Bradley Janes, of Evans, says he’s been duck hunting for years, hoping to finally drop a bird with some jewelry. He finally pulled the trigger on a critter wearing hardware, but it wasn’t the prized waterfowl he had hoped for.
“I was turkey hunting in Columbia County on Keg Creek WMA on April 22,” said Bradley. “I found a nice spot and sat down. I began calling, and after about 45 minutes or so, I thought I heard a gobble way off.”
Bradley gobbled back at the bird, hoping the tom had a jealous streak in him and would come running. Fifteen minutes passed with no action. Then, a coyote came trotting down the road toward Bradley.
“The coyote seemed to be definitely coming to my calls,” said Bradley. “I laid the hammer on her at about 40 yards. I go get her, and she’s radio collard. I’ve never been more shocked. I’ve been duck hunting for years and never got a band, but then I turn around and kill a radio-collared yote.”
Bradley said he knew nothing about the new coyote study that was happening between several universities and state wildlife agencies in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. He contacted the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and learned that his coyote was one of 25 that had been radio collared in Georgia.
“The guys at UGA have been extremely nice,” said Bradley. “The biologist is coming the first week of May to pick up and scan the collar and then will give me any info on the yote he can retrieve from it— age and when and where she was collared.”
Bradley, who seemed excited to have shot the only one from Georgia so far, said he’s glad to learn the study is going on.
“I believe coyotes can affect a turkey population negatively,” said Bradley. “They are predators, and nothing seems easier to eat than some new poults right out of the nest.
“We know so little about the yotes here. These studies will let us truly learn their habits and understand them in a better way, so we can manage their numbers. We can’t exterminate them, but we can manage them. If we manage the numbers, that in turn means higher populations of deer, turkeys and small game. Who can argue with that?”
If you happen to shoot one of these tagged coyotes, call the number located on the collar.
Check out the May issue of GON. We highlight recent updates on the new coyote trapping study. Bradley’s song dog was one of three Georgia coyotes killed so far, although Bradley’s was the only one killed by a hunter. The other two were hit by vehicles.