Status of Fox and Coyote Hunting Enclosures in the Southeastern United States

As a result of declining hunting opportunities, many fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus and Vulpes vulpes) and coyote (Canis latrans) hunters in the Southeast now practice their sport inside fenced enclosures of tracts of land commonly referred to as “fox pens.” A mail survey in 1997 of each southeastern state's furbearer project was used to determine the status of fox and coyote hunting enclosures in the southeastern United States. Thirty-three questions were asked, 6 of which pertained to enclosures status, 14 to regulations, 3 to operations, 3 to health concerns, and 7 to state agency attitudes. The survey revealed that a minimum of 466 fox and coyote hunting enclosures were in operation in the Southeast. Only Maryland reported no enclosures. Respondents ranked concerns over public health implications and native wildlife health implications of enclosures highest. While numerous concerns were listed, each respondent recognized benefits of fox and coyote hunting enclosures. No respondents believed that the complete closure of these facilities was necessary.

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