In an effort to keep coyotes away from the residential areas inside DeBordieu, management of the Waccamaw Neck private community have set up traps along the perimeter of the property. It’s the type of traps being used that has some residents concerned.
An e-mail sent to DeBordieu residents last week from the community’s Architectural Review Board states a one-year contract has been signed with Trutech Wildlife and Animal Control to help with the coyote situation.
“Representatives from Trutech will be setting ten foothold traps around the perimeter of the colony. The traps will be identified with red tape, placed within 10 to 15 feet of the trap, approximately 4 to 5 feet above ground. The control specialists will also use canine attractant to lure the coyotes into the foothold trap,” the e-mail states.
“Trap locations may change depending upon the traffic patterns of the coyotes. The traps will be checked every morning for activity.”
Elaine Freeman and her family have lived in DeBordieu since it was founded in the early 1970s. She said one of the things that attracted her to the property was the wildlife she saw running around. Now, she fears the traps which are intended for coyotes will catch non-harmful animals. She said founder Wallace Pate was “a great steward of the land” and she feels the traps are “contrary to the spirit of the founding of DeBordieu Colony.” Freeman said any animal caught in these types of traps will be killed. “The coyotes will wait by the traps for other prey to be caught,” she said. “Coyotes strike at dusk and night. They do not strike in the middle of the day.” She said “if the board (of directors) were educated” on the matter they may change the scope of the contract signed with the animal control company. “There are more humane ways to trap. There are many volunteer hunters,” Freeman said.
Blanche Brown, general manager of the DeBordieu Homeowners Association, said the traps being used are the ones recommended by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The DNR website states trapping “is probably the most effective tool for removing problem coyotes.” Only foothold traps, size number two and smaller are legal for use on coyotes in South Carolina.
Brown said DNR “tells what to use and what not to use.” Heather Freeman, daughter of Elaine Freeman, said she is upset the community assessment fee she recently paid is helping pay for the traps.
“Leg hold traps are torturous and lots of animals get caught in them and destroyed that were not the intended victim,” she said. Brown denied the claim that animals other than coyotes that get caught will be killed.
She also said residents have been told for about a year that something was going to be done to help with the coyote problem. She said the matter has been discussed at homeowner association meetings.
Elaine Freeman said because she lives in Spartanburg most of the time she has been unable to attend the meetings.
By Scott Harper
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