State lawmakers issue a bounty on coyotes - FOX Carolina 21

State lawmakers issue a bounty on coyotes

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Coyote in wooded area (Courtesy: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) Coyote in wooded area (Courtesy: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Officials with the Department of Natural Resources are cracking down on coyote populations causing a nuisance in South Carolina.

Stephen Frank often takes walks with his family.

"We'll walk back in there a little bit," he said.

He lives near a wooded area close to Riverside High School in Greer and he hears howls coming from those woods.

"It's a blood-curdling howl you know- that will put the fear of God in you," Frank said.

He knows they're the howls of coyotes. Those who live in his neighborhood and others are warning neighbors about them. He's also seen them throughout Greer.

"A whole pack of coyotes came in. We didn't hear them coming until they were real close," he said. "There are so many families around, you got a lot of dogs around - coyotes will definitely attack domesticated animals."

Agents with the Department of Natural Resources say coyotes can now be found throughout South Carolina. 

"They look like kind of a medium shepherd- type dog. The average weight is 30 to 35 pounds," Jay Butfiloski said.

He's a furbearer and alligator coordinator with DNR. The agency is now implementing a program to decrease the coyote population.

"The legislature passed that directs our department to tag and release 16 coyotes, 4 per game zone throughout the state," Butfiloski said.

Once those 16 coyotes are tagged and released, those who shoot and kill a marked coyote will receive a lifetime hunting and fishing license. Those who want to participate in the program and register online qualify to receive other prizes.

"We're actually offering an extra incentive for people who go on our website and register," Butfiloski said.

Because coyotes are now a nuisance, state law allows homeowners to shoot them with some restrictions.

"Within 100 yards of your house you're allowed to trap damage-causing coyotes or shoot them within a 100 yards as long as you're still on your property," Butfiloski said.

And because Frank can hear coyotes, a bounty sounds good.

DNR agents say coyotes rarely attack people. However, they say if you see one back away slowly and don't run.

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