The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has launched a coyote harvest incentive program.
DNR placed four tagged male coyotes in each of the state’s four games zones (16 total).
DNR wildlife biologist Jay Butfiloski told South Carolina Radio Network that that there is an incentive for any hunter who kills one of the tagged coyotes, saves the carcass for verification and contacts the DNR. “If anybody kills and checks in with one of those tagged coyotes they get a free lifetime hunting license,” Butfiloski said.
The Coyote Harvest Incentive Program was created under legislation passed by the state legislature earlier this year. The law established a plan to develop and implement a coyote tagging and reward program.
DNR is also implementing a voluntary registration program in an effort to gauge overall interest and any added effort or take of coyotes by the harvest incentive program.
The agency is encouraging all participants to register early, despite it being voluntary. If a person registers by Dec. 1 and takes and reports one of the 16 specially-tagged, incentive program coyotes by June 30, he or she will have their name entered into a drawing for a centerfire rifle/scope combo. Anyone who registers for the Coyote Harvest Incentive Program after Dec. 1 but before April 1, will have their name entered into a drawing to receive a Yeti Roadie Cooler if they take and report one of the specially-tagged incentive program coyotes by th same deadline. Certain terms and conditions apply in order to be eligible. Interested participants can register at dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/coyote.
Butfiloski said coyotes began moving into South Carolina around the end of the 1970s near Walhalla and Pickens. Some made their way into the state as their national population grew. Others ware brought in illegally to train hunting dogs.