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New South Carolina bill pushes for coyote bounty

South Carolina Coyote

Photo credit: Dreamstime

A South Carolina senator has introduced a controversial proposal aimed at nuisance coyotes. State Senator Stephen Goldfinch (R-Murrells Inlet) has introduced a bill that would pay hunters $75 for every coyote killed. It’s a bounty program and one that legislators have passed on in prior sessions. Under Goldfinch’s bill, the $75 per animal would be paid for “by adding $1 to state hunting license fees,” The Post and Courier reports.

“I think it’s time for hunters and other sportsmen to go to war with coyotes, and there has to be some incentive to keep them engaged,” said Goldfinch. He believes that hunters wouldn’t mind the dollar increase in hunting license fees to support a coyote bounty.

The animals are prolific throughout the state with an estimated 350,000 coyotes in 46 counties, causing problems for fawn mortality, the state’s recovered wild turkey population and, even, pets. While roughly 25,000 coyotes are killed within South Carolina annually, according to The Post and Courier, it’s not enough to make a dent in the abundant population.

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Hence, Goldfinch’s proposed bill.

“I support any action stance that takes aggressive measures, not including poison, to control the population densities of the coyote,” said David Strickland of the public land hunting advocate Carolina Wildlife Syndicate.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is still studying the bill and has not commented on it yet. Only a handful of states have even considered a bounty program and many didn’t approve one. Even so, Goldfinch told The Post and Courier, “I totally believe we’re going to be dealing with coyote for the rest of our lives” and “most of the people I know like it (the bounty idea).”

Stay tuned to goHUNT for further updates.


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Al C. - posted 2 months ago on 02-22-2019 05:27:11 am

Why is everyone talking extirpate versus control. And how many of you are actually getting mature yotes in your crosshairs versus juveniles. I’d say around here, juveniles are called in a lot more then mature yotes. I’m not going to be the one saying this will not help fawn recruitment urban coyote scat studies found 20% contained deer. Of course someone will say that city deer are more vulnerable then rural deer.

Trey H. - posted 2 months ago on 02-20-2019 09:43:31 pm

Gary H. you can do some google searches, there are a lot of peer reviewed scientific articles about coyote control, and it's efficacy. Ray Alcorn's book "Coyote Man" also provides a lot of interesting insight, but it's a lengthy read. One of the reasons they are so hard to impact is that they are population dependent breeders, removal of adults causes increased breeding activities in a larger percentage of the population, which leads to a boom cycle in the population as a whole. I'm an avid coyote hunter, and trapper, and problem coyotes can be mitigated, and timely targeted removal can have some impact on fawn recruitment, but extirpation is beyond difficult, and there is a long history of bounties being less than effective.

Erik S. - posted 2 months ago on 02-20-2019 07:53:24 pm
Erik S. - posted 2 months ago on 02-20-2019 07:49:57 pm

Predators like Grizzlies and Wolves that are much less adaptable were the only predators ever successfully eradicated. It doesnt take a high school diploma to see this with ones own eyes, which is why I am so surprised that this South Carolina bill is being pushed by a senator. You would think he would understand history and wildlife management before he pushes such bill.

Erik S. - posted 2 months ago on 02-20-2019 07:44:47 pm

Gary H. Here is a good article to start with -

Towards the end is where they talk about coyotes. "North Dakota ended its coyote bounty in 1961.

By then, although wolves were extirpated from the state, it was apparent the bounty system was having no real effect on coyote and fox numbers, so the program was discontinued,” said Stephanie Tucker, furbearer biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, in an interview with the Bismark Tribune. “In Nebraska, coyote numbers continued to rise although a bounty system had been in place for 68 years.”

Gary H. - posted 2 months ago on 02-19-2019 05:35:47 am

Can you provide facts behind your statements that "this isnt going to work at all"?

Trey H. - posted 3 months ago on 02-17-2019 11:19:29 am

Yeah...this isn't going to work at all, and there is plenty of research out there showing it won't. Transient populations, population dependent breeding, and the incredible adaptability of the species means it's there to stay. Targeted control during fawning season may help, but it's not a war they are going to win...and this is coming from someone who really enjoys calling coyotes.

Erik S. - posted 3 months ago on 02-13-2019 09:31:01 pm

This dude needs a history lesson, the more you kill the more wide spread they become. Man has never had success at attempts to eradicating the coyote.

Joseph R. - posted 3 months ago on 02-13-2019 02:57:17 pm
Quarryville, PA

These guys in SC should listen to the Meat Eater podcast. They're only going to make the problem worse. They'd be better off trapping and castrating them.

Dave G. - posted 3 months ago on 02-13-2019 09:04:03 am
Sacramento, CA

I may put my house on the market and move to South Carolina if this passes.