In the Field: Predator Collaboration

By: Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator
Whether you are part of a formal cooperative, or you simply partner with your friends and neighbors, you have experienced the benefits of the communal hunting experience. Even if your hunting community is online, you have found that being able to share and hear stories of hunting woes and thrills, keeps you going during the off-season, and makes your hunting seasons that much better. Whatever your passions are, having people to share them with makes you feel part of a community, which only fuels your passion.
The hunting community is different than most.  We have a strong tie that is not easily broken.  We can agree that magic happens as the sun rises through the tree line on opening morning. We can also be set off when a fellow hunter views an aspect of hunting differently that we do. Regardless of what differences we have, it is vital we focus on our commonalities and band together as hunters to preserve the tradition for generations to come!
Some aspects of hunting, especially predator management, will benefit from a community effort. Utilizing the skills and access of hunters, landowners, hound hunters, etc., can increase the number of predators harvested in a shorter period of time by focusing efforts to specific areas using a larger group of individuals. While opening access to dogs and hunters can be controversial at times, a community event with a specific goal may open some doors, all the while increasing your hunting enjoyment.

Tip of the Mitt QDMA Branch had their first organized predator hunt a few weeks ago. Jim Rummer, the branch president, said that the event was a huge success. They were able to round-up 50 entries, including kids, hound hunters, new hunters, and other members of the community. Their event had a $20 entry fee, and lasted for two weeks. The goal was to have some fun, and provide an opportunity for individuals to get off the couch during an “off” hunting season. They had a party afterwards, with free food and some great prizes. Their event drew three hound hunting groups, lots of kids, and several first type coyote hunters!
While just getting outside and hunting with some friends, having a party, winning a gun, etc., are all great, they were also able to harvest a good amount of predators - 48 coyotes and foxes to be precise. The way Jim broke down the benefit of this harvest was that they took out over 130 coyotes from the spring population with this hunt, which will play a big role in helping to protect the fawns that will be born this spring. If half of the coyotes were female (about 24), and each were to have an average litter of pups (6 each), that equates to an estimated 192 coyotes that would be roaming around this spring if it were not from the efforts of this predator management event.
The predator hunt the Tip of the Mitt held was a huge success on multiple levels. Not only did it help curb the predator population in their area, in brought out new hunters and youth, as well as partnered with the local hounds hunters to aid in the effort.  It also provided a great community event where a group of hunters could put aside any differences, and focus on their passion for our hunting heritage and add some more stories for those summer campfire nights. If you are part of a cooperative, I hope you will consider organizing an event like this in your area.
Have any success stories like Tip of the Mitt? Send them my way! I would love to promote your cooperative and community events that encourage a community hunting heritage. Contact me at or call 517-346-6454.

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