A coyote was found shot dead on U.S. Forest Service lands abutting a home on Ottawa Drive, leaving neighborhood residents looking for the culprit.
The dead coyote was found and reported to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Thursday morning, but the animal was probably killed the day before, said Lt. Pete Van Arnum.
Some neighbors have blamed the coyote’s killing on a homeowner who lives closest to where it was found, Van Arnum said.
“We’ve talked to him, he denies it, and he’s a supporter of Lake Tahoe wildlife, so it’s hard to believe he’d be shooting coyotes if he’s a supporter. The only gun he has is a BB gun, which wouldn’t make the wound seen in the animal,” Van Arnum said.
“The gentleman I talked to feels like he has been unjustly accused.”
Other neighbors reported seeing a man in a four-wheel-drive truck with a couple dogs in it. The man reportedly stopped in the area, appeared to be looking at coyotes and indicated that he would like to shoot one.
Coyotes can be legally killed with a hunting license. But the killing occurred in a firearms restriction area where handguns and rifles cannot be discharged under county ordinances, Van Arnum said.
“Depending on if he had a hunting license, it could be a fish and game violation. And if he used a rifle or handgun it would be a county ordinance misdemeanor violation,” he said.
The incident remains under investigation. Coyotes are a controversial issue, Van Arnum said.
“Some people like the coyotes, some people don’t like them. Some people think they’re a threat to dogs, others don’t. It’s a pretty emotional issue. Our concern is somebody was firing a rifle in a residential area, which is dangerous.”