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.
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 month’s issue of GON. The hunter should 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 the hunter hold the current issue of GON is so we know the coyote was killed for the 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’ll have a polygraph.
We will accept entries through June 13. The only rule is a limit of one entry per month, per household. If you enter once holding this month’s GON, you (or someone from your household) can enter again next 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 13. Call (800) 438-4663 with questions.
Check out these prizes that will given away!
• Mossberg MMR 5.56 Tactical Rifle from Adventure Outdoors
Thanks to our friends at Adventure Outdoors and Mossberg, one Coyote Cull drawing is for an awesome Mossberg tactical rifle. This 5.56 MMR has an adjustable stock, 30-round magazine and it includes sights. The suggested retail price of this gun is $1,028!
• YETI Tundra 45 Cooler
There’s a reason you hear so much fuss about YETI coolers. They’re awesome! One Coyote Cull drawing winner will get receive a YETI Tundra 45 Cooler. Suggested retail price, $349.99.
• Franklin Gun Shop $200 Gift Card
This outdoor store in Athens has been a GON supporter for more than 25 years, so it’s no surprise Franklin’s jumped in to help sponsor the inaugural Coyote Cull. One entrant will win a $200 gift certificate to spend at Franklin Gun Shop.