Hunt draws out coyotes

USDA biologist Kyle VanWhy of Harrisburg collects blood and other samples from a coyote brought in to the 15th Annual District 9 Northeast Pennsylvania Trappers Association Coyote Hunt while Norm Strauss, 8, and Cody Strauss, 4, both of Rome, and Dillon Donnelly, 8, of Leraysville, along with Delaware Valley College student Avery Corondi look on. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

USDA biologist Kyle VanWhy of Harrisburg collects blood and other samples from a coyote brought in to the 15th Annual District 9 Northeast Pennsylvania Trappers Association Coyote Hunt while Norm Strauss, 8, and Cody Strauss, 4, both of Rome, and Dillon Donnelly, 8, of Leraysville, along with Delaware Valley College student Avery Corondi look on. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Times Shamrock Writer

Some 759 hunters participated in the 15th Annual District 9 Northeast Pennsylvania Trappers Association Coyote Hunt and brought in 35 wild dogs with Art Gatley of Wayne County taking the top honors for the heaviest animal over the weekend at 51 pounds.

He was awarded $2,000 along with the daily prize of $250 for the heaviest coyote taken on Saturday.

It was Gatley’s second coyote, having also brought one in

Mike Weiss of Tunkhannock was recognized with a lifetime achievement award for 2013 from the Pennsylvania Trappers Association. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

Mike Weiss of Tunkhannock was recognized with a lifetime achievement award for 2013 from the Pennsylvania Trappers Association. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

Friday, with both killed using dogs and a 12-gauge shotgun.

The hunt saw animals brought in from seven counties (Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming) Friday through Sunday with weigh-ins at Triton Hose Company in Tunkhannock.

John Krzan took top Friday honors of $250 for his 45.65-pound coyote harvested in Lackawanna County out of 10 brought in that day.

Tim Rickard’s 44.20-pound coyote harvested in Wayne County was the largest of 12 brought in on Sunday.

Coyote Hunt coordinator William Kalinauskas said the warmer temperatures over the weekend and a light drizzle Sunday seemed to hamper hunters’ success this year.

Last year they brought in 58 coyotes.

Sen. Lisa Baker, whose 20th district includes most of the counties within the hunt, stopped in to gauge hunter sentiment about a coyote bounty bill that recently passed the state house.

She initially talked with hunters on the floor of the hose house where the animals were being brought in and only found support from one hunter who came up to her.

However, during a luncheon that immediately followed the hunt, Kalinauskas took a show of hands from those present which revealed about 50-50 for and against.

Kyle Van Why was on hand to do some scientific sampling – pending hunter approval – for the USDA Wildlife Services Unit in Harrisburg, along with students from area colleges.

At the Triton Hose Co. weigh-in station on Sunday, from left, Frank Hares, Terry Lutz, and George Fila check the vitals on a coyote brought in by Robert Cragle of Tunkhannock. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

At the Triton Hose Co. weigh-in station on Sunday, from left, Frank Hares, Terry Lutz, and George Fila check the vitals on a coyote brought in by Robert Cragle of Tunkhannock. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

The breakdown of county of harvest was: Susquehanna (11), Wayne (7), Lackawanna (5), Wyoming (3), Pike (3), Luzerne (3), Bradford (3).

By day, each hunter’s name, coyote weight in pounds and county shot are as follows:
Friday: Brian Warholic, 36.45, Wayne; Matt Castrogiovani, 39.3, Susq.; John Krzan, 45.65, Lack.; Dale Arthur, 41.35, Susq.; Derek Schroeder, 35.7, Wyo.; Art Gatley, 34.35, Wayne; Shane Malicky, 29.4, Wayne; Mike Murnin, 22.05, Wayne; Philip Marsh, 39.95, Susq.; Philip Marsh, 36.6, Susq.

Saturday: John Danko, 31.1, Wyo.; David Bentler, 36.4, Lack.; Mike Mieldazis, 33.35, Luz.; Roland Sweet, 39.55, Brad.; John Krzan, 39.15, Lack.; Art Gatley, 51, Wayne; Matt Renzi, 35.5, Lack.; Bobby Wood, 35.9, Susq.; Johnathan Wychok, 27.1, Susq.; Phillip Marsh, 35.55, Susq.; Rick Randall, 31.16, Susq.; Jason Clancy, 38.4, Susq.; Andy Maslar, 29.25, Lack.

Sunday: Tim Rickard, 44.2, Wayne; Robert Cragle, 39.2; Zack Kinney, 37.5, Luz.; Nathan Minier, 33.25, Luz.; Gerry Devine, 40.5, Brad.; Bob Clark, 39.15, Brad.; Justin Ware, 30.7, Susq.; George Banicky, 37.75, Wayne; Ivan Baker, 37.2, Susquehanna; Jake Ellix, 30.6, Pike; Jake Ellix, 30.4, Pike; Jake Ellix, 35.6 Pike.