Here’s a bit of good news. About the same time the GON e-mail in-boxes began filling with trail-camera pics of newborn fawns and turkey poults, they also began filling with pictures of dead coyotes. A few are pictured here, and more will appear in the July issue.
Taking out a few coyotes while critters are being born is the simple purpose of GON’s Coyote Cull. It’s not an effort to solve the coyote problem in the Georgia woods. The goal is to plant the seed in the minds of sportsmen that right now—when newborn fawns and turkey poults are easy pickings—is a great time to take out a coyote.
Your alternative to taking out a coyote or two is to shoot fewer deer this fall. That’s the only prescription being offered to the issue of dramatically fewer fawns surviving these days.
For every adult doe in the deer population, we used to see 0.7 or more fawns survive to six months of age. Today, that fawn-recruitment rate is below 0.3 across entire regions of the state. On some tracts of land fawn recruitment rates have been scientifically documented at 0.2. That’s a dramatic drop.
Meanwhile, turkey poult numbers have also plummeted. Research money is being spent on studying coyote predation on deer, not studying why we can’t grow turkeys anymore. Since there’s no scientific data for biologists to point to about the turkey situation, you don’t hear much talk about coyotes impacting turkeys. That is, unless you talk to turkey hunters, who know there are fewer birds and also know how common it is to call up a dang coyote these days instead of a gobbler.
The Coyote Cull is simply a little incentive. It’s also a reminder—it’s going to be up to you to do something about this. The alternatives so far are to wait on the government, or have hunters shoot fewer deer and turkeys. A coyote hunt sounds pretty good…
How To Enter
The Coyote Cull is designed to be uncomplicated. It’s not a contest to kill the most coyotes or the biggest. There are no check stations. The prizes are simply an incentive to get folks to the woods right now doing what we should all be doing anyway—taking out some coyotes right at the time of year fawns and turkey poults are being born.
To enter, go kill a coyote. Then e-mail a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org showing the dead coyote and the hunter holding this June issue of GON. The hunter must include their name, hometown and the county where the coyote was taken. There is no entry fee, and you don’t even have to buy the current issue—you can borrow one from a friend. The only reason we require that the hunter hold the current June issue of GON is so we know the coyote was killed during this Coyote Cull and not a few years ago.
One picture-entry per coyote—your buddy can’t take a picture with your coyote and enter. We will accept entries through June 15. The only rule is a limit of one entry per month, per household. If you entered last month holding the May GON, you (or someone from your household) can enter again this month holding the June issue. That’s a maximum of two entries per household.
Your entry photo and details can also be mailed to GON Coyote Cull, 4331 Seven Islands Road, Madison, GA 30650, but we must receive them by June 15. Call (800) 438-4663 with questions.
From entries received by June 15, we’ll draw two winners for two great prizes from our Coyote Cull sponsors—Adventure Outdoors and Leupold.
Prize 1: Mossberg MVP Predator 5.56 NATO 18.5” Medium Bull Barrel
Thanks to our friends at Adventure Outdoors and Mossberg, one Coyote Cull drawing is for an awesome Mossberg MCP Predator rifle. This 5.56 NATO caliber rifle has an 18.5” Fluted Medium Bull Barrel, 3-9x40mm variable scope and a 10-round magazine. The suggested retail price of this Mossberg MVP Predator is $782!
Prize 2: Leupold BX-1 McKenzie Binoculars
The is a perfect hunting binocular—100 percent waterproof, durable, compact and with a bright crystal-clear image from a 10x42mm Center Focus Roof Prism. The BX-1 McKenzie features a Central Focus Dial that is easy to find and use, even with gloves on. Generous eye relief and twist-up eyecups make them easy to use with or without eyeglasses. Eliminates glare and problems with the sun on bright, cloudless days. The suggested retail price is $199.99.