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Coyote Cleanout

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Coyotes generally spend their days in search of food and attacking anything they feel they can consume.  A non-discriminate predator Canis latran’s way of life is nothing more than a fiesta of carnage.  When they encroach on a person’s property and target small livestock or family pets, coyotes then become quite problematic.

In recent years, coyotes have become a real problem in communities around Florida and few measures have been taken by official agencies.  In November of 2014, the Florida Wildlife Commission had a community meeting in Orlando to discuss coyotes and how to better coexist with them.  The problem is co-existance if only possible when combined with efforts to reduce and control the population.

All of Florida’s counties are confirmed to have coyote, according to biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  Citrus County, is one of the more densely populated counties and reports of pets and small livestock being killed and eaten are far too common.

Efforts to control coyotes can be expensive and time-consuming for a state agency and none are stepping up with real solutions.  Far too much of the state budget is being spent attempting to control the spread of the big snakes down south or eradication efforts towards lion fish in the Gulf of Mexico, but no funds are currently earmarked towards the coyote, a non-native, invasive species we’re told to attempt to co-exist with.

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For a landowner looking to protect his or her property, hunting and trapping are the best tools for dealing with the coyotes.  However, the FWC requires permits for effective traps and snares can be potentially harmful to non-target animals such as domestic dogs, bobcats or fox.

A huge problem is that they are prolific breeders with no natural predators.  They reproduce at such a fantastic rate that according to an FWC survey from the 1990’s, an estimated 75 percent of the resident and surrounding coyote population needs to be eradicated every year to effectively control them.  Thus coyotes are not leaving Florida any time soon.

That is why I, and my team at Rebel Yell Outdoors, have began hosting coyote cleanouts each Winter, in hopes of bringing the population of these alpha-predators under control.  This year’s cleanout has been expanded beyond public lands to a county-wide effort.  I’ve received far too many coyote complaints from residents living in more urban environs that it makes sense to have my team of participants expand the hunt.

This year’s cleanout will be held on February 9th and is open to any hunters amongst you willing to put in a little time to help us out.  The hunt is to be conducted from Six AM to Six PM and check in will begin at noon.  I’ll be set up to check in the coyotes at the check station located at the Holder Mine Campground on Trail 10 in the Citrus WMA.  Each coyote will be weighed, measured and certain biological samples taken and a report compiled for regional biologists in hopes of prompting them to take another look at coyote control efforts at the state level.   
As always, I’d love to hear about your adventures and maybe see a photo or two of your successes, so drop me a line at [email protected].  God bless and Good Hunting!

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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