“I’m going to be vigilant and check on them late at night,’’ he said yesterday, as he watched over the buffalo grazing area at Kimball Farm. “I’m going to come out here with my gun, and if I see one I’ll shoot it.’’
Kimball said the state give him permission to shoot coyotes on his land after beef cows were attacked seven years ago. he has shot 17 coyotes, he said.
Marion Larson, information and education biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, which is looking into the incident, said that Kimball, like all landowners who suffer damage from wildlife, is allowed to kill individual animals causing damage. But he does not have permission to kill others.
“That doesn’t mean that because he sees a coyote, he can shoot it,’’ she said. “You can’t do a preemptive strike. the mere presence of a coyote does not constitute a threat.’’
A state Environmental Police officer visited the farm Wednesday and found coyote marks near a carcass in a muddy area that had only bone and hide, Larson said.
But with so little left of the dead animal, Larson said, it cannot be known how the animal died or how long it had been dead. “We can’t confirm that coyotes did this,’’ Larson said. “Just because there are coyote tracks around, that’s not necessarily what killed the animal.’’
Kimball, 47, has lived much of his life on his family’s century-old farm, where goats, llamas, pigs, and cows also graze the rolling hills and lush pastures. Set amid scenic back roads in Haverhill, the 200-acre farm also draws families to its hay rides, petting zoo, and corn maze.
Around 11:30 Saturday night, Kimball said his wife woke him after she heard the familiar sounds of coyotes howling. he said he rushed out to check the llamas, thinking they were under attack, and then the rest of the animals. he also drove by the buffalos and said he saw the animals standing in a far corner of their pen, which has electric fencing and woven wires to protect the animals.