New York Coyote Hunt

Jeffersonville, NY, (Sullivan County) was home-base for the 4th Annual 2011 Coyote Hunt, hosted by The Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County, just completed, February 18, 19, and 20, 2011. Hunters - male, female, young, older, teens (both male and female) - entered this year, a total of over 500 hunters, from Pennsylvania and all around upstate New York, to compete for the Grand Prize, heaviest coyote weighed in over the 3-day hunt, of $2,000. There was a heaviest coyote per day prize, Junior Hunter prize (12 - 15 years old) for heaviest coyote prize, heaviest coyote by a female hunter prize, and many more. The primary purpose in the coyote hunt is to 'raise interest in hunting coyotes as sport and as a means to control the populations, and to perpetuate hunting and fishing through our children.' According to Warren Krum, coyote hunting today is what rabbit hunting was like 30 to 40 years ago.
Doug Barnes, of Masonville, NY, (between Deposit and Oneonta, NY), came down to compete. Using a Herrington single shot .243 he shows off a 40-pound female coyote that he brought in to be weighed. The weigh-in station was at Barbara and Warren Krum's residence in White Sulphur Springs, a short distance from Jeffersonville. Warren is one of the 3 or 4 leading fur dealers in the country. His skills, experiences and lofts (more than one) of beautiful and magnificent pelts are breathtaking.
According to Justin Gansowski, Wildlife Disease Biologist for the USDA, the New York State coyote populations have totally 'maxed' out on their available food supplies in the natural food-predator chain. Simply put, the natural food supplies can't keep up with the over populations of coyotes anymore and, consequently, is one of the main reasons we see more coyotes moving further south into the outer city regions, entering residential backyards, preying on pets and, in some rare cases, attacking young children.
Roy Lane (Woodstock, NY) shows off a 37-pound and 31-pound coyotes. One 'yote was shot with a 12 gauge shotgun, using 3 ½ magnum loads, at about 30 yards. The other shot with a .22 magnum at about 100 yards. Winds were 10 to 15 mph.
Coyotes can be hunted in a number of ways. Some hunters prefer calling and will use either electronic callers or they may use mouth callers. A rabbit squealing noise, for example, sometimes sounds like a crying baby will work, will work; a bleat noise that an injured fawn may make, or either turkey or duck call will bring in a coyote.
Another method of hunting coyotes is through bait stations. Some hunters drive back roads looking for road kill for their traps. Here, Roy Lane hauls up the largest of the two coyotes he nailed.
Another method of hunting for coyotes, and the most successful way, is using dogs. Most will agree, using dogs is a learned skill that takes time and dedication to master. Dogs need to be trained regularly and you can travel miles to finally trap and harvest a coyote. Here is a beautiful mount of a coyote by a local taxidermist, Tim Kautz, (845-807-3960). This happens to be an exceptionally handsome coyote, and Tim did an excellent job at rendering this striking animal.
Kay Danchak, Events Chairperson of the Coyote Hunt, shows off a very cool t-shirt from PredatorExtreme.com. It got my attention and I just grabbed a quick shot.
Inside the weigh-station, every coyote must be registered by the hunter. The location, how he/she got the animal, what caliber was used, whether it was a male or female and its weight, obviously, are recorded. The board is displayed so standings can be determined at a quick glance.
Warren Krum, fur dealer, and the hunt's weigh-in official, examines each animal that is brought in. Taking the body temperature of each animal brought it is one of the first things that he does. No animal is accepted into the contest if the body temperature is less than 68-degrees. While coyotes generally run body temperatures over a 100-degrees, a requirment of the contest is that the 'kills' take place only over the three days of the contest. A carcass that's been lying around in the back of truck for 2 weeks will have a lower body temperature than 68-degrees and is disqualified.
Joe Kaiser, Small Game Chairman for The Federation of Sportmen's Club, was at the weigh-in station all day, helping Warren and Kay record the vital statistics of each coyote.
