Bill allowing year-round coyote hunting gets support

A bill that would allow year-round coyote hunting is getting support from Upper Peninsula legislators.

State Rep. Greg Markkanen was joined by Rep. Dave Prestin in announcing his bill to allowing hunters to hunt coyotes year-round.

The plan, House Bill 5721, allows an individual who holds a fur harvester’s license to hunt coyotes year-round. The legislation comes in response to the Natural Resources Commission, which regulates state wildlife and management, shortening Michigan’s public coyote hunting season by three months and declaring a stretch from mid-April to mid-July off limits.

“Allowing coyotes to run unchecked is simply not an option,” said Markkanen R-Hancock. “These predators don’t care about seasons or regulations; they’re a constant threat to our livestock, pets, and even our children. We can’t afford to tiptoe around the issue. It’s time to face reality: we need to hunt coyotes year-round, no excuses, no exceptions.”

Markkanen and Prestin introduced a legislative package earlier this term to create an Upper Peninsula NRC. Under their proposal, the newly formed NRC would be comprised of only U.P. residents and would set hunting and fishing rules for everything north of the Mackinac Bridge. The bill has yet to receive a hearing in the House Committee on Natural Resources

“The NRC admitted there are too many coyotes,” Markkanen said. “Every member was appointed by Gov. Whitmer, and the law says they have to use sound science. Instead, they caved to political pressure from anti-hunting liberal activists. Their order is pure politics.”

Last month, a coyote attacked a sheep at the Greenfield Village open-air history museum in Dearborn, a city with a population of over 100,000 people. While ­hunters are still able to kill nuisance coyotes year-round on private land without a permit, Prestin and Markkanen noted that the provision only covers certain situations, like emergency instances, and true management is being restricted with the new parameters. The Natural Resources Commission’s decision to limit the coyote hunting season has been challenged in court by a prominent lower Michigan conservation club. Other groups have come out publicly against the decision.

“Coyote hunting plays a critical role in maintaining ecological balance and protecting our communities,” said Prestin, R-Cedar River. “Coyotes are resilient predators whose populations can quickly grow unchecked, posing threats to livestock and pets. By supporting year-round coyote hunting, we uphold our responsibility to manage wildlife populations responsibly.”

The bill was referred to the House Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee for consideration.


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