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Pennsylvania coyote hunters may be offered a bounty

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According to Robert Swift of the Scranton Times-Tribune Harrisburg Bureau Chief, on Wednesday Pennsylvania’s House lawmakers passed a bill approving a $25 bounty for killing coyotes.

The measure, Swift reports, was sponsored by Rep. Mike Peifer, R-139, Honesdale, and is designed to curb a growing coyote population in many parts of the state, which pose a threat to pets and domestic animals. The measure was approved 111-78 without any debate, and from here it goes to the Senate for consideration.

Currently, taking an unlimited number of coyotes either by licensed hunters or trappers has maintained some population control, but coyotes are tough to hunt and are extremely wary.

This legislation, if passed, will authorize the Pennsylvania Game Commission to establish a coyote control program to give licensed hunters and fur takers a financial incentive to hunt coyotes. The PGC, reports Swift, will set the rules to run the coyote program.

To pay the bounties, the bill directs the transfer of $700,000 annually from the taxpayer-supported General Fund to a special account in the Game Fund. The $700K amount was based on 28,000 coyotes killed during the previous year said Peifer in a prepared press release.

Considering some of the specialized gear – like electronic callers, blinds, varmint rifles etc – needed, the monetary incentive may entice more sportsmen to try coyote hunting.

CONTAINER HEAD DEER
The PGC’s Southeast Regional Office has put out an APB to Center Valley and locale residents for help in locating or sighting a deer with a plastic food container stuck on its head.

Shawna Burkett, WCO for the southern part of Lehigh County was first contacted about the deer on Nov. 29 when it was sighted on Jared Road in Center Valley. The next call came on Dec. 5 where it was sighted on Black River Road in Bethlehem. Sighting reports have also come in from Allentown and Emmaus.

Burkett has made numerous attempts to capture the deer so the container can be removed and says, “Even though it has this container on its head, it’s very mobile.”

The container will obviously prevent the deer from eating and drinking and as such time is running out. But Burkett recommends not chasing it but merely calling the PGC (610-926-3136) or local police and she’ll take it from there.

ANTLERED DEER SEASON ENDS THIS WEEKEND

With the regular firearms antlered deer hunting season coming to end this Saturday, Dec. 14, in 11 WMUs across the state, hunters who struck out on a buck will get another chance when the late archery and flintlock season kicks off Dec 26. At that time bows and crossbows are legal as are flintlock rifles.

It has always been my contention that the late flintlock season should allow inline muzzleloaders and the early season should be exclusively for flintlock rifles. The reasoning?

With a primitive flintlock, hunters are limited to close range and at that time of the season, which coincides with the archery season, the odds of getting within range of a deer is more reasonable.

It’s during the late season, where it’s extremely more difficult to hunt or even find deer that been chased, shot at and their numbers lessened after the two week rifle season, where an inline (whose range can be effective out to 100 yards) would be more sporting.

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