Hunting the Wily Coyote
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Deer hunters in particular look at coyotes as a major threat to the whitetail herd. They decry DEC regulations that actually set a specific (Oct. 1-March 31) coyote hunting season, convinced instead they should be fair game anytime.

Whether their fears are legitimate doesn't matter. What does matter is that, right now, you can get out there and hunt coyotes. And with deer season now behind us, if you're not an ice fisherman, coyote hunting is a great way to get off the couch and tackle what many consider to be the ultimate challenge – calling in and bagging a coyote.

In the Whiteface Region, you have thousands of acres of coyote hunting opportunities in the form of state forest lands open to hunting. Chances are you encountered coyote tracks in your deer hunting hot spots just a few weeks earlier, so why not get out there and see if you can trim their numbers and maybe tip the odds in favor of the deer this winter?

While there is a specific coyote hunting season, DEC regulations beyond that are pretty liberal. Check them closely before heading afield, but be advised that in the Whiteface Region (and anywhere else in Essex County), you can hunt coyotes:

• during the day or night.

• using an artificial light.

• using a shotgun, muzzleloader, bow, handgun, air gun or rifle of any caliber.

You can even use a light-gathering scope on your firearm to aid in the nighttime quest for a coyote.

Talk to anyone who has hunted coyotes and chances are you'll hear them rave about the challenge, revel in their rare successes, and urge anyone to give it a try.

Hunters who contend coyotes are decimating – or at least putting a dent it – the deer herd in the Adirondacks can take matters into their own hands this winter by getting out there and hunting coyotes, day or night.

It's a great way to extend your hunting season, and who knows? Maybe you'll get hooked on hunting these wily canines just as you're already obsessed with pursuing big backcountry Adirondack bucks. 

Steve Piatt

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