal, but he was shocked when he discovered a path lined with dead coyotes.
You may come across one, two, three at the most, but you'll never come across this many,” Snyder said.

After taking a closer look, Snyder discovered the coyote’s mouths had been tied shut, some with plastic zip-ties, others with wire.  The animals were also gagged with blocks of wood, each piece time stamped and dated.

“I think someone came out and dumped them,” Snyder said.  “I don't see any gunshots wounds or any kind of trauma at all.”

Coyote’s are classified as varmints in the state of Nevada, they can be hunted without any restrictions, no licenses required.   But, the amount of coyote carcasses and the condition in which we found them has prompted questions of animal cruelty and illegal dumping.

The state's wildlife authority believes the blocks of wood found inside the coyote's mouth signifies that the animals were the targets of varmint hunters, groups of hunters who target coyotes in a competitive social game.

 “In order to claim their prize, they have to present the animals,” said Doug Nielson with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.  “So, more than likely, the block with the date and time on them…were used for that purpose.”

While these varmint hunts aren't happening in the public eye, they're not exactly kept secret either.

“It's not uncommon for this to happen,” Neilson said.  “Guys might go out and shoot a half dozen coyotes in 3 or 4 day period of time.”

Both Clark County and the BLM to let them know what we discovered out there today.   Both organizations expressed interest in working with us to see those coyotes cleaned up.