Rebuilding a Tradition Composed By: Blayre Ouzts Ridding Our Area of an Invasive Species
<ul><li>Since 2006, coyotes have been significantly depleting the deer population on our land each year. </li></ul><ul><li>They are quick moving animals who prey upon baby deer. In result leaving less fawns that grow up and reproduce and causing the mother deer to relocate and the big bucks to follow. </li></ul><ul><li>On an average hunting night we use to see somewhere around 10 to 15 deer each night. However, this number has dropped to only 1 deer and often none. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In result, each year less hunters return to renew their membership at our hunting club each year. </li></ul><ul><li>This leaves us with minimal funds to keep up the facilities, as well as purchase the products necessary to attract the deer (Such as deer corn, feeders, and supplies required to create and maintain a food plot). </li></ul>
What can we do? <ul><li>Possible Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Shoot the coyotes when they come into the hunters line of sight. </li></ul><ul><li>Purchase traps for the coyotes, and once we catch them turn them over to a local game warden. </li></ul><ul><li>Let nature take its course. </li></ul><ul><li>After brainstorming I came up with several courses of action we could take to minimize the coyote problem at hand. </li></ul>
<ul><li> Possible References </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs from people in South Carolina who are experiencing the same problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to local game warden. </li></ul><ul><li>Look online for internet articles of issues pertaining to coyotes depleting the deer population. </li></ul><ul><li>Book on the lifestyle of coyotes. </li></ul>It is imperative I research each of the three solutions I came up with and figure out the pros and cons to each of the three solutions.
<ul><li>There is no restricted season if you’re hunting the coyotes on private land. </li></ul><ul><li>You do not have to obtain a hunting license to shoot coyotes within a 100 yards of your land. </li></ul><ul><li>Night hunting is permitted however there are weapon restrictions. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/coyote/index.html </li></ul>Difficulty with this Solution Coyotes are very fast animals that sleep during the day and come out to eat after dark. This meaning the animals are rarely seen making them extremely difficult to kill. While night hunting is permitted, it is very hard to find volunteers who will stay up half of the night hunting down a coyote so they can kill it. It is a very difficult process that requires great skill from someone who knows what they are doing.
<ul><li>Trapping season is permitted from December 1 through March 1. </li></ul><ul><li>No license or permit is required to trap a coyote within a 100 yards of your home. However, it is important to know trapped coyotes may not be relocated. </li></ul><ul><li>If coyotes cause damage to your property the SCDNR will issue a depredation permit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drawbacks to this Solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coyotes are smart animals and they will not go in a live trap. The only way to trap a coyote is to set up a leg hold trap. The drawback to this is the trap is hidden in the ground so it will also catch deer and other wildlife. These traps are very dangerous and must be set by someone who knows what they are doing. In addition each trap cost about $30.00 so to purchase several of these traps could be rather pricey. </li></ul></ul>http://police.greenvillesc.gov/animal-control.aspx
This is a picture of a (closed) leg hold trap. The trap is set on the ground, in the woods, disguised under leaves. The trap is sensitive to pressure applied to a sensitive lever. Once the animal steps on lever the trap instantly closes on its leg stopping it in its tracks. From instinct animals try to escape the trap by pulling away from it often causing them to loose a leg or bleed to death. The problem with these traps is deer are just as likely as coyotes to run in its path.
<ul><li>Canine Parvovirus, most commonly known as parvo, is a viral disease that is deadly to dogs if they are not vaccinated. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a rapidly developing virus that generally affects the intestines, causing bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and often heart failure. </li></ul><ul><li>It is spread through feces and highly contagious. </li></ul><ul><li>Could this be Our Solution? </li></ul><ul><li>In the beginning of fall 2011, we noticed a decline in the amount of howling we heard at night at our hunting land. We went and talked to a local game warden, who informed us a vast majority of the coyotes died the past year after catching a deadly disease know as Parvo. It spread rapidly amongst the wild dog decreasing their number on our hunting land by half. </li></ul>http://y.wisegeek.com/what-is-parvo.htm
Of the three solutions I presented only one of them is the most viable, sensible solution. Shooting the coyotes would only be a time consuming process that would give us minimal satisfaction due to the difficult process that goes into hunting the animal. Trapping coyotes is a route that could be taken. However, there is a MAJOR issue that invalidates this method completely. The problem with this potential solution is that the only trap that will capture a coyote is a leg hold trap and it is just as likely to catch the deer and other wildlife. This could seriously injure and even kill the animals we are working so hard to protect. The only solution that proves to be a beneficial and productive method for depleting the coyote population in our area, is to let the coyotes be eliminated by natural causes. By letting nature take its course, disease will be a major factor in the decrease in survival rate of this predatory species.