Stop hunting! I mean it! STOP HUNTING!!!
When you see a coyote, or several of them, A feral hog or more likely, a whole drove of them, coming through your hunting area. I know, I Know, you say, “naw I’m not gonna shoot and mess up my hunt because I don’t get enough time off to hunt anyway and maybe they will go on off and I can still have a good hunt”.
That used to be my stance on the matter, as I would see a pig or a coyote just every now and then. But, now I see one, or both of them, in multiples nearly EVERY time I go to the woods! Let me ask you this? would you just let some roaches or rats crawl around in your home and “hope they go away”? NO! you jump up and take action immediately! Stomp em! spray em! shoot em! Then you go “strategic” on em! Buy rat traps, rat poison, roach spray, call in a professional exterminator! You just want em gone! All of em!
I say do the same with the coyotes, feral hogs, foxes, bobcats, feral dogs, coons, and other critters when you see them on your property. Twenty years ago, we had just a few coyotes and I would rarely see one, and unless it was real stupid and just “hung out” for an “easy shot”, I just let it go. I would not take a running shot, a long shot, an early afternoon shot or an early morning shot. Now I see a multitude of tracks, scat, and hear those darn coyotes howling and creating all type of racket on far too many afternoons where I hunt. I don’t know if taking a more aggressive stance to coyote control sooner would have helped but, I certainly believe it would have helped!
How many afternoon or morning hunts have you experienced when the deer were pouring out of the woods and the field was full of deer and you were having a great time just watching them graze. when, all of a sudden, they all stop grazing and start staring in the woods, then a big ole “propeller headed doe” gives a loud PHEEWUU!!! and the whole field clears in about a second! You are pretty sure it was not you, so you stare into the woods and out walks a coyote, a bobcat, or a bunch of feral hogs! I have had way too many good hunts, both morning and afternoon, ruined by stalking coyotes or pilfering pigs!
Starting about three years ago, when the first pigs were spotted on our place, I made up my mind that regardless of the circumstances, I was going STOP HUNTING and take every shot I could at any coyote, feral pig, bobcat, fox, or coon that I saw as soon as I had any chance at all. While I admit, I am most likely not making much of a “dent” in the population, I have killed close to a dozen coyotes, only two pigs, and last season alone, I killed 5 bobcats, a large fox and more coons than I care to discuss. Now I know, some of you say why a coon? A coon kills more birds by raiding nests for eggs than any other critter in the woods! I am a more avid turkey hunter than a deer hunter and I am pretty enthusiastic in the pursuit of both! Coons are my competitor for the available gobblers of the future and I “aim” to reduce the competition!
According to an article I read recently in the magazine, ALABAMA OUTDOOR NEWS, https://www.aonmag.com/page.php?sp=subscribe a recent scientific study conducted at Fort Rucker in south Alabama, found that fawn mortality rates due to predation that they attributed to mostly being done by coyotes was NEAR 65% !! In simple terms, instead of 5 to 8 fawns out of 10 surviving to adulthood, the rate had dipped to only 2 to 3 fawns in 10 making it! When I first read that, I thought, maybe so, maybe not, but the more I read, the more I was convinced the research was based on hard data provided through extensive research from Auburn University’s Deer Lab, check it out http://deerlab.auburn.edu/ and more importantly, send them some support!
As hunters, we must change and step up to “get a handle” on this increased level of predation our game animals are being subjected to in recent years. Deer populations will continue to fall and we may see a “Predator Pit” situation in which the increase of predators drives deer herds below the plentiful status we have enjoyed over the last two or three decades.
In the “old days” farmers, field hands, gardeners, country people, took every opportunity to kill a predator animal any time of the year and most of them kept a gun with them on trips to the woods. Coyotes and feral hogs should be getting the same treatment these days, but not nearly as many of us take the time to go outdoors on a daily basis, we have fewer family farms, fewer dogs with free range in the country that would chase away and even sometimes catch and kill a predator. Without predator hunters to keep the population in check, the predators have done what any species will do, flourish and spread when the habit is good. The coyotes came east because the food is plentiful and the competition was not! In this case, It is up to us hunters to become better predator hunters. When you go out for a day of four wheeler riding, scouting, doing upkeep on the roads, lanes and stands, keep a gun near and use it when any opportunity arises to take out some of your “four legged” competition.
So next time you are on your favorite stand and the deer woods are getting “right” and you spot that coyote, that pig, that feral predator of any description, STOP HUNTING! AND START SHOOTING!!! The predator problem is only going to get worse if you and me don’t do our part!
I just posted a photo where a friend of mine, Jarrod Oates, from around Headland, who did just what we all should do to predators, he stopped hunting, got down out of his deer stand, stalked up on a herd of feral hogs and took one out with a well placed arrow! He said his only regret was that he “could not reload fast enough to get more than one”.
With deer season on the way, think about entering a big buck contest, or several and you might be double lucky! once in the woods and again as a contest winner! Alabama Black Belt Adventures http://www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org/ is kicking off a “Big Buck” Contest that is sure to be a top contest around our great Central Alabama Outdoors, check their website and enter the contest!
November is soon here! Just right for huntin some deer!
But, shoot some of them darn “killing critters” ” whenever one gets near!!
Remember – Predator is a “fourlegged” word.
On a special note – please view this wonderful hunting charity that uses the proceeds to rescue children in Moldavia from some very dire situations. I know it will touch your heart and hopefully you will be able to help them out! Hunters are a generous type and I know you are! Check it out! http://www.themissionvision.net/