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Coyote hunt lures hunters to Sullivan County

By Staff | Feb 5, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Beautiful and smaller in size to the gray wolf, the coyote is a canine native to North America and able to adapt to and expand into different environments. Typically depicted as a trickster, the coyote uses cunning deception to approach their prey, often traveling in packs. The coyote pictured was culled by Jim Williams of South Williamsport and presented to Ray Gregoire, proprietor of Afterlife Taxidermy, 200 Chestnut Street, Muncy.

LAPORTE-Hunters will flock to this tiny borough in three weeks, hopeful of an opportunity to win cash during this month’s annual coyote hunt. This year is the 17th yearly fundraiser that benefits the Laporte and Mildred volunteer fire companies in Sullivan County.

But why hunt coyotes? Multiple reasons include managing their population, which has increased in recent years. When the coyote population grows, game animal populations, such as pheasants, turkey, rabbits and even deer shrink.

Secondly, coyotes have become less afraid of humans when food is scarce, often attacking farm animals and even household pets.

A third reason is the likely spread of contagious disease that can pose even more risk to game and domesticated animals.

Hunting coyotes in February is most logical, as it is the month when mating season occurs.

The event draws hunters from around the state; this year the hunt is scheduled on Friday, Feb. 21 through Sunday, Feb. 23. Although many hunters have already pre-registered, walk-in registrations will be permitted the night before, on Thursday, Feb. 20, at the new Laporte Volunteer Fire Company fire hall, 14 Park Street.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 28, nearly 70 hunters had submitted their application in two classes: calling or dogs.

A grand prize of $2,000 will be awarded to the hunter who harvests the heaviest coyote. Other awards include heaviest female coyote, with prizes determined by the number of participants; and lightest coyote which will garner a hunter $200. Weigh-ins are held daily at the new fire hall location.

Registration costs $30 per person, or $45 if also entering the heaviest female category. Hunters may also eat lunch for a charitable donation on Sunday, which is being held at the former fire hall in Laporte. A coyote hunting seminar by South Williamsport resident Sheri Baity will follow at 2 p.m.

Seven guns will be raffled off, including a Henry 22, a Smith & Wesson M&P 40, a Ruger American Creedmoor, a Savage 17 with scope, a Savage Axis .223, a Mossberg Patriot Kryptek Creedmoor, and a Savage Turkey 410. The drawing concludes at 3 p.m.

Over 20 businesses are sponsoring the event, which benefits the Laporte, Eagles Mere and Mildred volunteer fire companies. Additional information can be found by contacting Dan Morrison at 570.506.2911 or Sean Thibodeault at 570.637.1905.