Friday, January 11, 2019

Dillon coyote hunting derby aims to bring community together, protect local livestock

On Friday evening, dozens of local hunters will check in for the Dog Days of Winter Coyote Derby, an annual 48-hour competitive coyote hunting contest hosted in Dillon. The goal? Shoot as many coyotes as you can, wherever you can, legally, so long as you make it to the weekend check-ins on time. Weston Basso, 19, took over as derby organizer at the end of December. The Nevada native has only been in Montana for six months, but he said it’s clear this event has been a big deal for the Dillon community since it started five years ago. “Dillon is such a big hunting and ranching community, so they really get behind this and join in,” Basso said. That’s especially true for Ken Visser, an assistant organizer of the derby and owner of Visser Angus, a Dillon cattle outfit. He said he’s been a part of the agricultural industry his whole life, and dealing with coyote predation on livestock has been a part of it. Visser said his cattle have already started calving, which is early compared to the February-through-April calving season common for most western Montana ranchers. And he says cattle are at increased risk of coyote predation during calving season, as coyotes and their pups often gang up on calves and their mothers...MORE

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