If you follow the site at all then you know that we’ve been promoting the 2014 Predator Challenge recent. The Predator Challenge is a weekend long competition we created to raise awareness for the sport of Predator Hunting as well and to raise awareness for what coyotes are doing to deer, turkey, duck and other game populations around the state. We continue to spread the message that
SCDNR’s data backs up… and that is that as hunters we need to actively hunt coyotes if we want to have healthy populations of other game to hunt.
Predator Challenge saw better weather than last years, but we did have to battle wind early on in the weekend. Every year we hunt in the predator challenge we learn a little bit more about coyotes and after 4 years of hunting them I can tell you that they are definitely not easy to hunt. They are smart and quick. I think hunting coyotes is tougher than deer, turkey, and duck hunting. You have to hunt hard and you can hunt for the longest time and not have any luck and then a coyote appears and you have 2 seconds to make the shot. It’s tough and that’s why we need more people hunting coyotes across the state and the region.
This year we held the Predator Challenge Check-In at the
Catch and Release Sportsman’s Consignment shop in Columbia, SC. Catch and Release is directly behind the Sportsman’s Warehouse (the previous check-in location) and was a great fit for the check-in. I know I enjoyed having the check-in and the new location and getting to see the store and meet Blakely Byrd the owner of Catch and Release. If you haven’t checked the store out yet you should because it’s really neat and is not the typical business model.
Predator Challenge Sponsors
When I arrived we had hunters there waiting for us at the check-in. During the course of the hour we had a steady stream of hunters showing up to check-in their predators with one team blowing a tire and still making it right at 4pm on the dot. It was a good turnout and as we checked-in the various teams hunters from all around the state met each other, connected, discussed hunting techniques and tactics, and got to know one another. It’s always neat to meet the people that you encounter on the website in person and get to know them.
After 4pm arrived and we checked in the final team we tallied the points and got everybody together and made the announcement of the winners. They were as follows:
It was a great weekend hunting and meeting everyone at the check-in. Thanks again to our sponsors and to everyone who participated. We’ve seen the predator challenge grow rapidly over the past few years and it gets better every year. We hope to see you again next year.
Below are pics and videos from the 2014 Predator Challenge Check-In:
We also had a very rare black coyote turned in by one of the teams. After doing some research we've found that these are indeed pretty rare to come across and are a result of mixed breeding.
The Predator Competition has been growing really fast over the past few years and we’re excited to continue the tradition of the WeHuntSC Predator Challenge. Last year we had over 130 hunters competing in our weekend of chasing down predators. We are continuing the tradition again this year so get ready to go hard for another weekend and chase down some predators.
Why We Host The Predator Challenge
Before we get into the rules and logistical information I’d like to reiterate why we even started this competition and our goals. If you are familiar with SC DNR’s study & report on the damage coyotes are doing to our deer, turkey, ducks, and other game populations then it should be a no-brainer as to why we host this competition. If you are not familiar with the study the long-story-short is that coyotes are putting a dent into the populations of game we hunt and therefore we need to be pro-active about hunting coyotes as well as spreading the word about coyotes to other hunters. If you don’t think Coyotes can take down mature animals then see this blog.
With hunters seeing coyotes more frequently, along with SC DNR’s study and data that coyotes are hurting our hunting across the state, we decided to do what we could as hunters to take action. We created the Predator Challenge a few years ago to help raise awareness of the sport of predator hunting and to help communicate to hunters that we should be dropping coyotes whenever we see them. The visionaries behind the creation of the competition, Chip Humphries & Terry Williams came from McBee, SC and were the winners of our first 2 years of the competition. Chip and Terry contacted me and we got the competition started back before I even knew how to hunt a coyote. So to be clear, our goal with the start of this competition was and continues to be to provide an avenue to promote the sport of predator hunting, raise awareness for what coyotes are doing across the state, and to give hunters a weekend of hunting with friends and family that they can look forward to and get excited about.
Last year after the competition we sent out an email asking for feedback from the competition and you gave us some of your creative thoughts and critical feedback about the competition. Based on some of the feedback from the competition we updated a few things.
Fun At the Check-In
I know that my team always looks forward to the weekend of predator hunting and we strategize our game plan all year long. It really is a fun (and tiring) weekend that culminates in a check-in down in Columbia, SC. I encourage you to show up at the check-in regardless of whether you harvest a predator or not because hunters from all around the state are there to fellowship, network, share hunting strategies, plus we have some really cool prizes and giveaways on hand for everyone.
Logistics and Rules
We do have more extensive rules & check-in information available, but I’ll leave that over on the Predator Competition Page so be sure to check it out there.
Thanks to the Organizers
Again, we wouldn’t be able to have the competition without our sponsors as well as without the help of the guys who organize the competition. Those guys are Gavin Jackson, Robbie Boone, & Adam Smith. Without these guys (along with Chip & Terry getting it initially off the ground) there would be no Predator Challenge. So if you see these guys at the check-in be sure to shake their hands and give them a pat on the back.
Hope to see ya’ll at the check-in!
The 2017 Predator Challenge was another successful event. We had hunters from SC, NC, & VA competing this year with a total of 86 teams and 281 hunters. We had been preparing to both host and participate in the competition all year and looked forward to its arrival. Out of all the years we’ve hosted the event it seemed like this year saw the most activity and movement from coyotes. Everyone we talked to seemed to have enjoyed the event regardless of how many coyotes they ended up getting on the ground.
