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Mornin' guys.
Got a call from a rancher buddy. Snow has had him blown in for weeks. The Laramie Plains looks like the north pole. Hard to get around except by 4wd tractor or snow machine. Anyway, he and some other ranchers contract for aerial gunning with state and federeal predator control. Thursday the plane RAN OUT OF AMMO and tallied 93 coyotes in one day on three ranches. Typical round count per coyote is 2-3 rounds of #4 buckshot from a Benelli M-1 Super 90. Right handed shooters use left handed guns so empties are caught in the cabin of the plane (pretty environmentally correct, eh?). Bet the gunner has a sore shoulder and bit of a recoil headache...
The wind is gusting to 50 mph and I'll be headed out to work in a couple hours...Hope no semis tip over.
 

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Lots of them gunned ea. year.....

I recently read that an average of 40,000 coyotes are shot in the US each year, by aerial gunning, since 1995.

That is a huge number when you factor in that 90% (36,000) are shot in only 24 states!

Ill try to find that link, I thought I saw it on a Fish and Game website, in some western state I was researching.
 

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My brother is a licensed State gunner for hunting out of airplanes or helicopters. They use the same Benelli 12ga and #4. The only time I'm aware that he flies and shoots is after the rabies bait drop that they do every year in South Texas. They don't get near 100 yotes per day but they do average something like 30-40 day. I went to see him this weekend and he said he reported over 1500 coyotes in 2006. He also stated he killed more hogs than yotes. No wonder he has me reloading his ammo by the thousands. If you have the interest, look at the STEER program and ORVP program in Texas.
 

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I hear that, too. I had an area here in Utah right up near the Idaho line that absolutely crawled with coyotes. Never had a day when I didn't see bunches of them, and they all beat feet to be the first to arrive at the call. What fun!

Then one day, nada. Hadn't been there for a while but suddenly there wasn't a coyote to be seen. Asked at the nearest diner and found out they'd called in the planes and gunners. Took (IIRC) 300 out of there in a week or so of daily flying.

That was a few years ago. Might be time to go back...

(I used to fly that low in Cambodia, and the targets shot back!)
 

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Kind of expensive way to hunt coyotes? Gas...pilot...ammo...plane rental? Why not just put a bounty on them...say $20-$30 a head. This way someone is getting something out of it rather than taxpayers paying out all that money to aerial hunt? :confused:
 

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For the ORVP bait drop in Texas, they collect as many coyotes as they can for a specific area. They cut the rostrum off (nose) and it is sent to Texas A&M where they can tell by looking at the teeth when and how many baits the coyote has eaten since the bait drop. From my understanding, they have started doing this same testing of hogs. Time is essential as they tie up a lot of the departments resourses doing this. That's why they do it with the ORVP. With hunting hogs, they can cover far more country in a lot less time and put more meat on the ground. The State of Texas has, as I remember, two helicopters and one plane for the entire state dedicated to aerial hunting.
 

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Kind of expensive way to hunt coyotes? Gas...pilot...ammo...plane rental? Why not just put a bounty on them...say $20-$30 a head. This way someone is getting something out of it rather than taxpayers paying out all that money to aerial hunt? :confused:
Methods of reducing coyote populations have been studied and studied and then studied some more. Coyotes in general, are one of the most studied animals that exist. Due to the economic impact of the coyote on certain types of producers, the Federal Gov't has spent more money studying coyotes than just about any other animal. A lot of these studies have been aimed directly at determining the most effective methods of removal (and/or putting a stop to predation/damage), as well as the costs involved for the various methods.

Bounties have been proven over and over again to be by far the least productive and most expensive way of controlling coyote populations. Note, I just mentioned how poorly bounties have performed on a dollar for dollar basis in reducing coyote numbers in a given area. When it comes to the more specific criteria of reducing actual depradation, bounties have historically proven to be absolutely ineffective. For the most part, bounty payments can't be tied to a reduction in damage complaints at all. Simply put, bounties are the most expensive way to get the least accomplished. Pure political eyewash, aimed to make some folks nod their heads in approval. But a total, complete, almost 100% waste of tax dollars.

