Club Draws Coyote Hunters
Inside the Outdoors, January
18, 2013

Tubmill Trout Club of New Florence will hold its 13th Annual “Big Dog” Eastern Championship Coyote Hunt beginning Friday, Feb. 22-24, as part of a five-state competition held simultaneously throughout the commonwealth, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. It concludes Sunday, Feb. 24 with a buffet available during that day.

Successful hunters may take their harvested game to the Veterans of Foreign War Post #7610, in New Florence, for the animals to be weighed. Prizes will be awarded by a drawing to the six successful participants. There will be additional high-valued prizes that will be awarded. There will be additional prizes for the “Big Female” and “Big Male” classes awarded by weight only.

This year, five free raffle tickets will be given out to every registered hunter for three separate gun drawings.

According to Lindon Gamble, president, “Registered hunters may bring in as many coyotes that they have harvested, but must choose one coyote for each jackpot entered. Those not in jackpots may enter one coyotes toward a possible prize.”

He when on to state, “New for 2013, “We will draw a cash award from names of all successful hunters having been registered and taken a coyote during the time of the hunt,” he said.

These animals must be shot and not taken with a snare or trap, or any restraint system during the hunt times, caged or raised coyotes and all other types of other restraints.

“To verify that all hunters are telling the truth about their kill, this year there is the possibility of having polygraph testing done for what we feel may be questionable entries,” Gamble pointed out.

No club money goes towards the prizes of these hunts. Only the hunt entry fees support the cash prizes This year, a sponsor donated high-valued prizes.

When asked how the hunting of the eastern versus the western coyotes compare, Gamble stated, “The eastern species is much more difficult to find. You don’t know where to search for them – either in the mountains or the valleys as compared to the west where they are located in the wide-open plains.

Being inquisitive as I am, I posed the question, “Have you ever hunted for coyotes?” to which he replied to the affirmative.

In talking about these annual hunts, he said, “It’s something to do and great to see the same people each year. After a while, I get to know them and look forward to seeing each of them come back and share the tales of the past.”

He reminded me that the coyotes over the years have thinned the turkey flocks and deer herds. This hunt helps cut down on the coyote population.

Started in 1996, the TTC was established in 1998. Its initial focus and enduring commitment was to improve trout habitat and the sport of trout fishing for all. Annually, the club stocks Tubmill Run and Hendricks Run, both public fisheries, done so with quality hatchery trout several times a year. In recent years, it has stocked 4,000 to 5,000 fish for everyone’s enjoyment.

TTC also hosts “Kids’ Day,” its annual family even having special trout stocking along with prizes and food offered. This is made possible by many donations by area businesses, service and manufacturing companies. The event is heavily attended by young participants with additional family members and visitors.

Trout habitat improvement projects provide opportunities for meeting new friends and creating a healthy, beautiful habitat for stream inhabitants and anglers alike. Participants share the love of fishing by teaching the next generation how to enjoy the outdoors, enhance, improve and respect it.

In addition to “The Big Dog Hunt,” TTC also sponsors a “Top Tom” spring gobbler hunt supported by statewide participants. These events continue to grow and become annual traditions for many participants.

The question may arise, “Why then does a trout club, such as TTC, have coyote and turkey hunts have in common?”

“To support the collecting of funds for trout stocking, outdoor related youth events and trout stream improvement projects, we look at hunts as a different fundraising method,” Gamble said, “ during non-fishing times of the year.”

For more information, contact Gamble at 724-235-9798 or LINGAMBLE1@VERIZON.NET. To register online, visit the club's websie.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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