Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
The 2016 Predator Challenge was another successful event. We continue to grow as this year’s competition had 85 teams and 260 hunters registered on the website. It’s great to see the growth in the competition, but the awareness of the sport is what we’re really pleased to see. Ultimately we are outdoorsman who love to hunt and we host this competition to help raise awareness for what coyotes are doing to other game populations around the state (as the below video denotes). The more people we can get hunting coyotes, the better off our deer, turkey, ducks, and other game species are.
Coyote Only For The First Time
This year we implemented a request that hunters had voiced in post-competition-surveys for some time. The majority of our participants demanded a “Coyote Only” hunt and so this year that’s what we delivered. We knew that cutting out foxes and bobcats would lessen the number of people that could win, but our main purpose is to hunt coyotes as they are the true predators affecting deer, turkey, farm animals, and other wild game populations around the state. We didn’t know what to expect making this change, but in retrospect I think it was good and everyone still seemed to enjoy themselves.
It should go without saying that we cannot hold a competition without sponsorship. We are very fortunate to have some great sponsors. If you are predator hunters please check out our sponsor organizations and their products as they are the true ones who support you and us!
As everyone knows, the weather this weekend was not the best for hunting. It was particularly difficult for us upstate hunters and for NC teams. The snow, sleet, and ice made travel difficult and it made the coyote hunker down for a good portion of the weekend.
We received some criticism via email, text, Facebook, Twitter, etc. about the competition weekend. People were saying we should reschedule, pick a different weekend, or have some alternative. For those who were criticizing understand a few things… we plan the competition months in advance and aim for a full moon, we don’t control the weather any more than you do, and several hunters take Friday off work to hunt while others line up specific land to hunt for this weekend. If we were to reschedule at the last minute it would inconvenience a lot of other people as well. It’s just difficult to please everyone with rules, scheduling, the weather, and timelines we have to operate under in order to host the competition. It’s very similar to a bass tournament where they fish regardless of the weather. Also, keep in mind that this is a FREE competition and we’re doing the best we can to serve all the hunters in our state and beyond. We do not make any money from the weekend. We actually lose money to host it. So we acknowledge the weather and your complaints and we take them with a grain of salt :-)
Team Members: Tyler Logan, Erica Catoe, Jacob Gainey
Counties Hunted: Lee, Darlington, Sumter
Coyote Total: 8
2nd Place: Carolina Dawg Killers
Team Members: Cody Ahlstrom, Trent McWhorter, Simmty McWhorter, Cambel Cox
Counties Hunted: Chesterfield, Union (NC)
Coyote Total: 7
3rd Place: McKenzie Outdoors
Team Members: Eddie McKenzie, Barret Griggs, Scottie Hoffman, Patrick Griggs
Counties Hunted: Chesterfield
Coyote Total: 2
Big Dawg: Carolina Dawg Killers
Team Members: Cody Ahlstrom, Trent McWhorter, Simmty McWhorter, Cambel Cox
Counties Hunted: Chesterfield, Union (NC)
Big Dawg Weight: 43.9
Congratulations again to the winners and thanks again to everyone who hunted in this year’s Predator Challenge. If you participated in the event you will receive an email sometime in the near future asking for feedback, concerns, thoughts, and snide remarks!
See you again next year!
Every year hunters highly anticipate The Predator Challenge, our annual competition focused on reducing the coyote population. This year we’ve been receiving emails about the competition, getting asked in-person, and we even had a team register to the competition before it was announced! So yes, there is a lot of excitement around the competition. Last year at the check-in one of the participants told me that his team looks forward to the competition every year because it’s a weekend they plan ahead for, enjoy spending time together, and going hard competing against Mother Nature and other hunters in the state. He said it was an annual tradition for them and that was great to hear.
Why a Coyote Hunting Competition
It’s important to keep in mind the ultimate reason why we host this competition. We spend time and energy hosting this competition to help raise awareness about the damage that coyotes are doing to our game populations and to farmer’s livestock across the state. SCDNR’s studies based on tracking fawn mortality rates related to coyotes have shown that coyotes are a “player” in the landscape of deer management. We all know they are getting after more than deer though. So, we host the competition to give everyone a weekend to focus on coyotes, to meet other coyote hunters, and to spread the word about the growing sport of coyote hunting.