Airial gunning, by contrast, has been proven over and over again to be both one of the most productive means of reducing coyote numbers, AND one of the most cost effective. You get more dead coyotes for your tax dollar with air gunning than any other method (not counting 1080, of course...). When employed intelligently, that is. Which, it sometimes is not. It ain't popular, with a lot of people, but it works, and is actually cheaper when measured in terms of reduced depradation and damage per dollar spent than nearly any other method.

Note too, that much of the air gunning done in the West today is partially or fully funded by private parties. Not tax dollars. There may be some private parties out there dumb enough to pay bounties and think it might actually do any good, but I'm not aware of any. Only the politicians are that dumb... There certainly is plenty of air gunning being paid for by both tax dollars and license fees too though. Nevada puts I think $5 from every license sale towards predator control, most of that money ends up being spent on air gunning.

- DAA
 

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My brother is a licensed State gunner for hunting out of airplanes or helicopters. They use the same Benelli 12ga and #4. The only time I'm aware that he flies and shoots is after the rabies bait drop that they do every year in South Texas. They don't get near 100 yotes per day but they do average something like 30-40 day. I went to see him this weekend and he said he reported over 1500 coyotes in 2006. He also stated he killed more hogs than yotes. No wonder he has me reloading his ammo by the thousands. If you have the interest, look at the STEER program and ORVP program in Texas.
I am going to ask a stupid question. You guys aren't talking about dropping bait infected with rabies are you? I really hope not!!!!:eek:
 

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The biscuits are filled with a rabies vaccine to stop the spread of rabies. The vaccine is good for two years in a yote.

DAA, you' re not talking about M-44 guns (1080-?) are you? Most of the trappers won't fool with it anymore since 9-11. The paper work is way past incredible and the accounting is every three months where three other department management personnel must count and inventory the capsules. A major headache. Add the restrictions on where the cyanide can be placed, how many per section,etc. it just isn't worth the trouble.

Here is a link to the website showing the baits and the drop program for the ORVP.
http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/rabies/orvp/gallery/bait/Default.asp?page=1
 

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No, I was talking about compound 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate), totally different animal than the M-44 getters. Compound 1080 was banned in the U.S. more than 30 years ago now because of secondary poisoning effects. Birds that ate animals that ate the coyotes that ate the 1080 were dying. But it's still the only method of coyote removal that has been proven effective at actually reducing coyote numbers over a period of time. In areas where 1080 was being used in the '60s, coyote numbers were way, WAY down compared to before the use of 1080. Note - 1080 continues to be used for canine control in many other parts of the world. It's rumored that Sadam was playing with the stuff too.

Nothing else that has ever been tried, not M-44's, not air gunning, not steel, not anything has been able to actually bring down the population level of coyotes in an area for a sustained period of time. Coyotes are just too adaptable and too quick to fill back in the voids left by removal. Thats one of the real reasons that gov't funded predator control is controversial - because EVERYONE involved KNOWS that they can't really "control" coyotes using currently accepted methods. Note - I'm not talking about the ADC professional that targets specific breeding pairs of coyotes for removal that are doing damage. That method, which is the oldest and most primitive of them all, IS effective and economical in reducing and controlling actual damage to producers. I'm talking about the fact that methods of indiscriminately removing as many coyotes as possible from an area have been proven over and over again to not be effective at reducing the over all population of coyotes over a sustained period. What something like air gunning can do though, is take out enough coyotes at the right time of year to increase fawn recruitment or nesting bird recruitment - or reduce lambing predation losses. And that is exactly what most gov't funded air gunning campaigns are trying to support.

That's why I don't get TOO upset about the air gunning MOST of the time (I do get pissed a bit once in awhile, especially when a helicopter starts shooting right in the middle of my stand!). Because I know that the following year, the coyotes will be back, just as thick as they were before the air gunning.

- DAA
 

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I knew they stopped the bounties, but figured then and still do that it was stopped because they didn't want us making money while doing what we do for free now. What we do isn't PC, and we don't report our numbers except for here, so I'm wondering about their accuracy.

What are the operational costs of a Cessna 152 nowadays, 100.00 an hour? 200.00?

jim
 

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Just wondering how many coyotes do they have to kill in one day to break even to make it worth it? Who does the counting... the pilot?

I'll bet it is close to $200 hr.....fuel is up too!
 

