Thanks to some last minute work in the state legislature, South Carolina now has a coyote bounty program.
Under the new plan approved by the legislature, the Department of Natural Resources will capture, neuter, tag, and then release 16 coyotes (4 in each of the state's game zones). With a concept similar to the "golden tickets" from Willie Wonka's chocolate factory, any hunter who kills one of these tagged coyotes would receive a free lifetime hunting license (an approximately $300 value).
The idea behind the new program is to increase the number of coyote hunters in the state by giving them a chance to receive such a significant reward for killing one of the tagged coyotes.
Governor Haley voiced her concern with the original coyote bounty plan by saying that it did not make sense for the state to be capturing coyotes and releasing them back into the wild. However, the new plan appears to at least partly address that problem by preventing the released coyotes from reproducing.
The new coyote bounty program is scheduled to begin this summer, so it looks like the coyote population in South Carolina could potentially be in for a rough few months as more hunters hit the woods in order to take advantage of the coyote bounty.
Coyotes are not native to South Carolina and started appearing in the state during the 1970s. Coyotes are now present in all 46 counties in the state and kill untold numbers of fawns as well as pet dogs and cats each year.
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