Many hunters have put away their hunting clothes and are either looking forward to the spring for turkey hunting, or dreading the time before deer season opens in the fall. But other hunters are still in the woods, staying sharp on the trigger while chasing squirrels.
The fifth annual Carolina Coyote Classic, presented by 704 Outdoors, saw a record number of coyotes brought to the scales this past weekend at the Albemarle, N.C. American Legion Post 76, which served as the headquarters and weigh-in site of the tournament.
Have you ever been hunting, but felt as though you were the one being hunted? That’s just the feeling Logan Foster of Chester, S.C. felt one morning last month while duck hunting with a friend in a creek bottom that was known to hold ducks. But it wasn’t just a feeling. Foster realized before it was too late that a bobcat was waiting to attack, mistaking his wood duck calling for an early morning snack.
The 2017 deer hunting season is a distant memory for most hunters, and while many hunters are either looking forward to April’s opening day of turkey season or to the fall for the next deer season opener, other hunters are still in the woods taking advantage of the small game that are currently in season.
Coyotes are a problem for native wildlife, hunters, and landowners, and they are here to stay in South Carolina. Over the years, the SCDNR has changed its stance from believing coyotes weren’t much of a threat to native wildlife to understanding that they are, in fact, a major threat. And they’ve loosened hunting regulations on the canines to make it easier for hunters to attempt to keep them in check.
When David Moore of Rockingham, N.C. found a coyote in one of his foothold traps he was checking last week in Marlboro County, S.C., his buddies noticed the canine was wearing a set of earrings. The jewelry turned out to be tags from SCDNR, who had trapped, neutered, tagged, then released the ‘yote as part of South Carolina’s Coyote Harvest Incentive Program.
Over the past 20 years, coyotes have taken a foothold in every county in the Carolinas. From livestock and domestic pet predation to population reductions in native game and non-game species, coyotes are well beyond becoming a nuisance. They are a real problem that needs an immediate solution, and increased hunting pressure may help curb depredation issues. Calling coyotes can be very effective at luring coyotes into range.
The first time I ever went turkey hunting, you could say I got spoiled, lucky, or both. I had no idea what I was doing, had read very little about the big game bird, and hadn’t seen so much as a turkey track on the family land where I’d decided to go after my first turkey.
Before whitetail deer and wild turkeys became the flagship species for hunters in the Southeast, bobwhite quail was king. Back when boys rolled up into the high-school parking lot with shotguns in gun racks in the back window of the truck — and no one minded — it was common to stop along the way to school and kick up a covey of quail before heading to class.