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Some conservation clubs, state NRC clash over coyote management

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The Michigan Natural Resources Commission brought back a three-month “quiet period," forbidding hunters from targeting coyotes. Some conservation groups say they'll sue

A year-round coyote season was introduced in 2016… amid concerns they were a growing nuisance to property owners and having an adverse effect on deer populations.

But, eight years later, the Natural Resources Commission says the move didn’t really help those issues. Some new concerns were raised that hunting pregnant mothers and pups did not fall under “fair chase” ethics.

NRC chair Tom Baird spoke in support of bringing back the “quiet period” to give the coyote pups more time to grow.

“There’s no effect on population, a minor reduction in opportunity… we don’t eat coyotes, we can’t use the fur from that period of time, nuisance hunting is still allowed, on private property. There’s very little reason biologically, to continue the hunt during the quiet period.”

The decision passed in a 4-2 vote but it came with opposition.

The Michigan United Conservation Clubs, announced its filing a lawsuit… saying the decision came without enough scientific evidence.

Amy Trotter spearheads the group. She said she’s concerned the NRC relied too much on public comment from non-hunters.

“MUCC, and all of those other organizations, and individuals that had testified, really want to provide the maximum amount of opportunity to harvest a coyote as long as it is, again, done sustainably and not at the detriment of the population.”

The Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers filed a similar suit in Mackinac County.

Hunters will still be able to go after coyotes for the other nine months of the year and kill them on private property if they pose a threat.

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