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A predator is an animal that lives by capturing and eating other animals. In the great state of Alabama we have quite a few predators: Bobcats, coyotes, gray fox, red fox, North American otter, weasel, mink, black bear, skunks, and raccoons. We also have the red wolf and cougar which is said to have been extirpated in the state but sightings have occurred in certain areas of the state and this has made the two animals endangered and illegal to hunt.

Predator hunting is important to keep predator populations sustainable. In many areas across the state predators are becoming over populated and moving in to areas that they become a nuisance to farmers and hunters. I personally am becoming a more avid predator hunter the more I talk to local farmers and animal sanctuaries. In my area (Northeast Alabama) I have talk to many cattle farmers that have lost cattle that was giving birth and was ambushed by a pack of coyotes, this causes a loss to their income, depending on the market at the time and the breed of cattle, it could be anywhere from say $1000- $5000+. Chicken Farmers also have to deal with their fair share of damage due to predators. Predators will cause minor damage such as rip screens, dig holes, and bend tin walls to get in after the chickens.

Your family pet and small children are also at risk of overpopulation of predators. I have heard stories in the last few weeks since I started predator hunting around my parents property of coyotes coming up to their neighbors back doors and trying to get in after the small dogs. My parents back in mid-April found out first hand that small family pets are at risk, when my mom let out one of her little dachshund and it when to the edge of the woods and was attached and killed by coyotes. A man I work with use to live in Tennessee and had his little girl stalked by coyotes while she was in the yard but thankfully the coyotes were seen before they could do anything. He said that the little girl was running around the back yard while they was on the porch and seen a coyote easing through the tall grass of a hay field that was bordering the yard.

When they saw the coyote they ran down and picked up the young girl and watched the coyote run toward the woods where there was 6-8 more coyotes in the tree line watching and waiting.

Game animals such as quails, pheasants, turkey, deer, and rabbits are also in danger of over populated predators in the area. If you hunt these and have spent plenty of time in the woods like I have, you have seen this first hand or at least seen it pictures on social media. I have had many days that deer hunting changed to coyote hunting due to coyotes chasing deer through the woods where I hunt. It definitely makes my blood boil when I see this happening and is the main reason I am now an avid predator hunter in the offseason of game animals. Be sure to do your part to keep the predator population under control in your area.

Cody Winskey

Bucks of Alabama Pro Staff

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