Red Wolves Threatened by Proposed Night Hunting of Coyotes!

Please Help the Red Wolf Coalition Defeat This Proposed Rule Change

Supporters of red wolves must act now! The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) has proposed making night hunting of coyotes (along with feral pigs) LEGAL throughout North Carolina, including the five-county red wolf recovery area. This rule would allow unlimited hunting 24 hours a day with the use of artificial lights. The proposed rule would allow hunting on Sundays on private land by those using archery equipment.

The Red Wolf Coalition vigorously opposes this rule change because an increasing number of red wolves will be killed by shooters who mistake the wolves for coyotes. Gunshot mortality has increased over the past five years with “open season” daylight killing of coyotes allowed. The proposed rule change will mean more red wolf deaths, and the result could be devastating for the red wolf population. Please help to stop this from happening!

What You Can Do to Help the Red Wolf Coalition Stop This Now

  1. Go immediately to http://www.ncwildlife.org/ProposedRegulations.aspx. To make your comments part of the public record, click on the on-line comment form OR send your comments in an email to regulations@ncwildlife.org. [IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE ONLINE COMMENT FORM: If you are not a North Carolina resident, be sure to (a) specify your state of residence using the "6. State" pulldown menu and then (b) scroll all the way to the bottom of the "7. County" pulldown menu and select "Out of State."]

    The comment period closes April 16, 2012! All comments on the website become part of the public record and will be collected and given to the commissioners to review.

  2. Write to the individual commissioners, too! Click on this link for their individual email addresses:
    http://216.27.39.101/CommInfoContacts/Commissioner_Contacts.htm

  3. Voice your objections! Tell the NC Wildlife Resources Commission you oppose the rule change for two reasons:
    • Red wolves would be in jeopardy, even more than they already are with daylight coyote hunts, especially during the fall rifle seasons for bear and deer. Night spotlight hunting will increase the chance for critically endangered red wolves to be mistaken for coyotes and shot. This could happen during denning season when red wolf parents have pups to care for and raise.
    • Night hunting of coyotes and feral swine is dangerous to humans and their pets. How would public safety be managed? What about dogs that are mistaken for coyotes? As one blogger in the Charlotte Observer said regarding the Sunday accommodation for archers, “Common sense is so lacking...I can already hear stories of family pets being shot by an arrow...I wouldn’t be walking around either on a Sunday night.”
    • MORE INFO: "North Carolina Nights" on ReeseNews [watch the video].
    • MORE INFO: "Nighttime Coyote Hunting Proposed" on WUNC Radio [listen].
    • MORE INFO: "Re-endangering the red wolf?" in the Raleigh, North Carolina News and Observer [read more].
    • MORE INFO: Georgia hunter admits to killing Forest Service officer while night-hunting coyotes, will be sentenced in mid-March 2012 [read more].
    • MORE INFO: Read the article about night hunting in the Greenville, NC Reflector.

The NCWRC justifies this regulation change as an effective means for reducing the coyote population. There is no irrefutable evidence of this result. Unlimited daylight hunting, one commissioner maintains, teaches coyotes to come out at night to avoid being hunted. And, he says, it’s easier to spot them at night without their seeing the hunter.

The NCWRC also insists that night hunting will teach coyotes to avoid being around people, which will also teach them not to inhabit neighborhoods. No scientific evidence exists to substantiate these claims. In fact, just the opposite effect has been suggested. Some data indicate that coyote numbers actually increase when pressure by lethal control methods is used. Litters of pups may be larger than average, and pup survival may even increase. In light of this, the Red Wolf Coalition concludes that the real reason for the rule change is not to control coyotes but to offer shooters additional opportunities.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW! Tell your friends and neighbors! Teach them about red wolves and how this rule change could devastate one of North Carolina’s wildlife treasures, a native species of the state. Make others aware of the safety issues.

In addition, public hearings are scheduled to receive comments on the proposed night hunting rules. Please attend the hearing in your area and SPEAK UP FOR RED WOLVES!

March 20, 2012
7 p.m.
Iredell County Agricultural Extension Center
444 Bristol Dr.
Statesville, NC 28677

March 21, 2012
7 p.m.
District Court #1
Buncombe County Courthouse
60 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801

March 26, 2012
7 p.m.
Bladen County Courthouse
106 W. Broad Street
Elizabethtown, NC 28337

March 28, 2012
7 p.m.
Room 153 in the Fulford Building
Pitt Community College
4381 County Home Rd.
Greenville, N.C. 27858

March 29, 2012
7 p.m.
Centennial Campus for Wildlife Education
1751 Varsity Dr.
Raleigh, N.C. 27606