LARRY coyotes Marc

Watertown's Marc Larese on a predator hunt.

The recent 6th annual Mark Larese/CamoBoy Outdoors predator hunt held in and around Wilson County reduced the area coyote population by 52.

That was the most killed since the hunt began, reflecting the growing coyote population throughout Middle Tennessee.

Five bobcats were also taken by 64 two-man teams. One hunter did the calling and the second the shooting.

Outdoors personality Marc Larese of Watertown, who organizes the annual hunt, said, “Each coyote killed saved two to four fawns this spring.”

In addition to taking a heavy toll on deer, coyotes prey on wild turkeys and domestic fowl, and occasionally kill cats and small dogs when they invade residential areas.

“They are opportunistic predators and will take whatever prey they find,” Larese says. “That’s particularly the case when their population grows like it has, increasing competition for food.”

At the predator hunt a furrier collects the coyotes and bobcats for their pelts.

“That’s why we hold the hunt during cold weather when the fur is prime,” Larese says.

Larese says hunting is the only effective way to check the coyote population.

“You’ll never remove them all – they’re too smart and too prolific,” he says. “Once they move in, all you can do is try to control their numbers.”

Trap team signups: Signups are being taken for the Wilson County clay target team which will practice and compete at the Cedar City Gun Club.

The team is called SMASH – Stance, Mount, Aim, Shoot, Hit) and is open to boys and girls in grades 5th through high school.

Youngsters who attend school in a county in which there is no comparable program are eligible for the Wilson County team.

For information contact coach Dan Wagner at coach.Wagner@ccsmash.org.

License reminder: hunting and fishing licenses expire Feb. 28.

Under a new TWRA procedure, renewed licenses, including Sportsman’s Licenses, are good for 365 days from date of purchase. However, no hunting or fishing is permitted until the license are purchased.

Licenses can be purchased on-line at www.GoOutdoors.com and at most outdoors outlets.

Information about license options and requirements is available at www.tnwildlife.org or in the Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide and Tennessee Fishing Guide.

Hunting comments: The TWRA is soliciting comments and suggestions about this fall’s hunting seasons and regulations. They can be emailed to TWRA.HuntingComments@tn.gov.

Contact information: Email area outdoors news and photos to larrywoody@gmail.com. Please include a contact number.