NEWS

Hanging a dead coyote from a tree? Troubling for some, but legal

Mike Melanson

Although it may be distasteful to neighbors, it is perfectly legal to hang a dead coyote from a tree in your yard.

That is what the neighbors of a South Elm Street hunter learned Monday after West Bridgewater police responded to complaints that a resident hanged a dead coyote from a tree where children could see it.

But the spectacle was nothing ill spirited. Traditional hunters will hang a coyote, bear or deer carcass from a tree to keep it cold, preserve it for mounting or for the animal's pelt, or to cure a deer's meat, said Major Bruce Bennett, chief of inland enforcement for the Massachusetts Environmental Police.

“It's a traditional type of thing, an old-school way of doing things,” Bennett said. “I guess you have to be an old-time hunter to understand that.”

West Bridgewater police responded to the calls, but took no action because the South Elm Street resident had done nothing illegal. Coyote hunting season is open, and the resident had taken down the coyote by Tuesday night anyway, police said.

Although it is legal, Bennett suggested hanging a carcass where neighbors cannot see it if it offends them.

“It's a (political correctness) thing. I'm not going to get into that,” he said.

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