Wednesday, February 26, 2014

GSWCD Coyote Hunting/Trapping Seminar is March 13th

The coyote (Canis latrans), is not native to Ohio, but it is present throughout the state today. Love or hate it, the coyote has the ability to make the best of a bad situation to survive or even prosper. Usually, we associate the coyote with the open, deserted lands of the west. As its presence in Ohio shows, this versatile animal can make a home most anywhere. The coyote is generally a slender animal, very similar in appearance to a medium-sized dog. Since the coyote and domesticated dog are from the same family, Canidae, the resemblance is more than a coincidence. Coyotes have a bushy tail which is usually tipped in black and is carried down at a 45 degree angle as the animal moves, unlike that of its other cousin the wolf. The majority of coyotes are gray, though some show a rusty, brown or off-white coloration. The coyote stands about one and one half to two feet tall and is between 41 to 53 inches in length. Males of this species are larger than the females and weigh anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds.

Coyotes are monogamous breeders and breeding occurs January through March. Gestation lasts approximately 63 days. Litters are born in April and May and can contain 1-12 pups.  The coyote is a nocturnal animal, active during the nighttime hours. However, when it is less threatened by man, it will hunt and move from place to place during the day. The coyote will hunt in unrelated (non-family) pairs or large groups. Coyotes are omnivorous and typical foods include small mammals (voles, shrews, rabbits, mice), vegetables, nuts, and carrion

 While most wildlife species have avoided developed areas and often declined as a result of man's expansion, the coyote seems to have thrived.  As the coyote populations continue to grow in size, so will their interaction with man.   Unchecked, they will eat livestock, particularly sheep and chickens, but will also prey on young calves given the opportunity.  To help prevent overpopulation and  minimize the negative interactions with man and livestock the ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) has implemented an open season for coyotes.  Coyote hunting and trapping has no closed season with an unrestricted bag limit. Special hunting regulations for coyotes apply during the statewide deer-gun season, Dec. 2-8, and deer-muzzleloader season, Jan. 4-7, 2014.      

Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District is partnering with Deerassic Educational Park, to host a Coyote Hunting &Trapping Seminar.  Join us in our partnership and learn how to assess coyote damage, the latest trapping and snaring techniques, as well as advances in hunting and calling techniques and equipment.  Whether you are livestock producer trying to protect your herd or a recreational hunter trying to bag more game, this event has something to offer you.  The event is open and free to the public.  It will be held Thursday March 13th from 6-9pm @ the Deerassic Educational Park on State Route 22.  A door prize of a FOXPRO® electronic game call valued at over 200 dollars will be given away.  For more information Call Wildlife Specialist Travis Smith at the Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District (740) 432-5624

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