Antelope Eaters XX set to go in Seligman

KINGMAN - Sportsmen are reminded that the annual coyote suppression hunt sponsored by the Mohave Sportsman Club is set for March 7-8 in Seligman and entries are still being accepted.

It is called Antelope Eaters, and this year, the MSC will be hosting this hunt for the 20th time.

Biologists have identified coyotes as newborn fawn's No. 1 predator, and as recently as last year, the Arizona Game & Fish Department spent thousands of sportsmen dollars on aerial gunning projects to try to help out the antelope in several game management units in northern Arizona.

Former MSC President Herb Stipe felt that hunters could also help out in controlling predation on fawns by concentrating their efforts on coyotes in northern Arizona's prime antelope units.

Hunters immediately volunteered to help, and in the past, as many as 200 teams, some from as far away as California and Nevada, took to the field for the two-day hunt.

Coyotes are not in short supply and are one of the animals that can be hunted year-round in Arizona. It is estimated that there is a coyote for every square mile in Arizona.

Besides helping out the deer and antelope fawns, this hunt provides a huge economic boom for the town of Seligman, the headquarters of the hunt.

You won't find a room at any of the motels on Friday or Saturday night, and several of the local cafes offer special dinners to hungry hunters on Saturday night.

It is probably the only place in Arizona where you might see a sign in front of a café that says, "Welcome, coyote hunters."

Teams are comprised of two or three hunters. Fees are $50 per two-person team or $75 for three-person teams. To encourage hunters to participate in the hunt, donated prizes are given away and a raffle ticket is given to each team each day.

Hunters who are successful are given an extra ticket for each coyote they bring in. Random drawings are held on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon and $50 bills are given to those whose numbers are drawn.

That money is given to assist sportsmen with hunt-associated expenses such as fuel and rooms.

Entry forms with all the rules can be found at a number of local businesses including A&P Pawn, Accurate Arms and Ammo, On Target Enterprises and Byers Liquors.

Applications can also be picked up at the MSC's 7 Mile Hill Range.

Dale Lent is the MSC's government liaison and is in charge of the hunt. Lent has entry forms and can be contacted at (928) 757-8127.