Kay Danchak, Events Chairperson, stayed all day at the weigh-in station registering animals and working along side Joe, Warren, Warren's wife, Barbara, and Cliff Horton, and many others. It was a long 3-days, but filled with laughs, stories and camaraderie.
Tubs were used to contain each animal. Warren would carefully examine each coyote, check its sex, condition of the animal, weigh it in and make sure all its vital statistics were recorded.
At one point on Sunday, hunters were lined up waiting to get their game weighed and measured, all of them hoping their coyote would take the top weight prize.
Joe Kaiser meticulously enters every detail for each animal on the board for all to see. The winner weight this year was a 44-pound coyote that was taken by hunter, Rogen Van Horn. But at this moment, animals were still coming up and people were still holding their breath.
Backed up from the weigh-in scale and weigh-in crew, hunters milled around chatting, sharing stories and exchanging information as each animal was examined. Warren's barn, dedicated to his fur business is adorned with pelts, mounts, skulls and trophies from recent and not-too recent hunts. It's a fascinating place to visit.
With hunters traveling in from all around the state, and across some borders, expectations were high of taking the 'big' money, yet every hunter that brought in an animal was awarded $100, plus invited, as part of their entrance fee, to a great roast beef dinner on Sunday afternoon. This was a win/win contest for everyone.
The hunt does a great service to our rural communities by culling the packs and making them safer from these over-populated predators.
After three days of hunting, and I experienced the worst day in terms of winter conditions on Saturday - 60 mph winds, trees and limbs falling and snow squalls throughout- it was a relief to have the last coyote weighed in and to move on over to Silvio's Jeffersonville Inn for dinner, awards, raffles and drink.
Herbert DeWitt, Jr., of Turkey Trot Calls (845-985-2413) one of the volunteers, sells raffle tickets to win prizes that corporations and manufacturers have donated to the event. According to Jack Danchak, President of The Federation Sportsman's Clubs of Sullivan County, this event is one of their most successful fund-raisers, and part, if not all of the money raised, goes toward College Scholarship Funds for college students entering the environmental and sciences colleges around the state.
Children of all ages come with their families. The hope is that our younger generations will be introduced to the sports of hunting, and fishing, and become responsible hunters themselves to pass on our great legacy.
Jack Danchak, President of The Federation Sportsman's Clubs of Sullivan County, was the Master of Ceremony for the entire event. He was tireless in his enthusiasm and excitement over the event. He kept everyone buying raffles, shared stories, talked about the animals that were being brought it and helped all the sponsors in speaking about their great products and the work they're doing. With close to 300 people attending the dinner, Jacked worked it with devotion and dedication. Thank you, Jack.
Kids, and children of all ages, were excited too. Hunting rifles were being raffled off, equipment, clothing, hats and collectibles. It was a festive time for all.
These young fellows got in on the hunt, too, examples of the very next generation of hunters coming up through the ranks.
Young Ryan Sayers, along with his dad (Lake Huntington, NY), came in full support of the event. With over 500 entrants and only 50 or so coyotes taken, not everyone bagged a coyote. Most though, do it for the fun, and a great opportunity to share a fun time together.
Ryan, maybe 4 or 5 years old, gave me what his dad calls, Ryan's 'Halloween' face. Congratulations, Ryan, on loosing your first teeth!
Lejon & Nathaniel Vininger (Neversink, NY) came to show their support, as well.
Linda Covart (Liberty, NY), a hunter in her own right, came to support the event though she did not hunt in the coyote contest.
Kevin and Killian Willcox (Middletown, NY) joined in with his dad and cousins for the fun.
Keith and Keanna Willcox (Wurtsboro, NY) turned the day into a family affair, sharing it with uncles and cousins.
"Jack Danchak and Joe Kaiser, Jr., team up to for the awards and final announcements. This was a tremendous event hosted by The Federation Sportsman's Clubs of Sullivan County.