The red wolf area of North Carolina will once again allow coyote hunting for licensed hunters during daylight hours.
North Carolina wildlife officials told reporters coyotes will be legal to hunt once again in the red wolf area. All hunters must report each coyote hunting kill, and permits will be available online in the future.
This temporary regulation allows licensed hunters with permits to go coyote hunting during the daylight hours in Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, Washington and Beaufort counties, according to the Wildlife Resources Commission.
In addition, the agency announced the red wolves are now a state-listed threatened species. They are currently recognized as a federally endangered species. Red wolves were reintroduced into the five-county area in the 1980s. Since that time, coyotes were allowed to be hunted day and night statewide. State biologists feel shooting and trapping the coyotes are the most effective ways to control their population as they pose a threat to other wildlife, pets, and livestock.
The Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Defenders of Wildlife as well as some other environmental groups filed suit to end coyote hunting early last year in the red wolf area.
Public hearings concerning a permanent regulation will occur Feb. 3 at Columbia High School auditorium and Feb. 17 at the Wildlife Resources Commission headquarters at 1751 Varsity Drive in Raleigh. The public comment period will last until March 16.