A Coyote

The Old Pro

Hello and hope you had a Happy Valentines Day!
Most of the hunting seasons have closed for this year and the fishing is getting a little better, weather permitting.

But there is something we really need to look into. We have a problem in the State of Florida: We have a large population of a bunch of invasive species from mammals to reptiles. From the largest snakes in the world to the largest rodent in the world, the Capybara.
We even have cobras sneaking around in south Florida.
But two of the invasive critters are causing big problems. One is the feral hogs. Farm Journal has listed Florida as the third largest population in the U.S. behind Texas and Georgia. They are causing widespread damage to acres of crops and land mass. They are destroying farmers crops and U.S. land mass to the price of $3.6 billion a year.
A small group of hogs can wipe out an acre of crops over night.
They also tear up residential yards, state and recreational parks. They can be hunted year round, day or night, on private property – with permission of course.
Some Florida state game management areas have special feral pig seasons too!
As hunters we can help that problem by reducing their numbers. Some trappers set for them all year long. It’s a great way for filling the freezer or donating to charities to feed the hungry.
Problem number two is the coyotes. Have you noticed the turkey population has dwindled? I saw a publication by the state Fish and Wildife Conservation Commission last week that they have seen a decrease in turkeys statewide. Where I live there are virtually no turkeys left. I haven’t seen or heard one here in the past couple of years.
The big killers of turkeys statewide are coyotes and raccoons. Given the opportunity, they both will kill turkeys, but they can wipe out a whole population eating the eggs in the nesting season which is not to far off. We hunters can help reduce the loss of eggs and hatched chick kills. They also can be hunted day and night year round on private lands.
Coyotes also kill dogs, cats, chickens, deer and farmer’s young livestock. That’s why you see donkeys roaming the fields with cattle. Donkeys will chase and even kill coyotes.
So if we hunters spend a little of our spare time hunting these killers, we help ourselves, farmers, livestock and wildlife.
Let’s get out there!
I want to thank all of you who invited me to hunt with you this year. I’ve been writing and informing you for over 45 years.
Happy Hunting and Fishing, and take a young’un.

Al Hartman can be contacted at redmanldpg@aol.com.