FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/5/13) – The Senate Committee is currently considering a bill that will make issues regarding the recent population rise of Coyotes easier for citizens to handle.
Over the past 40 years coyotes have made east of the Mississippi River their home. They are now found in 120 Kentucky counties. Kentucky coyotes have been living and reproducing in rural woods and farm fields. In addition, they have recently been expanding to several cities and suburban areas. Coyotes are known to be the most adaptable wildlife species on this continent. You can hear them howling in the night, especially during fall when family groups break up and by late winter they pair up and mate.
Coyotes are known to prey on deer fawn and farmer’s livestock. Livestock desecration is highest during spring when coyotes need the extra food for their pups.
Currently there is an abundance of coyotes, and the interest in hunting them is growing as well. They have been seen traveling through neighborhoods and lingering near homes, preying on resident’s small pets.
Coyotes are very hard to hunt due to their keen sense of hearing, smell and sight. They do not hunt in packs like wolves, but are known to be seen in family groups. As of right now hunting coyotes during daylight hours is legal. Kentucky has a year-round hunting season with no limit on coyotes. However, once active during the day, they have now become largely nocturnal to avoid humans.
With this in thought, under House Bill 60, the state Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources would permit hunting coyotes at night. House Bill 60 will also allow hunters to be able to use spotlights or night vision equipment to hunt, except around deer hunting season. They would also only be able to use 10 to 20 gauge shotguns or rifles that are not high-powered, and the use of bait and electronic calls will still be able to be allowed.
House Bill 60, which has already been passed by the House, will be proposed Wednesday morning to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.
SurfKY News will keep you updated as new details emerge on this issue.
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