It¹s not uncommon to see coyotes in Augusta area


Mar 11, 2001
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It¹s not uncommon to see coyotes in Augusta area

November 23, 2002

By Robert Pavey, Augusta Chronicle

Each year about this time, calls start coming in about one of nature's most secretive creatures: the coyote.

It's not that there are more of them than before. Rather, it's the time of year - autumn - when so many hunters in the woods make it more likely for the unpopular predators to be seen.

"People are in the woods, sitting and being quiet, so we always expect to see them more this time of year," said Georgia Department of Natural Resources biologist Haven Barnhill.

Coyotes were introduced to the South in the 1930s from western states and spread rapidly. In 1969, they were found in only 23 Georgia counties. Today, they are found in all Georgia and South Carolina counties.

Augusta and North Augusta have their share of coyotes, too, Barnhill said. There are many more than most people realize.

"Around cities, folks will see them more as development pushes them into isolated pockets of habitat," Barnhill said. "But they are mostly nocturnal and don't like to be seen."

Johnny Robinson, who lives on Sweetwater Road in North Augusta, had no idea how many coyotes lived on his property - until he started trying to trap them.

"As far back as two years ago, I'd noticed fewer deer in my feed plot," Robinson said. "I'd see what looked like dog tracks, all over the field."

This coyote was caught on Johnny Robinson¹s farm in Edgefield County, S.C., and later escaped. Sightings of the predators often increase during hunting season, when more people are in the woods.

Fearing they might prey on his goats, he learned to trap them - which presents its own challenges.

"Everything has to be waxed, and scent free, and you have to wear gloves," Robinson said. "If they find your scent you're wasting your time trying to catch them."

Coyotes are omnivores that feed on muscadines, melons and other fruits, in addition to mice, squirrels, birds and rabbits. They cause heavy damage to crops such as cantaloupes and watermelons but rarely kill livestock.

"It is possible coyotes can take small livestock, or sometimes kill a small deer, but feral dogs are a much bigger problem," Barnhill said. "Coyotes often get blamed for things feral dogs can do."

FORT GORDON DEER: Hunters fortunate enough to have access to Fort Gordon's finely managed military base continue to bring in some of the best bucks in the region.

This year, according to Fish & Wildlife biologist Ken Boyd, more than 160 deer have been harvested from the post's 45,000 huntable acres, including some huge, mature bucks possibly bound for the record books.

Notwithstanding this year's harvest, Fort Gordon already accounts for the majority of the top 10 scoring bucks ever taken in Richmond County. More are unquestionably lurking in the forests.

Although most hunting permits are reserved for enlistees or those with ties to the military, there are opportunities for the public to apply for 200 permits - allocated only by drawing.

If you're interested, the window of opportunity to apply for those permits is March 1-15. The drawings are conducted on Fort Gordon's behalf by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

CORPS FEES ESCALATE: Visitors to Thurmond Lake will pay higher fees to use boat ramps and some recreation areas next year.

Savannah District commander Col. Roger Gerber said the increase, effective Jan. 1, will raise day-use recreation area fees from $3 per vehicle to $4 per vehicle. The per-person fee of $1 will remain the same, as will the waiver of fees for children 12 and under.

Annual passes will remain $30, but the price for a second pass will increase from $5 to $15. The passes allow the holder and accompanying passengers to use all day-use areas for the calendar year.

Special events permits will increase from $25 to $50.

The increases are part of a nationwide price hike to offset operating and maintenance costs at Corps facilities, Gerber said.

BUSSEY POINT FINALE: After a dismal archery season punctuated with scorching temperatures, the third - and final - hunt of the year on the quality-buck managed Bussey Point Wilderness Area produced some fine bucks.

"We had about 91 hunters - 59 Friday and 32 Saturday," said Corps of Engineers ranger David Williamson. "They took six nice bucks and a doe."

Bussey Point, in Lincoln County, is the largest single parcel of Corps hunting land on Thurmond Lake, with 2,545 acres. It is open for just three hunts each year.

"We have two archery and one muzzle loader hunt," Williamson said. The September hunt produced only two does; the October hunt yielded no harvest at all. Last weekend's muzzleloader hunt was the final event.

"We've had as many as 46 harvested in a year. It varies dramatically according to weather and numbers of hunters. This is a relatively low year."

Reach Robert Pavey at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 119, or


Well-known member
Dec 11, 2001
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Even more intertesting is the fact that Armadillos are moving into central Ga. I hunt between Atlanta and Augusta and have been getting traicam pics of them pretty regular this year.


Oct 5, 2001
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I hope the 'dillos stay away from Thomson! Those things sound alot like deer when they move around in the woods and they smell really bad when you sight your rifle in on one, yuck!

Jim Thompson

Well-known member
Dec 17, 2002
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The armadillos are a lot like Hogs. Once they get there there really get there. 2 years ago we had never seen one in Heard, now they are all over the roads. Georgia Hunter, same here, the first I saw was on a trail cam 2 yrs back. Again now we see them regularly.

Not real bright either


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