24 coyote hunts scheduled across state
Port Matilda, Pa. — If you are willing to brave the elements, “cabin fever” should not be a problem this winter – just hunt coyotes.
Twenty-four organized predator hunts are scheduled across Pennsylvania during the next three months. Hunts begin on Jan. 8, with the Woodcock Valley contest, and end in mid-March with Corydon Township’s 18th annual coyote event.
Seven hunts will be held in January, 14 in February and three in March. The biggest weekend is Feb. 19-21 – when nine hunts are scheduled.
The Mosquito Creek Sportsmen’s Club, District 9 Pennsylvania Trappers Association and the Cresson Community Sportsmen’s Association – the three largest hunts in the state – are keeping their rules and prize structures much the same for 2015.
Both Mosquito Creek and District 9 award prizes based entirely on coyote weights, while the Cresson club has been successful incorporating 15 chance drawings into their contest.
Most organized predator events allow hunters to pursue coyotes throughout the entire state, but several have a county-limited reach. Hunting for the United Sportsmen Camp contest is only allowed in two counties, while the Springville Coon Hunters permit hunting in 14 northeastern counties (up from eight last year).
The District 9 PA Trappers Association Northeast Regional Coyote Hunt – centered in Tunkhannock – has been very successful with just an eight-county range.
A few contests, such as Ellsworth Sportsmen, Corydon Township and Tubmill Trout Club, encourage hunters from other states to participate. New this year, the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County, New York, has added three Pennsylvania counties to their popular hunt.
“A lot of Pennsylvania hunters usually enter our contest, but in the past, they had to buy a non-resident license and hunt in New York,” said Federation President Jack Danchak.
“We would love to have more Pennsylvania hunters, so this year we added Pike, Wayne and Susquehanna counties, in Pennsylvania, to our hunt.” A total of 525 hunters registered for its hunt last winter.
Deep snow, no snow, high winds, arctic temperatures – there is no doubt that weather affects coyote hunting. Last winter, the deep snow limited hunter access in many areas of the state.
“Dog hunters took the most coyotes in our hunt,” Fred Geer noted, with regard to the Sigel Sportsmen hunt. “Hunters reported that, because of the deep snow, the coyotes were just running up and down creek channels.”
With the forecast for a warm winter, some hunters are skeptical that there might be no snow for our hunt, said Gene Dodge about the United Sportsmen Camp hunt. Possibly Bill Kalinauskis, chairman of the large Tunkhannock hunt, has the best attitude about the winter weather.
“I don’t put a whole lot of stock in long-range weather forecasts. Nobody knows what the weather will be on Jan. 29, when our hunt begins,” he said. “One thing for sure, the weather will be what it is, and our 700-plus hunters will deal with it.”
Only five hunts allow trapping – Laurel Highlands, Jerome Sportsmen, Corydon Township, Paul’s Trading Post, and – new this year – the Sinnemahoning Sportsmen added trapping to their event.
The Sinnemahoning Sportsmen also made additional changes.
“We tried to include other states, but that didn’t really work for us, so we are going back to where we started,” explained club board member Ron Feidt.
“This year’s hunt will include coyotes from just seven counties – Cameron and all of the counties touching Cameron, plus Centre County. One of the purposes of our hunt is to attract people to our part of the state, so we hope that this helps.”
Other hunt changes:
In many cases, the organized hunts make changes based on what their hunters request. After a year’s absence, the Tubmill Trout Club is back in the coyote hunt business – holding its “Lucky Dog” hunt Jan. 29-31.
The Charleroi Sportsmen and the State Hunters Organization have added foxes to this year’s hunt. The Charleroi Sportsmen also added an extra “smallest coyote” contest to their hunt. The Laurel Highlands added cash prizes for each animal brought in, and the Springville Coon Hunters are offering extended weigh-in times.
The Ellsworth Sportsmen’s Club normally pays out through separate drawings for male and female coyotes, with at least a $1,000 top prize in each category. This year, the club has added an extra $5 “heaviest coyote” contest, and it also is providing a free gun raffle ticket with each hunt entry.
