Predators Provide Off-Season Hunting Opportunities for ProStaffer Steven Reinhold
Editor’s Note: Steven Reinhold of Polk, Ohio, is the Regional Pro Staff Manager for Mossy Oak’s Eastern US Predator Division. The good news about predator hunting is that in certain states, you can hunt them before deer season arrives, during deer season and after deer season. Even when predators are out of season, a farmer or a rancher often can get a crop-depredation permit for you to hunt predators on their lands. Many people believe predator hunting is easier in the West with its open terrain, but Reinhold has been extremely-successful taking predators in the East.
The real secret to taking coyotes or any-other predators in the East is to scout. The good news is, when you scout for deer, you also can scout for predators. I start by talking to farmers and ranchers. Most people who earn their livings from the land really would like to see the predators removed. Most landowners not only welcome me with open arms but often want to know if I can start hunting the next day. You may not believe this, but one of the major predator species I hunt is raccoons, because they do a lot of damage to corn and other crops. When I’m running hounds at night for coons, I’ll also find coyote scat, so then I know where the coyotes are living. Too, at this time of year in the summer, coyotes will bark at the hounds, and I can find the coyotes that way. If I hear coyotes howling, I’ll come back to that spot a few days later to call-in the coyotes. I hunt on many cattle farms, and when the cows are calving, landowners really appreciate knowing a predator hunter who will remove the coyotes. Newborn and young calves, as well as young deer, are a priority for coyotes. So, by hunting them, you’re helping the landowner and often will be able to hunt that person’s land for other species.