Coyote hunters see good year
The coyote hunting season has just ended on P.E.I. and hunters are reporting a good year.
Duncan Crawford, a hunter and taxidermist from Covehead, told CBC News Wednesday television shows featuring predator hunting are developing interest in shooting coyotes.
"Guys that are traditionally water fowl hunters or small game hunters all of a sudden are getting excited," said Crawford.
"Coyote is the largest animal that you can legally shoot in P.E.I., so there's a certain amount of drama around that."
Crawford said it was a good year for hunters. The heavy snow meant the coyotes had a harder time finding food and were more tempted by bait.
Prices for eastern coyote pelts are typically not as good as for western coyotes. The fur is rougher and less consistent. But provincial wildlife biologist Randy Dibblee said the pelt market was strong this year.
"Our prices have doubled or even more than doubled from last years prices, almost tripling in some cases," said Diblee.
"There's a demand for it on the marketplace, which is a good thing for trappers."
Crawford said the strong coyote season means good things for business and for P.E.I.'s economy. He noted hunters are aging on P.E.I., and said it is important to keep the sport going on the Island. While hunting does not effectively control animal numbers, it can control their behaviour by keeping them wary of humans.
There are usually about 400 pelts shipped off P.E.I. annually. Numbers for this year's hunts aren't fully tallied yet.