Petition targets ‘coyote whacking’ in Wyoming


PINEDALE (WNE) — Almost 77,000 people have signed online petitions at Care2.org with another 308,000 at change.org against the legality of “coyote whacking” in Wyoming. 

Those 385,000 signatures come from across the country and many countries around the world for the petitions, which are aimed at Wyoming legislators and the governor. 

“We wish this was a twisted joke,” the Care2 petition begins. “Unfortunately, there really are people who participate in a sport called ‘coyote whacking’ and they can continue to legally do so. Wyoming legislators had an opportunity to outlaw it but they didn’t even bother looking at the bill, let alone passing it.” 

House Bill 288, titled “Animal cruelty – snowmobiles,” was introduced by freshman Rep. Mike Yin, D-Jackson, on Jan. 28 after he reportedly received a video and photos of people chasing coyotes, wearing them out and killing them. Sen. Mike Gierau, D-Jackson, cosponsored the bill. 

It went to the Wyoming House of Representatives, where it was not considered for introduction by the Feb. 4 deadline. It requested criminal penalties for “aggravated cruelty to animals,” including sponsors, for using a snowmobile to “willfully and wantonly cause the death, injury or undue suffering of an animal, including a predatory animal.” 

Predator hunting is not controlled on public lands but private landowners can decide who does what on their property. Big Piney rancher Tara Miller recently submitted a letter to the editor that said coyote hunting with snowmobiles would not be allowed on Miller Land & Livestock’s property.

Woman injured in well explosion

EVANSTON (WNE) — Uinta County emergency crews responded to an explosion near Henry Fork Road, between County Road 283 and Lonetree, on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 23, at a building covering a well head at an oil field location. 

One person was working in the building at the time of the explosion. 

Dexter Mohler, Bridger Valley Fire Chief, said that person, a female private contractor, was able to phone a coworker for help. The coworker was able to get to her and begin transporting her to rendezvous with emergency crews. 

A redacted incident report from the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office said the call came in shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday morning, and an ambulance met the burned woman in the Polaris dealership parking lot. The incident report states the woman said she “didn’t remember anything but being on fire.” 

She was then transported to Evanston Regional Hospital with serious burn injuries before being transferred to the University of Utah Burn Unit. 

When the fire department arrived at the explosion site, they helped to safely shut down the rest of the well. The incident report indicates the coworker was at another well about four miles away when the victim called for help. When the coworker arrived, it was obvious the woman had rolled in the dirt in an effort to extinguish the flames.

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