As you may have read recently, the South Carolina House approved a program back in March that would pay hunters a bounty of $1,000 if they killed a coyote that had been tagged by SCDNR. The law would direct DNR to capture, neuter, tag and release 12 coyotes all across the state, in hopes that it would give hunters more incentive to shoot these non-native and nuisance animals the next time they see them while sitting in the deer stand, turkey blind, or anywhere else. It would almost be like buying a cheap education lottery ticket for the hunter; the price they would pay being the cost of the ammunition, the potential reward being one thousand dollars, and the guarantee being that they just helped save another deer fawn or wild turkey’s life.
Coyotes are known to kill a large number of deer fawns each year and are partly to blame for the decrease in deer populations across the state. They are also known to prey on wild turkeys and many other animals that can be rather easy targets for them, including your pets.
This proposed program that was passed by the House has just recently been defeated by the Senate budget-writing panel. Although this does create an obstacle for the program, it’s still possible that it becomes a law, as it’s still in a standalone program that is outside of the Senate budget-writing panel’s reach. So, if you’re a hunter who would like to see something positive happen for our state’s deer and turkey population, keep your fingers crossed (or maybe even write a letter). There is still hope that when the vote gets to the full Senate, they’ll take our wildlife habitat into further consideration and decide to pass the program, as the House did.