Public Hearing on Permanent Rules for Coyote Hunting in Red Wolf Reintroduction Area Continued to March 3

By / Fishing / Tuesday, 03 March 2015 05:00

Due to inclement weather, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s public hearing to receive comments on permanent rules regarding coyote hunting in the five-county red wolf reintroduction area in northeastern North Carolina and the designation of the red wolf as a state-listed threatened species has changed. The hearing that would have been held tonight at the Wildlife Commission’s headquarters in Raleigh has been continued to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, at the same location. This change will allow people to comment on the permanent rules in person. The hearing is the second of two scheduled to receive comments on permanent rules regarding coyote hunting in the five-county red wolf reintroduction area in northeastern North Carolina and the designation of the red wolf as a state-listed threatened species.
Comments also can be made online at www.ncpaws.org/PAWS/WRC/PublicComments/PublicEntry/PublicComments.aspx  or by letter to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701. Comments will be accepted through March 16, 2015. As amended, the permanent rules would allow daytime coyote hunting from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset on private property in Dare, Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties with a coyote hunting permit. The private property permit will be available online at www.ncwildlife.org. Daytime hunting would be allowed on state-owned game lands by special hunt permit only. All hunters would 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.
A court-ordered injunction in May 2014 halted coyote hunting in the five counties, except under extremely limited circumstances. Under temporary rules, conditional coyote hunting in the five-county reintroduction area by permit holders will be allowed, beginning Feb. 27. If a red wolf is accidentally killed, it must be reported within 24 hours by calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-855-496-5837 or the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at 1-800-662-7137. The amended rules will fulfill the requirements of a court order resulting 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.

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