Since 1981, there has only been one reported coyote attack that claimed a human fatality, the life of Kelly Keen from Glendale, California. As such, coyote hunting is neither about a human versus coyote fad nor is it about the unending Wile E. Coyote versus the speedy Roadrunner pursuit. Coyote hunting is made popular by human intervention in keeping the balance of nature, and of course, the hunter’s pleasure that inevitably comes with it.
Fortunately for the coyote, also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf or scientifically the Canis Latrans, hunters cannot just rambo themselves into the woods and shoot whatever pelt-skinned mammal they see. Coyote hunting is now being regulated by different state governments in the US to maintain the population of this species. Hunters need to follow certain state-imposed coyote hunting rules. In Arkansas, for example, a hunter must secure a hunting license that may be purchased from sporting goods or hunting supplies stores, from the Arkansas Game and Fishing Commission (AGFC), by telephone or online. Prices of different licenses range from $10 to $300 depending on the type of license applied for. In Nebraska, hunters as young as 12 years old are eligible to hunt while accompanied by an adult.
As a coyote hunter, you must have the nose for seasons declared by certain states that are most likely having a problem with a rise in the coyote population. These hunting seasons are given a set time-frame for hunters to legally hunt. There are also tag limits or the maximum number of hunt kills imposed to help monitor the population of coyotes. A very helpful online source of information regarding hunting licenses is wildlifelicenses.com. Just choose the state where you are from its dropdown menu and it will automatically direct you to the right page for your hunting license needs.
There are basic things to consider before heading out in a legal coyote hunting season such as:
- Always bring your hunting and weapon's permit. This helps regulate the hunters who participate in the hunt and in the case of a weapon’s permit, to help regulate firepower in the field.
- Hunter orange or fluorescent orange-colored suits help increase hunters’ visibility to avoid any misfires. There have been several documented cases of hunters getting seriously injured and killed in being mistaken as part of the wildlife due to not wearing the prescribed hunting suits. This does not apply to hunters from New York, since the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is not prescribing hunter orange suits to its hunters.
- Safety during hunting is top priority. After all, coyotes are not a docile species. Hunters must carry safety equipment, a first aid kit, flashlights, food and other easy to carry survival items.
Whether a hunter is in it for the money, as in the case of trophy hunting where hunters sell tusks, hides, and body parts to museums or private entities, or in it for the thrill and excitement, legal coyote hunting is also a means to maintain the balance of nature in terms of keeping their population at containable levels. It is for the safety of their smaller prey, which includes livestock and even our children.