South Carolina

‘They’re eating our cats and dogs’: Coyote bounty bill proposed in SC

Hunters in South Carolina could get $75 each time they kill a coyote under a new bill proposed in the state senate.

The proposal from Sen. Stephen Goldfinch would add a dollar to the state hunting license fee to pay for the bounty and open up the trapping season for coyotes to year-round.

Complaints have been mounting over the years about coyotes in South Carolina. In Myrtle Beach, city leaders are working on a plan to tackle the growing number of coyotes in the area, according to The Sun News.

“There’s no predator to take the coyotes out so they’re going to continue to grow,” city councilman Mike Lowder said, according to The Sun News. “From what I’m seeing, coyotes are really becoming a problem in the area.”

On the opposite side of the state, Greenville residents are worried about the number of coyotes they’ve been seeing, FOX Carolina reports.

In Fort Mill, South Carolina, a man was attacked by a coyote twice in the woods south of Charlotte, the Rock Hill Herald reports.

“The state’s perspective is every coyote needs to be a dead coyote. Trap them, shoot them, kill them, however you want to get rid of them. We need to get rid of them,” Goldfinch said, WMBF reported. “This is now about going to war with the coyotes. They’re eating our cats and our dogs and our deer and turkeys.”

Goldfinch told the station he modeled the proposal off a 2013 Utah law that pays a $50 bounty for coyotes.

“Utah came up with a simple solution,” he said, according to WMBF. “You have to take a picture of the dead coyote and then your phone geotags where it was so to make sure it’s in the state at the time that it was.”

Hunters would still have to abide by county and local laws about when and where people can hunt.

Coyotes started to show up in South Carolina in 1978, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

Coyotes, DNR writes, “continue to expand greatly in numbers. Coyotes are negatively impacting our official State Animal, the White-tailed deer, by preying heavily on deer fawns.”

The department reports the deer population has been dropping as coyote numbers grow in the state.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.