Published December 16, 2010, 12:00 AM

Beulah coyote hunt to change next year

After two years, Coal Country Coyote Challenge organizer Kevin Kerner wants to try something different.

After two years, Coal Country Coyote Challenge organizer Kevin Kerner wants to try something different.

The second annual coyote hunt held Dec. 3-4 in Beulah did OK, but Kerner wants to make it so that both amateur and professionals can have fun.

“We’re going to change the format a little bit,” Kerner said. “We’re going to have two different divisions. I’m looking at things right now trying to make it work. We’re going to have one for sportsmen, the amateurs, and one for pros.”

Kerner said the amateurs have a tough time competing against the professionals.

Twenty-eight two-person teams signed up for this year’s hunt — a low number with another hunt being held the same weekend in Mandan that hosted approximately 20 teams, Kerner said.

“Most of those guys were here last year,” Kerner said of the hunters in Mandan.

For the first hunt in 2009, 46 teams signed up.

The reason for holding the event was simple.

“Just bring people into town,” Kerner said.

Todd Heid and Tory Heid, both of New Salem, took the title with five total kills.

“They’re seven-year national champions,” Kerner said. “They’re good.”

The poor weather affected the kill count, with only 39 coyotes taken this year compared to 138 in 2009.

“We had perfect weather conditions last year, while it wasn’t this year,” Kerner said.

Hunting coyotes is a combination of skill and luck.

Kerner said hunters call the coyotes to them. A good call could bring a coyote within sight quickly.

“If you do things right, yes,” Kerner said.

But a wrong call can drive coyotes away.

“If you make one little mistake, then no,” Kerner said.

Dogs aren’t allowed to chase after coyotes, and hunters can’t use snowmobiles or ATVs to assist them.

Kerner said with the big game seasons over for the most part, it gives hunters more time in the field.

“It gives them something to do before Christmas,” Kerner said. “Deer hunting is over and it’s something new to get them going again.”

Despite a lower turnout, Kerner said the date next year will stay the same, the first weekend in December.

“We’ll stick with the one we’ve had,” Kerner said.