Leavenworth weighs how to cut number of coyotes inside city

LEAVENWORTH — Leavenworth city officials are considering ways to reduce the number of coyotes inside city limits, possibly by including the animals in an ordinance designed to control the urban deer population.

City Manager Scott Miller said he has received reports of coyotes in city yards as well as in the county and neighboring Atchison County.

Miller told the Leavenworth City Commission during a study session this week that the state allows municipalities to set their own policies for regulating coyotes, which are not a protected species.

"Certainly we don't want to be shooting coyotes; you don't want to be shooting guns off in the city limits," he said. "Traps, you don't want that either."

He said the city could add coyotes to its management plan for urban deer, which allows licensed bow hunters to take deer on city property and on other properties with written consent from the landowners.

Resident Jesse Jones told the commission he sees coyotes regularly, and he's concerned about the safety of children in his neighborhood.

"If one of those coyotes is rabid and jumps over that fence and gets a child, it's not going to make a difference to them," he said of the coyotes.

However, Mayor Mark Preisinger, who lives near Jones, said he did not think the city had a coyote problem.

"I'm not a hunter, but I very much support hunting," he said. "I do believe that coyotes probably do form some ecological purpose, they're somewhere in the food chain, do something necessary."

Miller said state officials told him there are no recorded coyote attacks on humans in Kansas.

The commission decided to consider the proposal for a final vote at a future meeting.