Those who live in Alabama will now legally be allowed to kill coyotes at night, as per new legislation signed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.
Going forward, this new legislation will allow Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship to establish a season for hunting feral hogs and coyotes at night-time without a depredation permit being required.
Prior to this, hunters needed to get hold of a permit to hunt coyotes and feral hogs at night, which was only issued to landowners or to individuals who been delegated to hunt these animals. Going forward, hunters will simply be able to purchase a $15 licence instead.
In a press release, Matt Weathers, Chief of Enforcement with the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division, argued that this new permit will make things much easier for hunters, as well as for WFF staff:
To this point in our state, those who wish to hunt feral swine or coyotes during night-time hours have to get a permit that is only issued to landowners.
Those landowners can list friends, family or delegates on the permit to take those animals at night for crop damage, property damage or livestock damage. This is done through special permitting through the local WFF District Office.
It represents a new hunting activity for the state, and it will enlist as many as 200,000 hunters in this fight against two insidious predators. So, a new hunting activity; that’s a good thing. You have more feral swine and coyotes being removed from the state; that’s a good thing, too. It’s a win-win.
According to Weathers, depredation permits will still be available to landowners who would prefer to stick to the previous process.
As per the WFF, coyotes are understood to have a significant impact on white-tailed deer populations, being effective predators of whitetail fawns.
WFF Director, Chuck Sykes, said:
We don’t think this is the silver bullet. We’re not saying going hunting at night is going to eliminate the hog problem, because it’s not. What we are doing is giving people more opportunity to remove more pigs and coyotes if they choose to do so. It is another tool to reduce the number of predators.
Predator control is a big buzzword right now. We’re giving you the opportunity to do what you think is best to manage your property.
Sykes said the 2021 season for hunting feral swine and coyotes at night will probably begin on July 1, continuing until November 1. From 2022 Sykes stated the night-time season will likely start from February 11, running up until November 1.