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Coyotes in South Carolina

If you’ve noticed a decrease in fawn populations on your South Carolina hunting land, coyotes could be the culprit, or at least part of the problem. In some regions of the Midwest, coyotes account for a 70% loss of fawns. In the state of Maine, coyotes have literally decimated the whitetail herd. Fortunately, a new bill being considered by South Carolina state legislators involves proactive coyote removal.
The bill, H.4943, which would allow night hunting of coyotes and hogs from March through June, as well as the use of bait, lights, and laser lights during hunts, was introduced by Rep. Phillip Lowe, R-Florence during a House natural resources subcommittee meeting last week. Hogs and coyotes have been found to pose a huge threat to crops, livestock and wildlife, namely fawns. Coyotes killing livestock causes millions of dollars in financial damage to South Carolina every year according to the SC DNR.
Research has shown that coyotes definitely have a negative impact on doe to fawn ratios. Currently, anyone with a hunting license can hunt coyotes in daylight hours (no license is required within 100 yards of your house). The bill would definitely help in getting rid of these animals, since coyotes normally move around at night, making them difficult to hunt during the day.
If you have a problem with coyotes on your South Carolina hunting land, you can apply to the SC DNR for a permit to trap coyotes outside the regular trapping season. This way you can trap during the coyote breeding season (January-March) as well as before the fawning season in the summer, which is the critical time if you are managing your land for deer.
Use a Reconyx trail camera on your South Carolina hunting land to track your fawning recruitment progress. Healthy adult does normally drop two fawns each spring. If you are seeing adult does without any fawns later in the summer, you probably have a significant coyote problem. Note that does only visit their fawns a few times a day during their first few weeks on the ground. Trail cam images of mother and newborn at this stage are relatively rare. Fawns typically do not move at night, when coyotes are generally most active.