Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 60

domestic fowl. The Scalp Act of 1885 placed a 50-cent bounty on red and gray foxes, mink, weasels and nearly
all hawks and owls. In 1913, bobcats were added to the list, carrying a $15 bounty. Fox bounties increased to
$4 each in the same year. The bounty craze was almost contagious. Short-lived bounties were even placed on
non-predators such as squirrels, crows, and robins to control crop damage.
Did bounties work? Did they control predator numbers? In the case of large predators preying on domestic
livestock and big-game animals, bounties reduced losses, but also played a huge role in the eventual extirpation
of wolves and mountain lions from Pennsylvania and most of eastern United States. As for the smaller, more
numerous predators, bounties might have worked in the short term and on a very local level, but did not provide
lasting predator control. Misidentified predators killed for bounties caused serious declines of many species,
especially raptors. In both large and small predator scenarios, bounties eventually brought about undesired results
and harmful consequences. All bounties were discontinued in Pennsylvania during the mid-1960s.
Why did bounties ultimately fail? Bounty systems were designed to provide incentives for the public to
kill predators. The inef´Čüciency of this predator-control technique led to its demise.
There are many reasons why bounties are ineffective. Where predator populations are reduced in number,
birth rates and survival rates tend to increase. This compensatory response can occur within any lowered wildlife
population. Removal of predators does not necessarily result in a reduction of predator pressure. Predators
remaining during and after control efforts live better by benefitting from a more abundant prey base. Fewer
predators may result in less competition for food, shelter, and living space. The effects of reduced predator
numbers are often short-lived as remnant predator populations respond and increase in numbers.
A proportion of the prey population is easy-to-catch and is always available to predators. Whether there
are many or few predators, the same amount of easily-caught prey is taken annually. Predators stay healthy by
consuming more readily-available prey animals.
Historically, millions of dollars have been paid
out for bounties throughout the country. In 1921, the
Game Commission spent $128,269 ($1.7 million in
today's dollars) for bounties on animals it considered
detrimental to small game. This money could have
been used to improve small-game habitat. Research has
shown that habitat improvements can greatly increase
small-game numbers without accompanying predator
control efforts.
Fraud is another negative attribute of a bounty
system. Animals from other states or countries are
sometimes brought in to claim bounty payments.
Different body parts of the same animal have been
submitted for multiple bounty payments in areas where
laws differ. Bounty payers have been known to cheat
the system by reselling animal parts or keeping inaccurate records.
In the case of coyotes, bounty payments and
a whole host of other methods have been used for
over a century by federal and state governments to
eradicate them or control their numbers. Coyotes are
abundant across their North American range, despite
intensive control efforts. They will remain abundant
no matter what control methods we employ. Our best
long-term management strategy is to allow maximum
consumptive use of coyotes by hunters and trappers,
educate livestock owners of proper husbandry practices
to avoid coyote losses, and teach the public how to
cope with coyotes. This strategy can be applied to any Hal Korber
predator requiring population control.

60

Pennsylvania Game Commission



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015

Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 3
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 4
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 5
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 6
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 7
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 8
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 9
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 10
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 11
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 12
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 13
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 14
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 15
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 16
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 17
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 18
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 19
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 20
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 21
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 22
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 23
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 24
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 25
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 26
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 27
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 28
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 29
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 30
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 31
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 32
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 33
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 34
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 35
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 36
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 37
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 38
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 39
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 40
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 41
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 42
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 43
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 44
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 45
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 46
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 47
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 48
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 49
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 50
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 51
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 52
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 53
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 54
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 55
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 56
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 57
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 58
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 59
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 60
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 61
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 62
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 63
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 64
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 65
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 66
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 67
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 68
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 69
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 70
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Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 72
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Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 75
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 76
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 77
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 78
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 79
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 80
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 81
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 82
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 83
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 84
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 85
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - 86
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest 2014-2015 - Cover4
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