The second annual Georgia Coyote Challenge will run from the beginning of March until the end of August. In Georgia, coyotes are not legally protected and may be lethally removed through hunting or trapping year-round. The goal of this program is to complement and recognize the existing lethal removal of coyotes by hunters and trappers to more effectively manage the negative impacts of coyote predation on native wildlife, and minimize the negative interactions between humans and coyotes including the killing of pets, livestock and public safety and health. Individuals have the liberty to choose whether they want to take action to manage these risks.
Participants may submit up to 10 coyotes each drawing period for the chance to win a lifetime license or other equally valued item. We’ve also made it even easier to enter! Just snap a photo of the coyote and send that picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll receive a follow up email with an entry form. There will be 3 drawings over the program period: 1st week of May covering entries in March & April; 1st week of July covering entries in May & June; and, 1st week of September covering entries in July & August.
For entry procedures and rules please visit our website.
Why have this contest?
In recent years, proponents of wildlife conservation and residents of urban/suburban areas have expressed their concerns about negative interactions involving coyotes. These include: coyotes killing pets, public health and safety concerns, killing livestock, and predation impacts to native wildlife. The best available peer-reviewed science shows that lethal removal of coyotes during spring-summer is most effective for reducing negative impacts from coyote predation on native wildlife, so this program focuses on that time period (March-August). DNR also wants to raise awareness to the fact that coyotes can be taken year-round.
Is this a bounty program?
The Coyote Challenge is not a bounty. A bounty is a set amount paid per dead animal submitted, and the goal of a bounty program is to reduce the overall population of the target species (and totally eliminate them in some cases). Bounties are a relic of the past – it’s been proven many times they do not eliminate coyotes. Not only does DNR not support the concept of a bounty program, such a program is unaffordable and our goal is not to eliminate coyotes. Our goal is to highlight the options Georgians currently have for managing coyotes on private lands.
Isn’t DNR supposed to be protecting the diversity of wildlife?
The mission of the Department of Natural Resources is to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources for present and future generations, while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of commerce and industry that utilize sound environmental practices.
The mission of the Wildlife Resources Division is to conserve, enhance and promote Georgia’s fish and wildlife resources and outdoor heritage through science-driven research, management, regulation and education.
The Georgia Coyote Challenge is consistent with and supported by the DNR and WRD missions.
Have other states banned similar programs?
It appears that only one state has taken such action – California. However, it seems the action taken did not ban such contest but capped contest awards not to exceed $500 and clarified application of the rule.
Other states have also highlighted the need for predator management via programs similar to the coyote challenge. However, this program is about predation of coyotes via hunting and trapping during spring and summer to benefit native wildlife and raising awareness that citizens have the liberty to lethally remove coyotes that pose a risk to their pets, domestic livestock and families.
Will this program lead to an increase in coyote numbers over time as competition is reduced and resurgence occurs?
This program is designed to complement the existing lethal removal of coyotes by hunters to more effectively manage the negative impacts of coyote predation on native wildlife and minimize the negative interactions between humans and coyotes including the killing of pets, livestock and public safety and health.
Is this challenge intended to coincide with pup-rearing season?
The program is focused on this time of year (March-August) because the best available peer-reviewed science shows that lethal removal of coyotes during this time period is most effective for reducing negative impacts from coyote predation on native wildlife.