As hunters, we constantly hear that coyotes are a major problem to our intended quarry, and several studies conducted by the SCDNR over the past 10-years have proven that coyotes are big killers of young whitetail deer. The hunting regulations on coyotes are pretty liberal, so we can’t blame a lack of opportunity for not killing more.

Still, most hunters don’t actively hunt coyotes. They will shoot them when the chance presents itself, like when you’re hunting deer and a coyote appears, but hitting the woods for the sole purpose of coyote hunting just doesn’t appeal to many hunters, even if they know how beneficial it can be to take out as many of these non-native animals as possible.

One thing that can change a lot of minds though, is a competition, and that’s exactly what a group of folks in Columbia have been doing for the past few years. The WeHuntSC Predator Challenge is a weekend-long event that is free to all participants. This year, the challenge will be held from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24.

Unlike the past two years, only coyotes will count toward the competition. A points system will be used, and total number of coyotes and overall weight will help determine the winners. All participants must be pre-registered, and check in takes place Sunday between 2 and 3 p.m. at Sportsman’s Warehouse on Piney Grove Rd. in Columbia.

Teams can consist of a maximum of four members, all of whom must be licensed hunters. The top three teams will win prize packages, and the Big Dawg award will be given for the heaviest single coyote weighed in. Out-of-state hunters are welcome to compete.

This is a hunting competition. Coyotes with evidence of being trapped before being shot will be disqualified, and no frozen coyotes will be accepted.

This is a great opportunity to get involved in helping to thin out the population of coyotes throughout the state.

Click here to pre-register and to read the complete set of rules.

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