Coyote Control – Hernando Sun

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I want to tell you a bit about the coyotes and some of the local men who are dedicated to controlling their numbers. Coyotes typically spend their days foraging for food and attacking anything they think they can eat, including livestock. An indiscriminate predator, the Canis latrans lifestyle is nothing more than a carnage fiesta. When they encroach on a person’s property and target their livestock or pets, then coyotes become quite problematic.

In recent years, coyotes have become a real problem in farming communities around Florida and little action has been taken by official agencies. In November 2014, the Florida Wildlife Commission hosted a community meeting in Orlando to discuss coyotes and how to better coexist with them. The problem is that coexistence is only possible when combined with efforts to reduce and control population. With fur prices in the dumpster, few are motivated to put in the long hours needed to control their spread.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists, every county in Florida has coyotes. Hernando and Citrus counties are two of the most densely populated counties and reports of livestock being killed and eaten are far too frequent. Efforts to control coyotes can be costly and time-consuming for a state agency, and as a result, none are truly scaling up their solutions. Currently, no state or county funds are currently allocated for the coyote, a non-native invasive species.

For a landowner looking to protect their property, hunting and trapping are the best tools to deal with coyotes. However, the FWC requires hard-to-acquire permits for effective traps, and snares can be potentially harmful to non-target animals such as domestic dogs, bobcats or foxes. A huge problem is that they are prolific breeders with no natural predators. They reproduce at such a fantastic rate that, according to a 1990s FWC survey, approximately 75% of the resident and surrounding coyote population must be eradicated each year to effectively control them.

That’s why a pair of local predator hunters have teamed up to help some of our local breeders, especially now, during calving season. Lonnie Beck and Bob Ernstes, took the coyote hunt in seriously hi-tech form. They engage wiley predators at night with impressive night vision optics and recorded game calls. The moment the coyotes enter the fields they are immediately under surveillance and once they reach a point with a safe background the gentlemen send them an invitation for a tailgate ride up to three hundred yards .

The number of calf lives saved by these two artists from coyote slaughter is clearly unknown, but given the singing dog’s history of calf predation, it’s surely a good number. As always, I’d love to hear about your adventures and maybe see a photo or two of your successes, so email me at [email protected] God bless you and happy hunting!

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