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WNYS Predator Hunt Inteview

In February 2006, noted outdoor writer Bob White sat down with Bark at the Moon Coyote Club founder Andrew Lewand to discuss the Western New York State Predator Hunt. WNYS Interview

Q. What prompted you to start this contest?

A. I was always reading about coyote calling contests in magazines. It seemed like a great time. The problem was that the contests always took place in western states. About 6 or 7 years ago, I entered a small game contest at a local bar. It was a small affair. I figured that I should start me own contest and see what happens.

Q. How was the turnout for that first contest?

A. I believe that there were 4 or 5 calling teams & 2 dog running teams signed up. Nonetheless, it was a fun time. That contest occurred in 2003.

Q. So, how many teams enter the contest these days?

A. In 2006, there were 61 calling teams entered and 6 dogs teams

Q. What have you done to promote the contest?

A. I still have no advertising budget. The word spreads by the increased popularity of the internet. In addition, national magazines cover the Bark at the Moon Coyote Club happenings so the contest is promoted in that fashion. I place flyers in sporting goods stores such as Dickís and Gander Mountain. The D & C newspaper has been kind to us as well.

Q. What can you tell us about the contest sponsors?

A. They have been terrific! Iíve met some nice folks as a result of this event. The sponsors who donate their products are really willing to help out in any way they can.

Q. What do they get in return?

A. Well, their product is out there for all to see. In this area, it is hard to sometimes come across some of the great products out there for predator hunting. Each sponsor is featured on our website, which one of the most visited predator hunting websites in the world.

Q. Are any changes planned for the contest, or is it good enough as it is?

A. There is always room for improvement. For 2007, it will feature some exciting changes. For example, the check-in is going to turn into informative event that will feature a skinning demonstration and a question & answer panel session for hunters of all experience levels. the "Dogs" division criteria for placing in the event has been switched to body weight vs. pure numbers of critters. also, I've changed the prize structure so that the large cash prizes are minimized and more product prizes will be available. I've done this to discourage cheating within the contest.

Q. Have you received any negative feedback concerning the contest?

A. A little bit. The newspaper will run some reader editorials at times and I received a letter from the Humane Society. The bottom line is that the hunt is held totally within the law and I do not get flustered at all be any negativity surrounding the hunt. Everybody has their own opinion. I know that all the hunters and landowners associated with this hunt are appreciative, so that is what matters to me.

Q. What does the future hold for the WNYS contest?

A. Itís a very exciting outlook! Iím vowing to procure even more sponsors for next year! I want this event, which I call a hunt vs. a contest, to be a ďmust doĒ event for all area hunters. For 2007, Iíd like to see at least 75 teams enter the contest. It seems like there are many new predator hunters in the area. I want these hunters to feel welcome at the hunt, not to be intimidated by the pressure of the hunt. Iím hoping that all entrants walk away with some sort of prize, information and lasting memory.

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