Mostly Trapping

Meeting about coyotes in Myrtle Beach set for Jan. 30
Jan 25, 2019 11:24 ET

(Reprinted from above link)

Coyote sightings have prompted Myrtle Beach city officials to call a public information meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

And, Mike Lowder is calling for a state agency to “step up and to do something.”

The city councilman said his concerns grow with each sighting along Harrelson Boulevard, the Pine Lakes area, Grissom Parkway and even closer to his home.

“When my wife and I go out to walk and we leave home and a couple of houses down from me, there’s one standing in a driveway,” he said shaking his head.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center at 1101 Oak Street in Myrtle Beach.

There will be a wildlife biologist from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR), local nuisance wildlife operators and animal control officers from the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Lowder said he will be expecting answers in the meeting other than “you can go hire a snake chaser or somebody to get them off your property.”

Residents are not allowed to shoot weapons inside the city limits unless there is a direct threat to human life. Residents are also restricted from trapping the animals unless they are permitted to do so by DNR.

The city’s animal control officers may only respond to wild animal complaints if the animal is injured or is an immediate threat to public safety.

“Myrtle Beach residents have seen coyotes in their neighborhoods, with at least

one report of a pet being killed,” according to an information flyer from the city.

City Manager John Pedersen said through the years the coyote population tends to ebb and flow.

“Right now, it’s flowing,” he said.

He said pet owners should take responsibility for not leaving food outside and watching their pets when outside.

“I don’t even want to think how I’m going to respond if a coyote attacks one of my pets,” Lowder said. “I’ll have to plead the fifth on that one right now.”

City Attorney Tom Ellenburg said pets are considered personal property.

Coyotes are not native to the area. Lowder said, rather brought into the state to be used in fox pens so gun club members can train their dogs how to hunt. The coyotes in the city, he said, are escapees from fox pens and they must have reproduced.

Lowder said he has watched the city’s deer population increase and noticed the animals are becoming “more comfortable around people.” He said he fears coyotes will maintain their aggressive nature while becoming more comfortable around people as well.

A city flyer on dealing with coyotes states the animals weigh between 25 and 35 pounds and may resemble a collie or German shepherd. Coyotes eat rabbits, rodents and other small mammals.

The flyer provides residents with some general safety tips such as never allowing pets outside unattended and keeping pets on leashes when in public areas, bringing all food dishes inside once a pet has eaten outside and securing

from fox pens and they must have reproduced.

Lowder said he has watched the city’s deer population increase and noticed the animals are becoming “more comfortable around people.” He said he fears coyotes will maintain their aggressive nature while becoming more comfortable around people as well.

A city flyer on dealing with coyotes states the animals weigh between 25 and 35 pounds and may resemble a collie or German shepherd. Coyotes eat rabbits, rodents and other small mammals.

The flyer provides residents with some general safety tips such as never allowing pets outside unattended and keeping pets on leashes when in public areas, bringing all food dishes inside once a pet has eaten outside and securing

garbage with food. “Discourage or harass coyotes: aggressively make the coyote uncomfortable if it is invading your space,” the flyer states.

A state law allows for trapping and killing coyotes, but permits are required for property owners.

“Relocating coyotes is not an option,” the flyer states.

DNR may issue permits for removing coyotes and they may be hunted throughout the year with a valid hunting license.

Property owners can get a permit from DNR to trap and remove nuisance coyotes. Or, property owners can hire private companies to trap and remove the animals. There are 34 companies who trap wildlife in Horry County listed on the state’s DNR website at www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/docs/nwco.pdf.

Janet Morgan is the editor of the Myrtle Beach Herald. Contact her at 843-488-7258 or at janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com.