MERCER COUNTY, Pa. With prime time for pelts approaching, now's a good time to hit Pennsylvania's woods and fields for wily coyotes.
Trying to pinpoint a location or hot spot for this wily predator is akin to finding a needle in a haystack, according to Dr. Matt Lovallo, the PGC's chief furbearer biologist, but he did point towards several areas of the state.
"Based on our most recent estimates, WMU's 1A, 1B, 2G, 3B, and 4E have produced relatively large coyote harvest during the recent seasons," he said.
Lovallo narrowed down some of the better areas within the borders of these particular wildlife management units for hunters. His suggestions are as follows:
In WMU 1A, look to Mercer County and its Interstate 79 corridor.
"All Mercer County wildlife conservation officers have reported a high number of coyote complaints, with losses of livestock and poultry scattered throughout the county," notes Lovallo.
In WMU 1B his pick is the southeastern part of Erie County and its plentiful game lands.
WMU 2G includes a portion of Clearfield County, specifically the area north of Interstate 80. There are numerous game lands and state forests to roam.
WMU 3B's pick is Sullivan County, specifically SGL 13 and its huge expanse of public land located in the southeastern part of that county.
For WMU 4E, the choice is Columbia County, anywhere along the Susquehanna River Basin.
He terms the above areas "traditional coyote territory," but notes that songdogs are spread throughout the commonwealth.
"Population densities in some areas of the state may not be as high as those found in the big-woods counties, but some of these situations may provide coyote hunting enthusiasts with a unique hunting opportunity close to home," said Lovallo.
Jerry Feaser, Pennsylvania Game Commission secretary, said that overall, Pennsylvania coyote populations are stabilizing, though in some areas they are increasing while in others they are decreasing.
Lovallo said coyote populations are expanding in south-central and southwestern Pennsylvania. PGC estimates there are 25,000 to 30,000 coyotes in the state.
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