COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina wildlife officials have released 16 more coyotes with a special tag and if hunters kill them, they can get a free hunting license for life.
The Department of Natural Resources has been releasing the tagged coyotes since 2016, when the lawmakers created the program to help limit the population of the animals.
Coyotes attack deer and have caused a 30% decrease in the deer population in South Carolina in the past two decades, the wildlife agency said. They can also attack other small game and pets.
A hunter who kills a tagged coyote will find contact information to claim the lifetime hunting license, which can be given to a friend or family member.
Wildlife agents have tagged 96 coyotes since the program started and only about half have been claimed.
The coyote population in South Carolina is down 28% in the state since 2011, officials said.