A number of established organized hunts have moved from their usual winter weekend. Be sure to check the list so that you can participate in your favorite hunts or maybe try a new one.
2016 Coyote Hunts
Jan. 8-10 – Woodcock Valley Sportsmen’s Club fifth annual Predator Hunt, James Creek, Huntingdon County. Hunt the entire state for foxes and coyotes – maximum three of each. Contact Rick Isett at 814-658-3058. Rules and application at http://wvsa.webs.com.
Jan. 22-24 – United Sportsman Camp 271 – 14th annual Coyote Hunt, Huntington Mills, Luzerne/Columbia counties. Hunt the entire state – $1,000 for the heaviest coyote, $500 to 2nd place, and a prize for the smallest coyote, plus daily cash prizes. Gun raffle plus all-you-can-eat Sunday breakfast. Contact Gene Dodge at 570-256-3933.
Jan. 22-24 – Springville Coon Hunters 11th annual Coyote & Fox Hunt, Springville, Susquehanna County. Hunt in 14 northeastern counties – $2,000 top prize for heaviest coyote, $50 per coyote turned in. Other prizes including $200 for heaviest each day. Contact Jerry Croasdale at 570-942-6487 or www.endlessmountaincoon
hunters.com for more info.
Jan. 22-24 – Paul’s Trading Post second annual Coyote Contest, Kane, McKean County. Trap or hunt the entire state. Prizes paid for top three heaviest coyotes, plus heaviest female. Contact Peggy or Paul King at 814-945-6504 for more info.
Jan. 29-31 – District 9 PA Trappers Association Northeast Regional Coyote Hunt, Tunkhannock, Wyoming County. Hunt eight northeastern counties – $2,000 for heaviest coyote, bonus $250 prizes for heaviest coyote each day and $100 each coyote. Free dinner for participants. Contact William Kalinauskis at 570-942-6895.
Jan. 29-31 – Tubmill Trout Club Lucky Dogs Coyote & Fox Hunt, New Florence, Westmoreland County. Hunt a five-state area – cash prizes awarded by a drawing to three successful coyote and two successful fox hunters. Contact Lin Gamble at 724-235-9798 or www.tubmilltroutclub.org.
Jan. 29-31 – Jerome Sportsmen eighth annual Adam Deist Memorial Hunt, Somerset County. Hunt or trap the entire state for coyotes, foxes and raccoons. Three places in each category by weight. Contact Paul Deist at 814-483-0084 for more information.
Feb. 1-28 – PA State Hunters Organization 11th annual Coyote and Fox Hunt, Newport, Perry County. Hunt the entire state – no weighing, equal prize money for all entered coyotes. Contact Keith Tobias at 717-444-7061 or www.pastate
Feb. 5-7 – Cresson Community Sportsman’s Association 10th annual Coyote and Fox Hunt, Cambria County. Hunt the entire state – $5,000 minimum guaranteed prize money. Prizes for heaviest coyotes, smallest coyotes and chance drawings, top prize $1,000, plus a gun raffle. Contact 814-886-7727 or www.cresson
sportsmans.com for more information.
Feb. 5-7 – Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County, New York, ninth Coyote Hunt. Top prize $2,000, $100 for top female and youth hunters, plus $100 guaranteed for each coyote. Just across the Pennsylvania border – Pennsylvania hunters hunting in Pike, Wayne or Susquehanna counties welcome, also in New York. Contact Jack Danchak at 845-482-4987
Feb. 5-7 – Shavers Creek Volunteer Fire Company 19th annual Coyote Hunt, Huntingdon County. Hunt the entire state for foxes and coyotes. For more information, 814-667-2018 or www.shaverscreekfire.com.
