UPDATE: 'Coyote Challenge' draws both interest and anger
Hunters who kill coyotes in Georgia will have the chance to win a lifetime hunting license in a new initiative announced by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
UPDATE: Georgia hunters now have the chance to win a lifetime hunting license if they kill a coyote within the next few months.
It's part of a new initiative by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to get rid of coyotes during the spring and summer. Officials say the removal of coyotes will reduce the number of deaths of pets and other wildlife.
The DNR said the coyote challenge is a response to years-worth of complaints from residents, saying coyotes are being a nuisance in metro neighborhoods.
Shell Underwood said coyotes are now common near her house.
"At night you can sit on the front porch right here near Coahulla Creek HS and you can hear them howling," she said.
And as a member of the Cohutta Ridge Hunting Club, she'll be taking part in this new challenge.
"I think it's definitely a good idea, coyotes are vicious," Underwood said.
Underwood said her family's cats and wild rabbits have been killed by coyotes on her property.
"They're attacking our wildlife population as well as our domestic animal population," she said.
Underwood killed a coyote herself in December for the first time. She hopes the challenge encourages others to do the same.
"It'll promote awareness that coyotes are dangerous, they are something you can kill year-round, they're a predator, so that means there's no closed season for them, it's open season all year long for coyotes," Underwood said.
Some critics complain the challenge is cruel and could leave coyote pups without parents.
The Department of Natural Resources said their research shows coyote's negative impacts on the community outweigh the good.
Tennessee hunters can participate in this challenge only if they have a non-resident hunting license, but they coyote must be killed in Georgia.
The challenge starts March 3rd and runs through August.
SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. -- Hunters who kill coyotes in Georgia will have the chance to win a lifetime hunting license in a new initiative announced by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
In the "Georgia Coyote Challenge," those who kill coyotes between March and August can bring the carcass to a DNR office and then be entered in a monthly drawing to win a lifetime hunting/fishing license.
Hunters can submit up to five coyotes per month. Road-kills, spoiled carcasses, and live coyotes are not eligible.
According to the DNR, the challenge is designed to encourage the taking of coyotes in the spring and summer. The DNR said research indicates removal of coyotes during those months can reduce their impact on native wildlife.
While coyotes are said to be "timid and shy" and "pose little threat to humans," according to the DNR, they can sometimes hunt house pets, especially cats.
In Georgia, trapping and hunting of coyotes is legal, and there is no closed season.
To enter the challenge, participants can bring coyote carcasses to the following offices Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: