For the second straight year, the team of Chip Humphries, Terry Williams and Mike Williams won the Predator Challenge in mid January. Their Team Defending Champs brought to the check-in at Sportsman's Warehouse in Columbia in one coyote, one bobcat and three foxes for the win.

"We had over 40 teams and over 100 hunters participate," said Clint Patterson of Pageland, who helps develop hunting competitions from waterfowl and turkey hunting to the Buck of the Year. "We had some teams hunting in South Carolina and North Carolina and one or two in Georgia."

Patterson said plans are to expand the competition in future years.

"One of the reasons we are doing this is because of the (SCDNR) report on how the coyotes are hurting our deer and turkey populations. We are holding the competition to promote predator hunting with the ultimate goal of putting a dent in the coyote population," Patterson said.

"One thing I can tell you is that the sport of predator hunting is growing fast in our area. Everyone we spoke with, whether they currently hunted predators or not, spoke of how they wanted to start predator hunting or how they'd heard about it and were really interested in it. A lot of people we spoke with are really focusing on predator hunting and are putting more energy into it."

Jesse Dean of Lincolnton, N.C., and Chas Morton of Rock Hill – Team Black Coyote – took second place with one coyote and won the Big Dog prize for the largest predator; their coyote weighed 40 pounds.

Tommy Darby, Spiro Poulos and Darrin Boyd of Chester – Team Huntshack – were third with one fox.