Kill a coyote, save a fawn… and you might win!
By Daryl Kirby
Originally published in the May 2014 issue of GON
It’s time to do something.
The days of denying coyotes have a dramatic impact on wildlife are over. It took studies by top university researchers to convince some folks of what hunters have been saying for years. Coyotes, without a doubt, are hammering fawns.
It’s not just deer that are taking a hit. Turkey reproduction numbers have dropped off the map. Are dramatically fewer poults being seen the past five years the result of turkeys suddenly having “filled their habitat range” so they are “self-regulating” their numbers and having fewer poults? Tell my buddy who has beautiful hardwood bottoms and ridges mixed with green fields, but very rarely does a turkey pass through. A hen did try to nest in a food plot last year—he found a pile of feathers and broken-up turkey eggs.
I know rabbit hunters who have tracts they’ve run dogs on for years—without killing rabbits—where the dogs now never strike a trail.
What changed in the Georgia woods? It’s the coyotes.
Yet, for whatever reason, there are still those in the hunting/conservation community who dismiss the coyote issue. We have to learn to live with coyotes, they say.
Coyotes are not native to Georgia. We—and our wildlife—don’t have to find a way to be neighborly with yotes.
Quite frankly, we’re weary of the excuses on why not to do something about coyotes. Heaven forbid if an invasive mollusk showed up in a stream or an invasive weed was found in a stand of longleaf pines—there would be enough federal money to sink a ship pouring in to get rid of those invasives.
Coyotes? We get shrugs of indifference. I personally heard a wildlife biologist tell a group of landowners that research indicates coyotes might have an impact in some areas, but that in other areas where hunting isn’t prevalent, coyotes are probably doing everyone a favor. Let that sink in a bit as you ponder the quality of your hunting the past five years.
It’s time to do something.
The 1st inaugural GON Coyote Cull isn’t going to solve the coyote problem, but it’s a start. Go kill one. Read the trapping article in the June issue of GON. It includes detail that could get you started running a few traps, even if just for a weekend. If trapping is not your thing, go coyote hunting.
The idea behind the Coyote Cull is simply to give everyone a little extra incentive to spend a weekend at the hunting property this time of year working on the coyotes.
Kill one. Have someone take a picture of you with the dead coyote, and you need to be holding a copy of this month’s GON. This is simply so folks can’t enter with a picture of a coyote killed last year. Don’t share your coyote so your buddy can enter—we’ll have a polygraph.
Consider this. A professional trapper just caught 11 coyotes on a Morgan County tract. He removed them to a live pen. That night, one female had seven pups and another had nine. Think about that next time you hear someone say killing a coyote will somehow just make things worse.
It’s fawning time, and turkey poults are about to hatch. Take out a coyote right now, and it will make a difference.
Read more and learn how to enter HERE.