Feb. 19-21 – St. Clair Tremont Trap & Field Club’s 14th annual Fox and Coyote Hunt, Johnstown, Cambria County. Hunt the entire state for foxes and coyotes. Note – fox season ends Feb. 20. Contact Garret Smith at 814-619-5373 or go to www.stclair
Feb. 19-21 Sinnemahoning Sportsmen’s Association 11th Fox & Coyote Hunt, Sinnemahoning, Cameron County. Hunt or trap six northcentral Pennsylvania counties – 60 percent of prize money for heaviest coyote, the remainder divided equally. Contact Robert Bushor at 814-546-2615 or check the club’s Facebook page for more information.
Feb. 19-21 – Mosquito Creek Sportsmen’s 25th annual Coyote Hunt, Frenchville, Clearfield County. Hunt entire state. Largest prizes – nearly $40,000 paid out last year. Contact 814-263-4510 or www.mosquitocreek
sportsmen.com for more information.
Feb. 19-21 – Laurel Highlands Predator Hunt, Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. Hunt or trap the entire state for coyotes, foxes and raccoons. Three places in each category by weight. New this year will be prize tickets given for each harvested animal. Contact Adam Fabian (724-455-5217) or Bruce Knopsnider (724-455-3345) for more information.
Feb. 19-21 – St. Marys Sportsmen 13th annual Size Doesn’t Matter Coyote Hunt, Elk County. Hunt the entire state. Contact 814-834-4375 or www.stmaryssportsmen.org for more information.
Feb. 19-21 – Sigel Sportsmen’s Statewide Winter Coyote Hunt, Jefferson County. Hunt the entire state – size does not matter, one coyote per entry fee, multiple entries permitted. Contact Fred Geer (814-752-2485), Bill Fiscus (814-752-2795) or www.sigel
Feb 19-21 – Colver Sportsmen’s Club Coyote Hunt, Cambria County. Hunt entire state. Top prizes: $500 for heaviest male and female coyotes, plus $250 to the oldest and youngest successful hunters. The largest coyote shot in Cambria County also nets $250. All successful hunters receive money. Contact Bernie Svidergol at 814-749-7415 or visit www.colversports.com
Feb. 19-27 – Ellsworth Sportsmen’s Club second annual Coyote Hunt, Scenery Hill, Washington County. Hunt nine states. Hunters allowed to enter one male and one female coyote – cash prizes by drawing. Entry fee includes gun and cash drawing and an awards banquet. Top prizes at least $1,000 each. Extra heaviest coyote contest. Contact Chad Strennen at 724-825-2883, Mike Leahman 724-255-4592 or visit www.esc15360.com for more information.
Feb. 20-28 – Port Clinton Fish & Game Association 13th annual Coyote Hunt, Schuylkill County. Hunt the entire state – 13 prize winners – maximum of one prize per hunter. Call 610-562-4310 or 610-562-4765 for more information or visit www.portclinton
Feb. 26-28 – Sullivan County 12th annual Coyote Hunt, Laporte. Hunt the entire state. Proceeds benefit three fire companies. $3,000 guaranteed top prize plus heaviest female and $50 per coyote up to three. Free Sunday lunch for hunters. Contact Daniel Morrison at 570-506-2911 or www.sullivancounty
coyotehunt.org to register or for more info.
Feb. 27–March 12 – Charleroi Sportsmen Association Coyote Hunt, Washington County. Equal payout for all coyotes, plus jackpot drawings. Hunt entire state. Free party on the last day. Hunt limited to 250 people. Contact Pete Cupari at 724-640-6555 or www.charleroisportsmen.com for more information.
March 4-6 – Liberty Township Sportsmen’s Association fifth annual Coyote Hunt, Blanchard, Centre County. Half of the registration money paid out for top three heaviest coyotes, with the other half divided equally per number of coyotes entered – plus separate heaviest female contest. Flea market Saturday and Sunday. Contact Dwight Kline at 814-574-5020 or go to www.libertysportsmen.com.
March 12-13 – Corydon Township 18th annual Coyote Hunt, McKean County. Hunt all of Pennsylvania and New York. Top prizes for heaviest coyotes – $500, $250 and $125. Heaviest female added this year. Party with door prizes on the last day of the hunt. Proceeds benefit volunteer fire company. Contact Chris Cobb at 814-598-0752 or www.corydontwp.com