Many of you reading this are familiar with the competition and simply want to know what’s new this year and the logistics of the competition. So here you have it:
If you want to read the complete list of rules then see the Coyote Competition page.
The 2015 Predator Challenge was yet another successful event. Every year we’ve seen the competition grow in participation. This year we set another record with 52 teams and 183 hunters participating across the state. Thanks to everyone for joining in on the hunt and to the sponsors who make the competition possible. Also, thanks to my fellow organizers Gavin Jackson and Robbie Boone for all the hard work and dedication to keeping the competition running. Without everyone getting involved the competition wouldn’t be possible.
This year’s weather brought a lot of rain with it on Friday, which made it tough on everyone. Teams were posting on the site, on Twitter, and on Facebook throughout the weekend talking about how tough the hunting was on Friday. However Saturday and Sunday brought clear skies and cool temperatures that offered good hunting conditions. The majority of the hunters at the check-in commented that they did their best on Saturday & Sunday..
HELP MAKE THE COMPETITION BETTER BY TAKING THIS SURVEY
While there were hunters all around the state participating and posting pics of solo coyotes, bobcats, and foxes every team did not show up at the check-in. This always happens and every year there are people who stay home and if they would have showed up they would have won something! Nevertheless we did have a good crew on hand at the check.
The total tallied stats from the check-in were:
1st Place: "Pred Headz" (Hunter Traywick, Maurice Hinson, Dustin Hicks, & Doug Hinson)
Predators Checked In: 2 coyotes, 1 bobcat, 1, grey fox
Counties Hunted in: Chesterfield & Kershaw
2nd Place: "Carolina Dog Killers" (Smitty Mcwhorter, Scotty Mcwhorter, Cody Ahlstrom, Chandler Cathy)
PredatorS Checked In: 1 coyotes, 2 bobcats, 1 grey fox
Counting Hunted In: Union County NC, Chesterfield County SC
3rd Place: Dead Meat Militia (Charlie Byrd, Cory Byrd, Myron Byrd, Chance Huckabee)
Predators Checked In: 2 coyotes, 1 grey fox
Counties Huntined In: Darlingon, Chesterfield
Big Dog Award: Moonlight Mafia (Jake Horton, Hunter Horton, Robbie Burch, Travis Sanders)
Coyotes Weight: 33.15lbs
Thanks again to everyone for participating… we’ll see you again next year for the 2016 Predator Challenge..
This past Tuesday night Robbie Boone and I attended the Lancaster County Cattlemen’s Association monthly Meeting in Lancaster, SC. This meeting consists of a large group of cattle farmers from the area plus a representative from the Clemson Agricultural Extension. We were invited to discuss the rising problem of coyotes in SC and to talk about the 2015 Predator Challenge.
The meeting was held at Jomar’s restaurant and the meeting of course started off with a meal. After the meal was over the leaders of the group turned the program over to Robbie and me for our presentation. Robbie spoke the majority of the time and presented on all kinds of information about coyotes. He spoke about their habits, habitat, breeding cycle, animals they prey on, laws for hunting them, all the way to tactics for hunting them. Robbie did a great job and it was very informational. We also provided the members of the group with a 1-page print out for the rules for both hunting and trapping coyotes. This information came straight from SC DNR’s website and the Cattlemen’s Association Members seemed to find this helpful. After Robbie spoke on the information about coyotes I got up and briefly spoke about the Predator Challenge and what we are trying to do with raising awareness for the sport of predator hunting.
One thing that was interesting (and telling) was that during the presentation and after the meeting it was evident that the Cattlemen’s Association Members were also having issues with coyotes. Several of the members told stories of the increasing rate in which they’re seeing coyotes. Whether plowing fields, running combines, or tending to their cows each member has had an encounter with one or more coyotes. The frequency of these encounters is increasing and they definitely recognized the problem that coyotes pose for them at cattle farmers as well as for hunters.
