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Michigan DNR Restricts Coyote Hunting

By April 2, 2024No Comments

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission has recently approved a recommendation from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to shorten the coyote hunting season in Michigan. The Natural Resources Commission approved the measure with a 4-2 vote.  Previously, coyote hunting was allowed year-round, but under the new legislation, the season will now be closed from April 15 to July 15.

The DNR recommended the change in response to concerns about the impact on coyote population as a result of hunting while females coyotes have dependent young.  In 2016, the coyote hunting season was changed to year-round and the result was little evidence to suggest that coyote populations were reduced compared to previous years with restricted hunting periods.  Despite the data suggesting that year-round hunting hasn’t adversely impacted coyote populations, the Commission voted to once again restrict the coyote hunting season.

However, the decision to shorten the coyote hunting season has been met with opposition from some hunting groups. They argue that coyotes are a nuisance species, and that their populations need to be controlled to protect livestock, pets, and other wildlife. They also point out that coyotes are highly adaptable animals, and that they will simply adjust their behavior to avoid being hunted during the closed season.  The Michigan United Conservation Clubs, of which NMSC is a member, has filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in an attempt to overturn the recent regulations.

The new law doesn’t entirely close the door for hunters. Private landowners retain the right to manage coyotes on their properties. If these wily canids pose a threat to livestock or property, landowners can take necessary action. This exception acknowledges localized needs while safeguarding the overall population.