Call to Action: Ask the WDNR to limit the hunting of coyotes to a respectable season

Coyotes are hunted year-round in an open hunting season with unlimited daily bag statewide in Wisconsin. The scientific data doesn’t support such a reckless hunt of a wild carnivore.

Unlimited hunts on coyote are reckless conservation policies that must be changed.

Coyotes (Canis latrans)

Coyote photograph credit NPS

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are medium-sized wild canids indigenous to North America. They are seasonally monestrus socially monogamous, and territoria. Once bonded, a coyote pair remains together for an indefinite number of years, sharing responsibility for territory maintenance. Litters averaging 3–7 pups are typically born March thru May in most North American latitudes after a gestation of 60–63 days,and both parents participate in the care and rearing of young
Mature offspring may disperse or remain within their natal territories, assisting in the defense of resources and infant pups, but typically only the dominant male and female breed. Juvenile coyotes around 12 months of age can be reproductively active in their 1st winter, but available evidence suggests that juvenile and yearling females are less fecund than adult females 2 years of age. Older females 10 years of age gradually pass into reproductive senescence, whereas a male coyote was reported to have sired pups when 12 years of age. Older coyotes may continue to maintain territory residency or revert to a transient lifestyle. Source Journal of Mommalogy

The coyote, our unique Song Dog who has existed in North America since the Pleistocene, is the most persecuted native carnivore in North America. The coyote is the flagship species for all misunderstood and exploited carnivores. Poisoned, trapped, aerial gunned and killed for bounties and in contests, an estimated half a million coyotes are slaughtered every year in the U.S. — one per minute. —Project Coyote

Wonton Waste

Photos surfaced of decomposing coyote carcasses located on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lands south of the city of Washburn. The USFS and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are the investigating the dumped coyote carcasses.

“Altogether I found more than 60 coyote carcasses at the dump site before I quit counting,” said Paul DeMain, the Hayward resident who took the photos on April 29, 2018, near a popular hiking trail in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. “Killing and dumping wild animals is repugnant to living beings, life, and our coexistence with creation.”

Why doesn’t Killing the whole pack work?

When pack animals such as coyotes, dingoes and wolves are killed, the social structure of their packs breaks down. This causes coyotes to breed to replace their pups. Coyotes protect territories, and breaking up a pack brings in other coyotes. If the coyote pack has established a territory near livestock it makes more sense to leave them intact. Why not implement non lethal controls teaching the established pack to steer clear.

“Coyotes keep rodent and rabbit populations in check. Rodents and lagomorphs (rabbits and hares) are important food items for coyotes, often making up more than half of the dry weight of prey items found in scats (Fedriani et al., 2001; Morey et al., 2007).” —Project Coyote

Coyote photograph credit by John E Marriott

Coyotes are hunted year-round in an open hunting season with unlimited daily bag statewide in Wisconsin. Coyote are considered expendable because they are so adaptable. Coyotes in Wisconsin are considered furbearers that can be hunted with no daily bag limit.

Call to Action

Ask Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to limit the hunting of coyotes to a respectable season and remove the 24 hour-three-hundred-sixty-five-day year round hunt with an unlimited daily bag. Coyotes keep rodents, rabbits and feral cats in check and are essential to our ecosystems. Thus endangered & rare song birds can flourish in coyote habitat.

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB or Board) sets policy for the Department of Natural Resources and exercises authority and responsibility in accordance with state laws.

Contact information
If you have Board-related questions or would like to request information, to submit written comments, or to register to speak at a Board meeting or listening session, email or call:
Laurie J. Ross, Board Liaison
Office of the Secretary
Laurie.Ross@wisconsin.gov
608-267-7420
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Films will be working to limit coyote hunting to a respectable season. We will be working with other organizations to accomplish these goals. In the meantime please politely email the Natural Resources Board asking for a reasonable/respectful coyote hunting season. Thank you for your help!

I relished being awakened with the sounds of the coyote family outside my house while living on the prairie of South Dakota in the 1990s. I returned home from town one afternoon to find their lifeless bodies nailed to the barn. I was a renter, not the property owner, and asked them why they killed them. Their response was the only good coyote is a dead coyote. I tried to educate them that coyote will not hunt near or around their den site. But it fell on deaf ears because it’s been a culturally ingrained behavior to kill predators, such as coyote, ever since the continent was settled by western civilization. —Rachel Tilseth

“American policymakers have always needed enemies, and with wolves gone, the coyote stepped unsuspectingly into the glare”
― Dan Flores, Coyote America

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