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Just wondering how many coyotes do they have to kill in one day to break even to make it worth it? Who does the counting... the pilot?

I'll bet it is close to $200 hr.....fuel is up too!
Depends on exactly what they are trying to accomplish. If it's a damage control job, they only need to kill two coyotes to make it pay off. It just needs to be the RIGHT two coyotes. Which is one of the many problems with a bounty system. You can have a hundred coyotes turned in for bounty, and not get the ones doing damage. Or even have any of the hundred coyotes turned in even be from the area where damage is occuring. Air gunning gets a bunch of coyotes, from a very specic area, at a very specific time. All things that simply can't be accomplished with a bounty system.

Bottom line is simple. There have been bounties paid on coyotes for 200 years now (seriously - the first coyote bounty goes back that far and there have been bounties in place somewhere ever since). Never, in that 200 year history, has the bounty system accomplished any of the goals of a real predator damage control effort. Never. No where. Not once. The statistics and the records and the exhaustive studies to back all of that up are out there if you care to go looking and do the research (I have). Bounties just don't work for coyotes, period. Hell, we have bounties on coyotes in quite a few Utah counties right now. They don't accomplish anything except spreading around a few dollars and being popular. Here, they are supposedly to encourage people to kill coyotes during the winter. So that there will be less coyotes to eat fawns in the spring. Now, who in their right mind thinks that $20 a head is going to make ANY difference in how many coyotes get killed??? Sure, there are a few yahoos out here who wouldn't bother to go coyote hunting if it weren't for the bounty. But all those yahoos combined don't kill enough coyotes to make any difference to anything. Most of them don't kill any. And going back to what really matters, getting the RIGHT coyotes dead, those yahoos that decide to take up coyote hunting just for the bounty are more likely to win a Nobel prize than to kill an old pair of stock killers. For the rest of us, the guys that actually hunt coyotes, we're out there coyote hunting every winter anyway. The bounty has no effect on any serious coyote hunter I know - and I know a few. We all kill exactly the same number of coyotes - which is as many as we can - whether there is a bounty or not. And the simple fact is, that we recreational callers have no impact on the resource. None. We don't put a dent in the coyote population, or have any meaningful effect on things like fawn recruitment or lamb depredation. That's where the pros come in. They target specific coyotes, or groups of coyotes, in specific areas, at specific times, to address specific problems or goals. Again, all things that simply have never been accomplished by a bounty system, that's just a simple fact. The pro's use all manner of means available to them to accomplish all of those things. Air gunning is just one of their tools.

Put it all this way... This thread started in regards to nearly a hundred coyotes killed on one small area in a short period of time. How on earth would that ever happen because of a bounty system? It wouldn't. It couldn't. It never has. So, in regards to that specific situation, what difference does it make how much money was spent compared to paying $20 a head bounty for those coyotes? Air gunning got the job done. Bounty payments wouldn't have.

- DAA
 

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Hummer- who does the counting?
If the ADC is doing the aerial hunting, there is a ground crew that is directed to the kill site via GPS and the animal is picked up. Some are just collected and disposed of in the pasture and some are sent in for testing- rabies vaccine, fleas, lice, general health, etc. Any project now requires a GPS location on the report. If the ground crew can't find the animal, it doesn't count.
DAA, FWIW, my brother has a reported kill count of over 1500 yotes for the year 2006. Probably 95+% are caught on snares. The remainder would be ground hunting with gun or steel traps. The traps at one time did pretty good but you can only catch one at that location and you also have to run the traps at least once a day- too expensive as your tax dollars are being spent on mileage which is now $.49 per mile. Snares are working the best and cheapest for him now. But he still gun hunts when he wants to. We also build snares for hogs of the 500+lbs variety. Try 3/16" stainless aircraft cable with a working strength of 1500 lbs. We use 1" heavy wall angle iron cut into 1" long pieces drilled for the locks. The angle iron sometimes gets straightened smooth out. Occasionally one of these bad boys will break the cable but not often. Everything within reach of the cable will be shreaded by the victim. I've also seen 6" round mesquite trees gone along with the snare and hog.

For the average hunter, if you have deer, hogs, and yotes coming to the same crossing under a fence, how do you separate the deer from the hogs and the coyotes? Yes, this is a test.
 
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