Coyote Classic Sport for Some, Blessing to Others

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Many hunters have reunited in Dickinson for the North Dakota Coyote Classic.

And what has become a tradition for hunters, has become a blessing for another group.

Kevin Fugere has been face to face with coyotes in the past. But he's not a hunter.

"You can't hunt and trap enough of them," said Fugere, cattle rancher.

The coyotes are one of his biggest challenges as a rancher. At times his cattle have become prey.

"Young cows might not be as protective and I have lost calves from coyotes," Fugere said.

Fugere says he's noticed a lot more coyotes this year, so he welcomes hunters to help out.

"They have to control the population and they have a lot of fun doing it," Fugere said.

The 14th annual North Dakota Coyote Classic will bring in hunters from outside the state. It's one of the only occasions where strangers are welcome on private land.

"They're pretty much willing to let those guys come in and reduce any numbers that they see with threats. It's a threat to their livelihood," said Terri Thiel, Dickinson Convention and Visitors Bureau director.

Thiel says most coyote hunting takes place when there's greater visibility against the snow. And coyotes are also searching for food.

"During the summer, there's plenty of food, and so probably a little bit harder. A little harder to see them. When you get into the winter, you know they're out searching for food," Thiel said.

The tournament kicks off on Friday.

The tournament typically has about 40 teams of two.​