April 2, 2021 — On Tuesday, March 30, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Jackson office received a report of several dead coyotes found along Wyoming Highway 89, approximately 23 miles south of Afton.
The reporting individual also stated that a cooler with some packages of processed meat and other carcass parts were at the scene and suspected the coyotes might have been poisoned. Following a thorough investigation, Game and Fish found no evidence of wildlife violations.
A Game and Fish law enforcement officer investigated the scene the same day the report was received but did not find evidence to suggest the coyotes died of poisoning. The coyote carcasses were in varying stages of decomposition, with some obviously having died well before the cooler with meat appeared at the site.
Seven coyote carcasses were intact enough to allow a necropsy, and all had gunshot wounds, indicating that was the cause of death. Additionally, although evidence of scavengers was documented at the site, an inspection of the area found no dead birds or other wildlife as would be typical of a poisoning incident.
This specific location has long been a popular site for the disposal of animal carcasses. The coyote carcasses and cooler with meat were recovered from the scene.
Under Wyoming state law, coyotes are classified as predatory animals, and as such, there is no established hunting season or license requirement for the animals.