A request to limit coyote hunting during deer firearm hunting season has been rejected by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Board of Commissioners.
The KDWPT law enforcement staff requested that Commissioners ban coyote hunters from using two-way radios and hunting from vehicles specifically during regular deer firearm season, said Mike Miller, information production chief.
Law enforcement had a number of incidents where hunters using two-way radios and hunting from vehicles during regular deer firearm season had claimed they were hunting coyotes when they were really hunting deer.
By prohibiting coyote hunters from using two-way radios and hunting from vehicles, KDWPT law enforcement anticipated it would reduce the opportunity for illegal deer hunting.
Currently, coyote hunters are allowed to use two-way radios and hunt from vehicles 365 days a year. The proposed change would be in effect only during the regular 12-day deer firearm season.
Coyote hunters met with the commissioners during a workshop session on the regulation and said they felt the ruling was unfair to coyote hunters. Just because some deer hunters were trying to illegally hunt, the coyote hunters felt they shouldn't be penalized, Miller said.
After reviewing the information and considering the proposal for three meetings, the Commission met at the end of June and agreed with the coyote hunters and rejected the proposal.
The Commission wants further data from law enforcement and will review the issue again in January, Miller said.
For hundreds of years, coyotes have been predators and hunted livestock including cattle, sheep and goats. They are able to vary their hunting techniques for the different species and are very good hunters.
"They are very cunning animals. They are a very adaptive and efficient predator," Miller said.
The loss of income and investment for ranchers has caused them to hunt coyotes to reduce their losses. Coyote hunting is allowed year round and a variety of methods are used to catch and kill coyotes.
One of the more popular forms of hunting that is also a recreation for some hunters is using dogs to chase down, catch and kill the coyotes.
The dogs are transported in dog boxes in the backs of pickups or adapted vehicles called "dog wagons" or "coyote wagons." Once a coyote is spotted the vehicle gets the dogs close to the coyote then slows down and the dogs, usually greyhounds, are released and have to run the coyote down and kill it.
Greyhounds are used because they very fast and coyotes are good runners.
Besides dogs, hunters can use guns, foothold traps and predator calls as well as two-way radios and hunt from vehicles.
Coyotes have no natural predators in Kansas so hunting helps keep their numbers down.
A problem for coyotes is disease. Coyotes are vulnerable to sarcoptic mange, a disease spread though mites and is 100 percent fatal. Sarcoptic Mange went through the coyote population in Kansas and reduced their numbers but they have rebounded and hunting is still done especially in the western part of the state, Miller said.