Looking to go on a predator hunt in Michigan? Now hunters will have the opportunity to pursue coyotes year-round after the state’s Natural Resources Commission voted to extend coyote season at a meeting earlier this month. Previously, coyotes could only be hunted from July 15 to April 15 during the day, and from October 15 to March 31 at night. The Commission also decided to extend the nighttime hunting season as well, and will now allow hunters to use additional types of ammunition, such as number 3 or 4 slugs at night.

Officials say that interest in hunting coyotes—and managing the population—increased after a number of recent attacks on pets. The current coyote population in Michigan is reaching a record high, and it is causing a significant uptick in complaints. Even residents in urban areas such as Royal Oak and Troy are reporting coyote sightings, and last month a dog was killed in a Canton backyard.

“I’m seeing coyotes in areas where I don’t think they should be,” Adam Bump, a furbearer specialist for the state Department of Natural Resources, told The Detroit Free Press.

The problem is especially prevalent in the southeastern Michigan because unlike many other parts of the country, there are no natural predators—or even competition—for coyotes in the area.

“They’re the top of the food chain,” Jeff Stonerock, a professional trapper, told The Detroit News.

Among North American wildlife, coyotes are very adaptable to urban living and can even hold a stable population near major metropolitan centers. Of course, this is not usually something that residents look forward to. Wildlife managers hope that by extending the season, hunters will be better able to manage the urban coyote population. Perhaps even more than extending the season, local hunters have been asking for buckshot to be used in nighttime coyote hunts.

“That’s a change that’s been asked for by our predator hunters,” Bump said. “It allows for a little more distance for hunters at night. The buckshot will travel a little farther.”

Center-fire rifles are still prohibited for nighttime shooting.

Image from Jared Tarbell on the Flickr Creative Commons

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  • Annie Wilczak

    Killing for the thrill of it..now doesn’t that make your pathetic, blood-sporting lives a bit less empty. Learn the truth about wildlife management and the benefits of natural specie balance in Nature.

  • retrofitter

    Nine months of daytime hunting and 5 months of night hunting isn’t enough? Tell me, what happens to the pups that will die of starvation? Are you serious? This is relentless pursuit and it is wrong on every level. If you understood coyote dynamics you would have to admit that you are likely causing any perceived problems to skyrocket. Please do a follow up on this in a couple of years and let us know how poor the results are. Nothing sporting about this plan, in fact it’s pathetic.

  • Google “coyote hunter shoots dog” and learn about just one of the problems glossed over in this article.

    Note that the DNR does not expect this to have a significant effect on coyote population numbers.

    Note that the statements about “top of the food chain,” “no natural predators” are not from the DNR, but rather are misleading statements that ignore the multiple and significant non-human sources of mortality–including predation on the young, old, and infirm by smaller predators.

    It should be considered animal cruelty to orphan wildlife for the sake of recreational hunting.

    • KMWP lies to the people

      Don’t listen to this radical tool. He lied all over his page and on a petition to get more signatures. Typical animal rights bottom feeding scum.

  • Chuck

    Here in Montana you can hunt’em all year, it’s always been that way. Not many people hunt in the summer months though, because the fur isn’t good. I treat’em as a target of opportunity in the summer. We have more yotes than we know what to do with, 3 easy winters in a row let them get out of hand. We and most of our neighbor’s have lost livestock this spring and last spring. And pretty much everyone I know hunts yotes all winter. So Michigan’s year round season ain’t likely to dent the population much.