When David Moore of Rockingham, N.C. found a coyote in one of his foothold traps he was checking last week in Marlboro County, S.C., his buddies noticed the canine was wearing a set of earrings. The jewelry turned out to be tags from SCDNR, who had trapped, neutered, tagged, then released the ‘yote as part of South Carolina’s Coyote Harvest Incentive Program.

Moore was awarded a South Carolina lifetime hunting license for killing the tagged coyote.

“Honestly, I was getting my stuff together to get the coyote out of the trap, and my buddies noticed it first. One of them said he thought it was a money coyote worth like a thousand dollars or something. That’s when we did some research on the SCDNR website,” said Moore, who trapped over 20 coyotes the previous week.

Upon learning that the coyote’s tags were good for a lifetime hunting license, Moore wondered whether that would apply to him since he is not a resident of South Carolina.

“I got the number to a biologist that is over the program. He told me the incentive did apply to me, and told me what to do from there. After killing the coyote, we saw that there is a number to call on the back of the tag with a specific number that identifies that coyote,” he said.

“When I told the biologist that I was a non-resident hunter, he said that makes the deal even sweeter for me,” said Moore, who has sent the tags and information in and is waiting for a report from SCDNR that will show where and when the coyote was released.

In 2016, the agency released 16 coyotes to begin the incentive program. Four of the canines were placed in each game zone. They did the same thing again in December of 2017. So far, eight of the coyotes released in 2016 have been reported.

Coyote season never closes in South Carolina, hunters are bound by no daily or seasonal limit, night hunting is allowed with certain restrictions, and hunters have the opportunity to win a lifetime hunting license. On top of that, hunting coyotes is good for the deer herd, as well as that of many species of small game.