Coyote hunt scheduled this weekend

BY NATHAN MILNER

District 9 Director Bill Kalinauskis of Nicholson emphasized that coyotes provide a very challenging hunt. “It’s nothing too easy,” said Kalinauskis. “They’re fairly elusive.”

This is the sixth year for the hunt which includes coyotes harvested in Bradford, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming, Lackawanna, Pike, Luzerne and Sullivan counties. Weigh-ins will be held Feb. 2-4 at the Triton Hose Co., Tunkhannock.

The hunt has become one of the biggest regional events of its kind. Last year, the hunt drew 745 area hunters who harvested 23 coyotes during the three-day event.

Kalinauskis said the success of the hunt depends upon the weather this weekend. “It’s all in the weather,” he said. “It would be nice if we had a touch of snow.” The trapper of close to 34 years said a light coating of snow makes it easier to follow tracks but too much snow makes it difficult to move around.

Kalinauskis encouraged hunters to use calls or hunt and stalk methods to capture coyotes. “About one third to one half of our coyotes are caught by calling or by hunt and stalk methods – that works very well,” he said.

When looking for coyotes, Kalinauskis advised hunter to check near swamps and around herds of deer. “If you got a bunch of deer there, coyotes are going to be near by,” said Kalinauskis.

There will be a $2,000 grand prize for the heaviest coyote in the contest, a $200 daily prize for the heaviest coyote each day, and $100 for all other coyotes turned in during the hunt.

Weigh-ins will be held at the Triton Hose Co., Tunkhannock, Pa., from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Weigh-in ends at 2 p.m. sharp on Sunday. A weigh-in buffet, included in the entry fee, will be held for all entrants on Sunday, 1-3 p.m. at Triton Hose Co.

Though the coyote hunt is District 9′s biggest fundraiser, the group organizes several other events during the year. In September, District 9 holds a two-day trapping school at Camp Lackawanna and the group also offers two fur sales a year – one just before Christmas and one just after the coyote hunt – at Rivenburg Auction House in Nicholson. This year’s post-hunt fur sale will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10.

This year District 9 will cooperate with a team from Susquehanna University to study the state’s coyote populations. Susquehanna University researchers will be taking samples from harvested coyotes to study. Kalinauskis said District 9 was glad to lend their assistance.

For more information on the hunt, call 942-6895 or 679-2318.