What exactly are the benefits of coyote hunting? Here are seven, you choose which ones are most important.
In the last 20 years, the popularity of coyote hunting has risen, particularly east of the Mississippi, where populations have risen.
Though it is an unusual prey, there are at least seven good reasons to consider calling coyotes the next time you go out hunting.
When it comes down to it, coyotes are a manageable species if smart and ethical hunting practices play a role in that management.
View the slideshow to see the reasons why coyote hunting is a good idea, and leave more in the comments below.
Images via wikimedia
Manage the population
First and foremost, the best reason to hunt coyotes is to manage their growing population. Because they aren't a traditional game animal, hunting them has not been a reliable way to manage their population until now, and even still it's debatable if it has a big enough impact in the long run. But localized efforts have shown results.
In recent years, the population has increased, leading to many states initiating specific coyote hunting regulations.
They're eating game
Coyotes are predators and therefore hunt many of the same game we do. The same turkeys, deer, quail, ducks, and rabbits we hunt recreationally may be a coyote's chief source of food.
RELATED: Small Game Hunting 101
When the coyote population rises, the populations of game animals shrink. by hunting coyotes, hunters aren't just pursuing exciting new animals, they're taking out the competition.
They aren't afraid to approach homes and farms
Coyotes are extremely clever animals, which means they adapt quickly to their environments. If food is scarce, they'll raid farms and homes. At best, they'll simply clear out bowls of pet food. At worst, the family pet or the prized livestock may go missing.
They spread disease
Perhaps one of the most serious and unexpected reasons to manage the coyote population is disease. When a population grows out of control, mother nature tends to counter it with starvation and disease. The starvation alone is an issue for hunters, because it means the coyotes have already eaten all the available game in the area. The disease poses even more risk.
Like dogs, coyotes are subject to contagious diseases like distemper, rabies, trichinosis, and parvo, as well as parasites like mange, lice, fleas, and worms. Many of these diseases can be passed from coyotes to dogs, and from dogs to humans. And it gets even worse.
In spite of advances in modern medicine, the bubonic plague and hantavirus are still living diseases. While a trip to the doctor should clear up these diseases, both are still known to be fatal in an unknowing host, and coyotes have been known to contract such diseases.
They're a challenge
Every mythology has a trickster of some sort. The Norse have Loki, the Greeks have Hermes, and many Native American cultures have Coyote. How exactly did the coyote earn the honor of personifying the Native American trickster? By being very clever.
It's no secret that coyotes are smart and adaptable. It makes them twice the nuisance, but it also makes them twice the challenge to hunt. The sheer excitement of tracking down such a quick, smart animal is a treat in and of itself.
Their fur was once very popular
In the 1970's and 1980's, coyote fur was in high demand and trappers did very well for themselves by focusing on it. Though the demand for fur has since dropped drastically, there is still a fringe market for it, as there is with any commodity.
They're even edible
As strange as it sounds, bringing down a coyote can also provide a hunter with a good, hot meal. Whether roasted or stirred into a stew, coyote meat is a great reward after a long day of tracking down this clever beast.