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Coyote Hunt and Fur Prices

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Hunters bring in more than 20 coyotes this weekend.
Saturday was the 12th annual Kidder County Sportsmen Association's predator hunt.
Reporter Sarah Gustin takes you to Steele to show you the bounty of this weekend's efforts.

Coyote hunters are on the prowl in search of the next great one
(Kent Brandt / Hunter) "Calving is going to start in the next few weeks. Right now is the breeding season for the coyotes so it's a good time to get them, they are paired up."
And so are the fur buyers.
"This year the market is up. We haven't seen the market this high for over 20 years. Carcass coyotes right now are worth anywhere from 10 to 40 dollars. That's more than we have seen them for, for a long time."
Rick Mittleider has been a fur buyer for decades.
He says as China's economy improves their demand for luxury items has also been increasing--making these dogs worth a lot more than they used to be.
(Rick Mittleider / Fur Buyer) "Demand. China is buying most of it. The catch is way down, the number of coyotes being taken this year. I am going to guess that we are at a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the last 3 year's harvest. So the demand is up."
And Brandt says the coyote population is strong in the Kidder County area.
(Sarah Gustin / sgustin@kxnet.com) "In just 1 day, the 28 teams spotted more than 100 coyotes."
(Kent Brandt / Hunter) "The ranchers every year talk about it. We get calls all the time. Could you come out and we've got calves dropping and we need to get rid of some of these coyotes."
Mittleider says it's not just coyotes, buyers are paying a lot more for game with fur.
(Rick Mittleider / Fur Buyer) "People have been averaging 4.50 to that 5 range on muskrats. Bigger ones are worth more than that. But for averages that's where they have been. Coyotes, like I said in the carcass 30-40, if they are skinned, stretched and dried they can be anywhere from 70. Depends on the coyote. Badgers anywhere from $25 to $60-$70. The markets are good on stuff."
Mittleider says in 1979 coyote prices reached nearly 120 dollars.
$5 is cheapest he remembers and that was only a few years ago.

There was a 4 way tie for 1st place with each team bringing home 3 coyotes.

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