As many of you know and as we mentioned yesterday at the check-in we don’t charge a fee for the competition and we don’t make money from it. We are regular hunters just like you who hope to protect our deer, turkey, duck, and others species for future hunters. (Hunting coyotes also helps protect local farmer’s livestock).
We would not be able to host the competition without the generous donations from our sponsors. They donate their products and services for free for the winners. They don’t have to do this! We ask that you patronize the sponsors by buying your goods, products, and services from them. Be sure to be vocal about our appreciation for their sponsorships. Without the sponsors we would not have a competition.
Competition Volunteers Thanks
Hosting a competition is not an easy task. There are tons of details to consider, emails to be sent, sponsors to connect with, hunters to explain (and re-explain) rules to, etc. You get what I’m saying… a competition doesn’t just host itself. With that said I’d like to also thank Gavin Jackson and Adam Smith. Gavin and Adam are the main guys behind making the competition possible. They stalk and wrangle sponsors, handle the Facebook promotions, constantly talk with hunters, promote the competition to everyone, build the check-in setup, handle the weighing of coyotes, and handle all the details that you don’t see on the surface. If you all see, know, or communicate with these guys be sure to thank them.
Did Changing the Date Result in Better Numbers?
Based on feedback from last year’s competition participants we moved the competition from January to March. This was done for the sake of listening to our participant’s feedback. This change allowed for the use of night vision for hunting coyotes as SCDNR has implemented a night-hunting program where hunters can register their lands for night hunting and use infrared and/or thermal optics to hunt coyotes.
Moving the competition to March ran the risk of much warmer weather, but we lucked out this year as it was cool the entire weekend. We were interested to see how moving the competition would affect the numbers at the check-in. Of course, there are more variables than just the time of year, but we really can’t control the weather. We anticipated a good turnout at the check-in as we received messages during the competition of people seeing a lot of coyotes while they were hunting. It seemed they were moving well this past weekend. It would turn out that we had a total of 57 coyotes checked-in, which is more than all previous years combined. Whether it was changing the competition from January to March or just a lucky streak of movement we don’t know, but we were pleased with the outcome.
This years winners were:
First Place – Jim Shepherd, Concord, NC - 12 Coyotes
Second Place – Carolina Coyote Slayers, Denver, NC - 8 Coyotes
Third Place + Big Dawg (42.8 lbs) – Wind Walkers Kryptonite, Lucknow SC – 7 Coyotes
Sportsman's Warehouse Gun Give-Away Winner - Ben McAlister, Monroe NC
Thanks, Surveys, & Video
Thanks to everyone who hunted in the competition. We appreciate your support and hope you enjoyed the event. We’ll be sending out emails asking for feedback very soon. We’ll see you next year at the check-in.
It’s that time again! We’re excited to announce that registration for the
2015 Predator Challenge is now open! Every year we look forward to the Predator Challenge because the competition continues to grow. More hunters are participating as the awareness of the sport of predator hunting rises. If you have never participated in the Predator Challenge and/or are not a coyote hunter then I encourage you to give it a shot. Coyotes are indeed difficult to hunt so if you are a hunter who’s up for a challenge then predator hunting may be a good fit for you.
Why We Host the Predator Challenge
By now we are all aware of the
damage coyotes are doing to game populations across the state. SCDNR studies have provided data to confirm the negative affect coyotes are having on deer, turkey, duck and other game populations and coyotes are also doing damage to livestock farmers. If you don’t believe that just ask any chicken, turkey, cattle, or sheep farmers in your area. The reason we host this competition is to raise awareness for the sport of predator hunting and to raise awareness about what coyotes are doing across our state. Even if you don’t hunt coyotes you can benefit from simply helping spread the word about the competition so if you’re reading this and you’re not going to be able to hunt do everyone a favor and at least tell your friends about the competition.
The rules this year are the same as last year except we’re adding in a new rule that we’re only accepting 1 bobcat and 2 foxes per team. Why did we add this rule in… because we want to put the focus of the competition on coyotes. Yes you may be able to win the competition with foxes or bobcats alone, but they are not the ones we really want hunters aiming for. So this year we will not accept more than 1 bobcat and 2 foxes per team.
Another thing we’re doing this year to encourage early registration is that we’re giving the first 25 teams that register 3 points added to their final score at the check-in. So be sure to register your team ASAP because those 3 points may help you win the title!
Competition Quick Stats:
We will continue to add sponsors & prizes to the competition page as they come in so stay tuned to the site for updates. If you’re interested in sponsoring the Predator Challenge just
contact us. We look forward to seeing you and your team at the check-in on Jan 25th! The only thing left to do now is to register your team!
REGISTER YOUR TEAM NOW
If you have any other questions or want more information about the event just give us a holler by posting a comment to this blog or emailing us via the
Contact Us form.
We've been hosting the Predator Challenge for 6 years now and we've seen it constantly grow in numbers and popularity. The awareness of what coyotes are doing across the state to both game & livestock populations is spreading quickly and as a result so is the sport of predator hunting. We're happy to continue hosting the competition and we hope you'll join us this year.
SCDNR Coyote Incentive Program
Since last year SC DNR has implemented a Coyote Harvest Incentive Program! If you are not aware of this (and registered in it) please take a look at SC DNR's site. You could win some cool stuff from SC DNR simply by shooting coyotes! Visit the Coyote Harvest Incentive Program page.
Learn more about the competition and register your team for the WeHuntSC.com 2017 Predator Challenge
See you at the check-in!