Overall the meeting went well and the group was very receptive to the presentation. I think now instead of carrying their rifles in their trucks the group members are now going to start carrying them in their tractors and combines and shooting them more often! It was a great event and we hope to do more of these in the future. If you would like for us to come out to your venue just use the Contact Us form to reach out.
Here are some pics from the event…
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.
Tonight the Predator Challenge leadership team met and started the planning for this upcoming hunting season’s weekend long Predator Challenge. Each year since we’ve hosted the Predator Challenge the competition participation has doubled in size. The growth is due to growing interest in the sport of predator hunting along with hunters and governing entities around the state recognizing the damage that coyotes are doing to game populations. Each year the competition has gotten better and we’ve added new sponsors and new features to the challenge.
We met tonight to start the planning considerably earlier this season so we can host the best Predator Challenge yet. SC DNR continues to post information on their site about the studies and data they have proving the damage coyotes are doing. We hope to continue to raise awareness and are trying to up the level of the competition again this year. We’re planning some really neat stuff so we hope you will strongly consider taking part in this year’s competition.
We will continue to update the site here with the Predator Challenge information. If you have any ideas, suggestions, or concerns please let us know so we can modify and adjust as needed. Again we are simply SC hunters who are simply taking initiative and trying to promote the sport of predator hunting so as to get the coyote population under control. That said, you don’t want to miss this year’s Predator Challenge and check-in… it’s going to be the best event we’ve hosted yet.
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.
This year’s 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 2nd Annual WeHuntSC.com Predator Challenge was this past weekend and it was another great event. This year?s Predator Challenge showed a lot of growth in both the number of competition entrants as well as sponsors. We had over 100 hunters participating in SC, NC, & GA and minus a little bit of wind on Friday night, the conditions were great!
Hunting started at 3pm on Friday and hunters had to bring any predators they bagged over the weekend to the check-in on Sunday by 4pm. Every few minutes shoppers from the Sportsman?s Warehouse came by the check-in to see what was going on and slowly but surely hunters brought their predators to check-in. It was really neat to meet a lot of the guys (and gals) who participated in the weekend challenge and get to know the people behind the avatars/posts we see online. I learned a lot simply from talking with these hunters and feeling them out for helpful tips/info on predator hunting. There was definitely a synergy at the check-in and one could feel the passion for predator hunting among those present at the Sportsman?s Warehouse.
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. Collectively we feel the need to hunt predators as coyotes are killing livestock that farmers depend on along with drastically reducing deer & turkey populations in our state. Just read DNR?s latest report to see some statistics.
Below is a video with some pics from the check-in
One neat thing I?d like to mention is that one of our teams even had sponsors for their hunt. David Pruett & Todd Davis? ?Team Upstate? was sponsored by Golf Cart Service of Roebuck, SC. David & Todd brought a Stealth Electric Vehicles Apache 4x4 EV to the check-in and I?m telling you what... that thing was slick. It?s electric & extremely quiet. Todd & David said they even tried to get it stuck and couldn?t? and didn?t even have to put it in 4 wheel drive. If you think being electric means no power and no speed? then think again because this unit was stout.
Congratulations to Terry, Mike, & Chip for going back to back and really representing by bringing in a truck load of predators. I also thought it was a very kind act when Terry, Mike, & Chip turned around and gave the majority of their prizes away to the other hunters and attendees at the check-in. Because many of the prizes were duplicates from last year they decided to share their winnings with those in attendance. So we put names in a hat and drew them out & gave most of their prizes 1 by 1 to everyone present at the check-in. So kudos to Team Defending Champs for not only winning, but for being gracious with their prizes as well. (I think everyone at the check-in would agree).
The big winner of the day was Team Black Coyote who won both 2nd place and the Big Dawg award. Winning both categories doubled their prizes winnings. Mr. Jesse Dean and his son drove away with some really big smiles on their faces and with a truck full of prizes headed back to Lincolnton, NC. Jesse was pumped up and rightfully so!
Thanks again to all the sponsors who donated prizes so that we could host the challenge again. We?ll be back next year at the same time to do it again so from now until then? keep shooting coyotes!