BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Hunting coyotes isn’t the same as hunting deer. It doesn’t require a license, there isn’t a specific season, and you aren’t going to want the meat.
“They are considered a varmint because there are so many of them and they are so destructive,” said Elliott Herdina, one of the organizers of the Coyote ‘Fur’ Cancer Fundraiser in Blooming Prairie on Saturday. “They are everywhere, we just never really see them, but there are way more than anyone would ever imagine.”
Coyote ‘Fur’ Cancer, organized by Herdina and his hunting buddy Craig Anderson, makes its debut this weekend as a fundraiser for the Blooming Prairie Cancer Group. Prior to a typical fundraiser at the Cue Company, people are invited to hunt coyotes in their favorite spots. At 6 p.m., out back from the fundraiser, hunters will gather for a group photograph with their trophies. From there, the coyotes will be treated and sold to a local fur buyer, with profits going to the Cancer Group.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, coyote fur is considered luxurious and is often used as lining for parkas. They also are known to prey on small animals, including livestock.
“We get farmers who call us and have calves that have been taken down by coyotes,” Herdina said. “They can do a number on the pheasant population, and they wreak havoc on the deer fawns.”
The Minnesota DNR refers to coyotes as an unprotected animal. Other mammals on that list include gophers, skunks and weasels, meaning there is no closed season for hunting them and that they may be taken in any manner other than with the aid or artificial lights or by using a motor vehicle.
“There are many different ways to hunt them,” Herdina explained. “We’ve become accustomed to getting up before the sun comes up and going around the country looking for fresh tracks.”
Herdina added that coyotes like to hunt during the daybreak hour, so his hunting party knows they are on the move. Once they find fresh tracks, the group converges on the section the coyotes are believed to be in. He knows other hunters who uses electronic game calls, such as one that mimics a dying rabbit, to lure coyotes in, a legal practice in the state of Minnesota.
“The chase is on after that,” he said.
The Minnesota DNR website states that the coyote population is increasing in Southern Minnesota because they prefer the combination of farm land and forest habitat. Their only known predators in the state are wolves and humans.
All non-hunters and the general public are welcome to the second portion of the Coyotes ‘Fur’ Cancer Fundraiser, which will have prizes that include an electronic game call, a Husqvarna chainsaw and a four-hour guided fishing trip. Raffle tickets are $20 apiece and available at Cumberland’s, the Cue Company, Dean’s Smoke Shack and Coordes Guns in Lansing.