Game and Fish Opens Coyote Catalog - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Game and Fish Opens Coyote Catalog

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There's still some time before lambing and calving season starts during the cold, wet months of early spring. Ranchers can't always protect their livestock from the weather, but there are ways to safeguard their livestock from predators.

For sheep rancher Wyman Scheetz, the biggest predator problem is coyotes.

"If we turn lambs out, the degradation is just terrible," says Scheetz. "We can't put lambs out because of the trees and stuff we have around here."

"So we never put our lambs on grass, but we will have occasions where [coyotes will] come in and they harass the ewes and bring them into the yards if they're in the trees."

That's why Scheetz signed up for the Coyote Catalog, a resource that connects worried landowners with coyote hunters.

"The Coyote Catalog is a collaboration between the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture," says Doug Goehring, Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

Scheetz signed up with the Department of Agriculture. Hunters who want to participate in the program go through Game and Fish.

"It's just a good way for the two agencies to work together and hopefully come up with a solution for what's been a point of frustration for a lot of people in the state," says Jeb Williams, Assistant Chief of the North Dakota Game and Fish Wildlife Division.

As of now, there's been more interest from hunters than landowners.

"We already have about 465 hunters and trappers that are signed up," says Goehring. "We have 23 landowners, farmers, ranchers."

The ranchers who do participate, however, say they're big fans of the program.

"If we can give them the opportunity to hunt, help us out, it's a great deal for everybody," Scheetz explains. "Coyotes are a big problem right here."

For hunters, it can be more than just recreational fun.

"There's an opportunity right now as well for people to make a little bit of money off the fur price on the coyote as well," Williams says. "So making a little extra money this time of year for something you enjoy doing I think is a win/win for a lot of people."

Landowners and hunters can still sign up for the catalog; landowners should visit the Department of Agriculture's website at www.nd.gov/ndda, while hunters can go to the Game and Fish Department's page at www.gf.nd.gov.

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