MOUNT PLEASANT, SC -South Carolina lawmakers want to wage war with coyotes.
State representatives have approved a coyote bounty hunting program as part of the state budget.
12 tagged coyotes could be released across the state with a $1,000 bounty on each; at least three coyotes in each of the four hunting game zones of South Carolina.
Many local officials say coyotes are a problem in the Lowcountry.
Back in September, News 2 shared John Arent’s story about a coyote that killed his son’s pet cat in the Brickyard Plantation subdivision of Mount Pleasant.
Wednesday, Arent said the bill may not have much of an impact in Charleston County. “Maybe in more rural areas…If it’s a big problem with farm animals and stuff like that. But in a place where you can’t even use a gun legally, it’s not going to do anything for these areas at all.”
Mount Pleasant Mayor Linda Page said you can’t shoot a gun in Mount Pleasant; therefore you can’t shoot a coyote.
But in nearby Isle of Palms, Mayor Dick Chronin told News 2, “With or without the bill, we encourage everyone to curb the coyote population. The City has engaged a professional trapper, the Wild Dunes Community Association has hired a professional trapper and residents also have the option to hire a professional trapper.”
But not everyone is behind the hunting bounty bill.
Friends of Animals is an international organization based out of Connecticut and their mission is to help animals globally. They called out the bill in their latest shaming campaign on social media; urging people to contact Governor Haley to veto the bill.
Arent said, “I’ve seen it firsthand with neighbors and my animal and what can happen… so something has to be done.”
The South Carolina House approved the coyote bounty program as part of a hunting bill. That proposal would require the Department of Natural Resources to tag and release the coyotes.
The bill is now before a Senate committee.