December 13, 2005
This is the hunting season, but it’s always open season on coyotes. The animal migrated into South Carolina years ago and are now a threat to hunters and pet owners. News 12 finds out why Aiken County has such a growing problem.
For 200 years, South Carolina was coyote free. But fox hunters brought them to the state and now they’re taking over. It appears Aiken County is one of the most well-stocked in South Carolina.
“We tell our hunters to shoot them and they usually do that when they have the opportunity,” said Kenny Jarrett.
Just ask Kenny Jarrett. He owns the Hunting Club on Cowden Plantation in Jackson. Jarrett believes the coyotes are hurting his deer, especially his fawns.
“Be seeing less fawns, there’s no other reason to say. Everything else has been here all along, except the coyotes,” Jarrett said.
The first coyote was seen here at Cowden Plantation ten years ago, but they really became a problem four years ago.
A few years ago, Jarrett started hiring trappers to catch some of the coyotes. But right next door to Jarrett’s land is the Savannah River Site’s 230,000 acres. They don’t trap coyotes, which could turn into a problem for the rest of the county. SRS is studying the problem.
Coyotes are also a problem in Aiken’s Hitchcock Woods. This fall, state workers set up traps and caught five coyotes. And, the animals can also be a problem in your backyard. Jarrett’s sources tell him coyotes have been known to kill cats and dogs.
“We’ll probably never get rid of them. I think it’s just a maintenance thing,” Jarrett said.
An imported nuisance that’s now a way of life in Aiken County.