Michigan OKs year-round coyote hunting

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The state has approved year-round hunting of coyotes, increasing hunting from daylight hours to nighttime statewide.

Michigan residents must have a base license; nonresidents must have base and fur harvester licenses.

The move follows approval of new coyote and nighttime furbearer hunting regulations earlier this month by the Natural Resources Commission.

The new rules are effective immediately, the state said. Previously, coyotes could be killed in daylight statewide from July 15 to April 15 and at night from Oct. 15 to March 31. The ban on using dogs for hunting coyotes April 16 through July 7 remains.

Coyote sightings have become more common in southeast Michigan in the last several years, experts say. According to an animal trapping firm, there are no natural predators to coyotes.

“They’re the top of the food chain,” said Jeff Stonerock of ACT Live Trapping in Auburn Hills.

Last month, a coyote fatally attacked a dog in a Canton Township backyard, police said. And in February, an Oregon Township man who feared coyotes were threatening his chickens was fatally shot with his own gun after he fell from a tree stand, the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office said.

A report indicated that coyotes had been sighted 117 times during the past two years in Troy, mostly in the northern half of the city. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources estimates the city has 30-40 coyotes.

In March, two coyotes attacked and ran off with a small dog in Shelby Township after her owner let her out at night, WXYZ (Ch. 7) reported. In February, a cocker spaniel survived a coyote attack on Grosse Ile, the News-Herald reported.

Coyotes are likely to be spotted during their breeding period, which runs from mid January into March, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

There have been no cases of them attacking humans, according to the DNR.

Raccoons, opossums, foxes and coyotes now may be taken at night with 3 and 4 buckshot, the state said in a release. Nighttime furbearers can be taken with a bow and arrow, crossbow, a rimfire firearm .22 caliber or smaller, or a shotgun with loads other than buckshot larger than number 3, slug or cut shell. Centerfire rifles may not be used to take furbearers at night.

Portable artificial lights may be used throughout the open nighttime season of the target species. Examples include flashlights, portable battery-powered spotlights and headlamps.