It’s not every day that you see a coyote weighing more than 50 pounds.
That is exactly what Donn Reid of Carlisle and Mike Wonders of Newville saw at this year's Mosquito Creek Sportsman’s Association, Inc. 22nd annual coyote hunt. The hunt weigh-in took place Feb. 15-17 in Frenchville, located in northwestern Pa. near Clearfield. Close to 4,000 hunters registered for the hunt, according to the association’s website. Coyotes could be shot in any county in Pennsylvania.
Reid and Wonders said they bagged their coyote in Cumberland County and the animal weighed in at 51.2 pounds to garner first prize of $7,880. The second-place coyote weighed in at 45.35 pounds.
"It was exciting," Wonders said. "It’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime situation here.”
The duo set out early on Friday morning once Reid could see the crosshairs of his Remington VTR 22-250 with Burris Optics. After a short time of calling, the pair killed one coyote and immediately switched from a mouse squeaker to a distress call. It was a short time later when they took the year’s largest coyote, and it would only be the third coyote weighed in during the competition. They did not realize how big it was until they went to investigate.
“I tried to pick it up with its back legs, and by the time I got its body three-quarters off the ground, I couldn’t lift it anymore with one arm,” Reid said.
Wonders said their coyote is one of a select few in the competition’s history to weigh more than 50 pounds. Reid said he and Wonders have been participating in the hunt since high school — taking a coyote that large, however, has made them “ecstatic.”