RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 29, 2015) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission today approved temporary rules that will allow conditional daytime coyote hunting in the five-county red wolf reintroduction area by individuals issued an authorizing permit.
Wildlife Commissioners also approved the designation of the red wolf (Canis rufus) as a state-listed threatened species under temporary rules. The process for permanent rules for a state-listing as a threatened species and conditional hunting of coyotes is ongoing.
The action results from a lawsuit brought by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and the Animal Welfare Institute against the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The suit alleged the Wildlife Commission violated the federal Endangered Species Act by allowing coyote hunting in Dare, Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties where an experimental reintroduction of red wolves by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is occurring.
As amended, the temporary rules approved by Wildlife Commissioners will allow daytime coyote hunting from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset on private property in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties with a coyote hunting permit that will be available online in the future. Coyote hunting on public land will require a special permit issued by agency staff. All hunters will be required to report all coyotes killed in the five-county area.
In North Carolina’s other 95 counties, hunting regulations allow coyote hunting on private land at any time, day or night, with no bag limit, and on public land at night with a permit. Coyotes are found in all 100 counties of the state and pose a predatory threat to pets, livestock and native wildlife. Hunting and trapping are effective tools for landowners to manage coyote populations on a localized basis.
Public comments are being received through March 16 on permanent rules for conditional coyote hunting in the five-county area, as well as designation of the red wolf as a state-listed threatened species. Two public hearings have been scheduled at 7 p.m. on these dates and locations:
Comments on permanent rules also can be made online or by letter to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701. For more information, go to www.ncwildlife.org/ProposedRegulations.