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$1,000 reward proposed for killing coyotes

Proposal would create bounty program for killing coyotes
Proposal would create bounty program for killing coyotes

Think of it as Powerball goes hunting. Or the revenge of the Roadrunner.

S.C. hunters would be eligible for at least a $1,000-reward if they killed a tagged coyote if a S.C. budget proposal becomes law.

The proposal, approved Tuesday by the S.C. House’s budget-writing panel, directs the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to tag and release at least 12 coyotes across the state. The tagged coyotes would have a bounty of at least $1,000 each, payable to any hunter who bags them.

The proposal passed unanimously on the 25-member committee. It is an attempt to encourage hunters to target the predators, not native to South Carolina, who are blamed for killing young deer, and domestic cats and dogs.

An S.C. hunter who shoots a tagged coyote would present the animal’s tag to Natural Resources to collect the reward, said state Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Horry, a co-sponsor. The proposal would take effect July 1, if approved by the full S.C. House and Senate.

It’s kind of like the lottery.

Only a few coyotes would be tagged — or worth something. But supporters hope a lot of hunters will kill coyotes in pursuit of that elusive one worth money.

The reward is intended to be an incentive for hunters because very few people hunt coyotes in the South, Clemmons said.

Smaller cousins of wolves, coyotes began moving into the Southeast from the west in the 1970s, Natural Resources biologists say.

In some cases, coyotes are thought to have been released by fox hunters. By the early 2000s, coyotes were in most S.C. counties. Today, they are in all 46.

Coyotes also are encroaching on urban areas, Clemmons said.

Cassie Cope: 803-771-8657, @cassielcope

Hunting coyotes in SC

You can hunt them year-round; there is no “closed” season on private lands

No hunting license or permit is required to shoot coyotes on your property within 100 yards of your home. (But check local laws and firearms ordinance.s)

Electronic calls are permitted to attract the vermin

Night hunting is permitted with weapon restrictions