Coyote bounty hunt launched by local business

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BROOKLYN, Mich. (WLNS) – A mid-Michigan business has a very different approach to keeping the coyote population in check.

The sporting goods store in Jackson County has launched a bounty hunt, offering prizes for the biggest catch.

As more coyotes move into populated areas, that often means more people coming into Knutson’s Sporting Goods in Brooklyn.

“They want advice on how to trap them because they have problems with their chicken coops, or they’re afraid for their dog,” said Topio Knutson, who works at his family business.

So they created a way to help with this problem, starting a coyote bounty hunt.

“There are prizes for the person who brings in the most coyotes throughout the contest, and the person who brings in the heaviest. The top place for each ones gets a $500 gift certificate to the store,” Knutson said.

The store says there’s been a wily response.

“We’ve had 43 brought in in just over a week.  We were only expecting 30. So we’re pretty surprised,” Knutson said.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says there’s nothing wrong with this type of activity, as long as it’s done legally.

In fact, state laws were recently changed regarding coyote hunting.

If you have a base hunting license, you can hunt them on your property or public land all year.

DNR conservation officers say while coyotes don’t pose any threat to humans, hunting restrictions were lifted because they’re becoming a threat to other animals.

“They decimate the rabbits, the waterfowl, the pheasants, and fawns too. So they take a big toll,” Knutson said.

Though some people might be concerned with the high number of animals that are being killed, the store hopes this bounty hunt can help control the coyote population.

“We definitely want people to take as many coyotes as possible,” Knutson said.

The contest goes until March 1.

Knutson says hunters bring in their dead coyotes for documentation, and it’s up to the hunter to process the animal.

Second place gets a $300 gift certificate, and third place gets a $150 gift certificate.

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