Organized coyote hunts have increased in recent years, as populations of the elusive predator continue to rise. In Pennsylvania alone, there are nearly two dozen organized coyote hunts scheduled during this first part of this year.
The Mosquito Creek Sportsmen’s Association coyote hunt is the longest-running and largest organized coyote hunt in Pennsylvania. It also offers the biggest amount of prize money.
An estimated 4,000 hunters participated in this year’s hunt which took place from Feb. 19-21. Throughout the weekend, they bagged a total of 186 coyotes.
Seth Bumbarger, a 15-year-old sophomore won the 2016 Mosquito Creek Sportsmen’s Association coyote hunt with a 46.5-pound coyote. He shot the coyote on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Clearfield County.
Not only was the coyote the largest overall, it was also the largest female. In addition to bragging rights for an entire year and prize earnings of $13,185, the coyote made Bumbarger the youngest winner in the Mosquito Creek hunt’s 25-year history.
Coming in a close second, Charles Murry earned $4,983 for the 45.5-pound coyote he killed at 2 a.m. Friday in Sullivan County. Logan Quernot took third place and $3,322 for a 44.55-pound coyote he shot at 9 a.m. Sunday in Centre County.
The other hunters didn’t walk away empty handed. For each coyote weighed into the contest by 4 p.m. Sunday, participating hunters earned $90.
In recent years, declining game populations have largely been attributed to the increased presence of coyote. Additionally, coyotes are becoming increasingly comfortable in residential areas and have the potential to spread disease.
These are just a few of the key reasons why hunts like Mosquito Creek are necessary for managing the rapidly increasing populations of these predators.