Interest in coyote hunting is increasing in West Virginia as the predator becomes a larger presence, threatening both domestic animals and wildlife. Nationally-recognized predator hunter Tom Bechdel of Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, will be presenting his popular coyote seminar during the 2003 West Virginia Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day, to be held at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park in Lewis County (Interstate 79 exit 91) September 27 and 28.
A hunter for more than 40 years, Bechdel’s seminar includes information about the life of the coyote, how to find them, how and when to call coyotes, and how to use electric and mouth calls and how to use decoys. This will be his sixth year at the Celebration, and his seminars typically draw about 200 participants.
“Within the past 10 years I have become a predator hunter in earnest,” said Bechdel. “I have a very high success rate of harvesting Eastern coyote. During the past three years I have harvested 257 coyotes in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The largest was 67 pounds, and the most I have harvested in one day is eight. During the seminar I will cover all 12 months of the coyote’s life, what he does, how he does it, and why. I will also tell how large a coyote can get, as well as what they will and will not eat and all ways of protecting yourself, livestock and pets. This will be an hour well spent to learn about your new neighbor.”
The National Hunting and Fishing Days Celebration is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the West Virginia Wildlife Federation. More than 100 vendors and exhibits will be available. The public is invited to enjoy archery, youth competition, good food, sport dogs, care and cooking of fish and game, shotgun and black powder shooting, and many more activities and door prizes. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children under age 15, and children 3 and under free. For more information call (304) 558-2771.