CONCORD, N.C. -- A group of hunters here in the Charlotte area has come up with their own method to solve the areas growing coyote problem; a coyote hunting tournament was held last weekend where hunters could register for $25 and shoot coyotes across the state for a chance at prizes.
The Carolina Coyote Classic is open to people in all 100 counties in North Carolina, and the main goal of it is to control the coyote population.
For the fourth year in a row, John MacPherson's coyote hunting tournament last weekend was considered a success. One-hundred-thirty-four hunters killed 51 coyotes across the state, with trophies and prize money awarded to teams with the most "harvests", or with the largest coyote.
He says the tournament is for sport for these hunters, but it's also a service that he says has gotten nothing but positive reviews.
"Huge nuisance, there's too many of them and it's been supported throughout the community," MacPherson said. "Hunters and non-hunters."
In recent weeks, the town of Tega Cay in South Carolina hired a company to come in and set traps to deal with their coyote problem. They only caught four. MacPherson says that's not the best way to keep their population under control.
"The only way to give the wildlife, livestock owners, pet owners any relief is to harvest a large amount of coyotes in a short amount of time to keep up with their reproductive rate," MacPherson said.
Eric Winter says every day he has customers at Concord's Bass Pro Shop asking about items like the coyote calls or coyote traps.
"Don't make it easy, don't give them an easy place to stay or live," Winter said. "Then they're going to go bother somebody else."
He says if you don't have a gun, or aren't able to hunt coyotes where you live, you need to take the preventative measures to keep them away.
"If you feed your animals outside when the pets are finished eating, clean the rest of that-- don't leave it out," Winter said. "Put your trash in a secure container so they don't get into it."
Here in Mecklenburg County, N.C. Wildlife officers say you're not allowed to hunt coyotes if you're inside Charlotte's city limits and you potentially may not be able to if you're in one of the other municipalities, but if you're strictly within the county, you are allowed to hunt them and you're allowed to use a firearm.