POW Correspondence/Testimony

Taped F&W Board Meetings

Talking points for discussions with legislators

A Citizen Guide to Political Activism by the Office of the Lieutenant Gov. David Zuckerman

2017/2018 Legislative Sessions

2019 Legislative Session

The following bills are currently under discussion in the Vermont legislature:


H.190  To establish the Vermont Working Group on Wildlife Governance

• Supporting documentation for H.190 from Vermont Wildlife Coalition


S.29  To restrict the sale of products and parts of the most at-risk species.

H.357  Bill to prohibit wanton waste 

• Learn about wanton waste here

H.411  An act relating to nuisance wildlife and trapping

• Why regulations are needed on "nuisance" wildlife trapping.

• "Support H.411", sponsored by Rep. Jim McCullough

H.410  An act relating to hunting and trapping

• Shorten the bear hound training season by two months, allowing sows to tend to their cubs

• Bear hounds may only be registered under one permit

• Require that someone who is trapping “nuisance” wildlife for compensation has a license specific to that activity and pay a fee


1/25/19 Latest legislative efforts: to read more,  click here 

*Unless otherwise specified

Above: Vermont Statehouse, Montpelier, April 8, 2015 

POW Correspondence/Testimony on Legislation

December 09, 2018

Protect Our Wildlife Urges Governor to Appoint Non-Hunters/Trappers to the Fish & Wildlife Board

April 20, 2018

POW Testimony on bill H.636 4.20.2018...

February 09, 2017

POW Letter to the Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules

Re: Concerns we have with the application entitled Furbearer Species Rule.

September 01, 2016

POW Letter Regarding Trapping Petition

June 02, 2016

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Bobcat season extension follow-up

May 18, 2016

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Bobcat season extension

February 09, 2016

Fish and Wildlife Committee

Please reload

Taped Fish and Wildlife Department Board Meetings

September 21, 2016 and October 19, 2016

December 21, 2016

February 22, 2017

February 21, 2018 Fox Petition Presented

POW commentary on Otter & Bobcat Trapping Extension Proposal

Talking Points for Discussions with Legislators



  • Traps are inherently indiscriminate and are responsible for injuring and/or killing protected and endangered species each year in Vermont, as well as dogs and cats. 

  • Traps inflict prolonged suffering including broken bones and teeth, torn tendons and dislocated joints, caused by the animals trying to desperately free themselves from the trap. Animals may also "wring off" their limbs, leaving nothing but a foot left in the trap.

  • Animals are subjected to harsh elements, fear, pain, and predation by other animals while immobilized in the trap. 

  • There are no standards that dictate how trapped animals must be killed. They are  bludgeoned, stomped on (to crush the animal's heart and lungs), drowned, strangled and killed by other inhumane methods. If the animal is "lucky", s/he is shot.

  • Traps may be set on public land, including National Wildlife Refuges, with no required signage or set backs from trails or entry points.

  • Trappers are likely losing money from trapping since the fur market has been on a steady decline.

  • Trappers admit that they'll still trap, despite the poor fur market, for recreation and sport. 

  • There are humane and sustainable ways to handle wildlife conflicts without having to trap animals.

  • Because steel-jaw leghold traps are inherently cruel, they have been banned in 88 countries. Their use is banned or restricted in several U.S. states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington. The European Union has banned the use of steel-jaw traps in Europe and banned the importation of pelts from countries that use these cruel devices to trap and kill fur-bearing animals.

  • 75% of Vermont residents recently polled by University of Vermont's Center for Rural Studies want to ban trapping. Read more here.


  • Vermont's image is being tarnished as tourists view piles of bloodied dead coyotes on truck beds.

  • Packs of dogs run down a single coyote to the point of exhaustion. The coyote is cornered, often times injured, where the dogs then attack the coyote (that is their reward). This is a form of legalized dog-fighting. View VT coyote here.

  • An open season on coyotes does nothing to manage populations, rather it actually causes increased breeding and upsets the pack hierarchy, which may lead to the very problems coyote killers are trying to solve. Learn more about compensatory response here

  • There is a culture of hatred and loathing towards coyotes in Vermont. No other animal is persecuted with such violence - the photos and comments seen on social media by Vermont coyote hunters depict gratuitous violence and torture.

  • There is an open killing season in Vermont on coyotes - they are killed during times of the year when mothers are rearing and nursing pups, leaving pups to starve to death.

  • Hunters claim that any hunting season is coyote season. Coyotes who are minding their business in the spring, tending to their pups, are killed by hunters for no justifiable reason. 

  • Coyote hunters kill coyotes with no intent of using the animal ("resource") in any way, which is wasteful killing. Their bodies are often left to rot where they were killed. This is known as wanton waste and is condemned by wildlife biologists and conservationists, yet VT Fish & Wildlife still supports an open season.

  • 70.5% of Vermont residents recently polled by UVM's Center for Rural Studies want to ban the wasteful killing of wildlife. Read more here.

  • When coyote packs are stable, coyotes hunt wild prey and teach their young to hunt wild prey. They settle into their territory and learn the patterns and habits of their wild prey, and their diet consists largely of rodents. 

  • Over the last 10 years, there's only been 69 incidents reported of coyotes killing livestock in Vermont. Often times coyotes are blamed when the culprit is actually domestic dogs or other predators.


"Nuisance" wildlife trapping

  • Trapping out of season in defense of property is completely unregulated. Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators (NWCOs) take payment from people to trap and kill animals, but they are not required to hold a trapping license,  be licensed by the state, or even possess any knowledge of animals or trapping.

  • The definition of what constitutes a "nuisance" animal is dangerously vague. The animal does not even have to be caught in the act of causing damage to property. The animal may be trapped and killed if the animal is simply suspected to cause damage in the future!

  • Like coyote hunting, "nuisance" animals can be killed at any time of the year which results in animals being killed when they are tending to their young.

  • There are no laws protecting wild animals causing damage. The "damage" can be as benign as a raccoon raiding your garden. 

  • There are no standards by which a "nuisance" animal must be killed--they are drowned, bludgeoned and subjected to a host of other gruesome methods.

  • Learn more here.

Protect Our Wildlife ©2019

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Stowe, VT 05672



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