Michigan Approves Year-round Coyote Hunting

By Glen Wunderlich

With Michigan’s deer numbers on the decline and our coyote population on the rise, our Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has taken a bold step to combat this disappointing trend by lifting protections on coyotes. Effective immediately, coyote hunting season is open year-round in Michigan, thus bringing us in line with other states in the Midwest region. In addition, raccoons, opossums, foxes and coyotes now may be taken at night with number 3 and 4 buckshot.

Coyote Pup Taken with Lapua Sub-Sonic .22 Ammo

Coyote Pup Taken with Lapua Sub-Sonic .22 Ammo

Nighttime furbearers can be taken with a bow and arrow, crossbow, a rimfire firearm .22 caliber or smaller, or a shotgun with loads other than buckshot larger than number 3, slug or cut shell. Centerfire rifles still may not be used to take furbearers at night.

These refreshing changes to common-sense game management tools couldn’t come at a more appropriate time, insofar as Michigan’s new crop of fawns will begin to be born at any time. It is the first 10 days of a fawn’s life, when fawns are most vulnerable to predators and when coyotes do the most damage to our deer herd.

A newborn fawn’s only defense against attack is to remain motionless, while it instinctively calms its heartbeat from 175 beats per minute to about 60 beats. The slower and deeper breathing has the effect of reducing airborne scent in an effort to remain “invisible” to predators’ noses.

Often, humans will encounter newborn fawns bedded, because that’s what they do for some 95 percent of the first 10 days or so. It’s important to understand that the mother doe has not abandoned her offspring, but will return to nurse her fawns during the day. If ever we should adopt a hands-off policy for wildlife, it is at this precarious time in the life of a deer.

However, spring is also the time that mated pairs of coyotes are not only feeding themselves but 4 to 7 of their pups. Opportunistic coyotes are omnivorous and will eat about anything including small mammals, plants, and insects. Defenseless fawns, however, are always on the spring menu.

If you choose to hunt coyotes, here are the remaining rules to keep in mind.

*Dogs may not be used to hunt coyotes April 16 through July 7.

*Nighttime hunting season dates now match the daytime hunting season dates by species. No longer do we have conflicting dates just because we may choose to hunt at night.

*Portable artificial lights may be used throughout the open nighttime season of the target species.

*Nighttime hunters must use the aid of a game or predator call and/or dogs while hunting at night. Dogs may not be used from April 16 through July 7. While hunting with dogs at night, a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow may be loaded at the point of kill only.

*To hunt coyotes, Michigan residents must have a valid base license, and nonresidents must have a valid base license and a valid fur harvester license. Residents hunting other furbearing species will need a base license and a fur harvester license.

* A license or written permit is not needed. Raccoons and coyotes may be taken all year on private property by a property owner or designee when the raccoons or coyotes are doing or about to do damage to private property.

I am left with one wish: to learn the difference between a coyote with good intentions and one determined to do damage. For now, I’ll have to be content with some head scratching.

Lion Kill Fest: The Impact of the HSUS Ideology

When the “Cecil” the lion issue took place last summer, the Humane Society of the United States, the largest animal-rights organization in the country, fought to end the importation of lion trophies to the United States under the guise of protecting the remaining “endangered” population (an action the Sportsmen’s Alliance fought).

HSUS won that battle in part (but not in full, as explained below). Lion trophy importation from Zimbabwe (where the Cecil incident occurred) has effectively ended (although the door has not yet been conclusively slammed shut). But, as the Sportsmen’s Alliance said would happen, the consequence of shutting down trophy imports from Zimbabwe has had the opposite effect of what HSUS claimed – as now unsustainable populations of lions will likely face slaughter as new rules shut down the flow of money from U.S. trophy hunters.Lion-By Rumpleteaser (FlickrCC) sized for web

Currently, at least 200 lions are being considered for culling because of an unsustainable management paradigm – overpopulation and no revenue stream for continued support. And a revenue stream it is.

If just those 200 lions are killed, that’s a loss of $10 million dollars to just one area’s anti-poaching efforts, habitat conservation and acquisition, academic studies and all associated ancillary benefits to the local economy and people. The shortsighted and unsustainable rhetoric of the Humane Society of the United States and other animal-rights “warriors” is leading to more bloodshed in the form of economic and intrinsic loss of wildlife in Africa in mere months than has ever been spilled by hunters.

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DNR: U.P. survey results indicate no significant change in Michigan’s wolf population

Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife division officials said today the size of the state’s wolf population has not changed significantly since the last survey was conducted in 2014.

DNR wildlife researchers estimate there was a minimum of 618 wolves in the Upper Peninsula this winter. The 2014 minimum population estimate was 636 wolves.

A wolf walks through the Upper Peninsula woodlands. “The confidence intervals of the 2014 and 2016 estimates overlap, thus we can’t say with statistical confidence that the population decreased”, said Kevin Swanson, wildlife management specialist with the DNR’s Bear and Wolf Program in Marquette.

Confidence intervals are a range of values that describe the uncertainty surrounding an estimate.

Swanson said, based on the 2016 minimum population estimate, it is clear that wolf numbers in Michigan are viable, stable and have experienced no significant change since 2014.

“Currently, deer numbers in the U.P. are at lows not seen in decades and we wondered if there would be a decline in wolf numbers as a result of this reduction in their primary source of prey,” Swanson said. “We also did not observe a significant difference in the number and average size of wolf packs as compared to 2014.” Read more

New Service Puts Your Dream Hunt Just A Click Away

Travelers have long booked flights, hotels, and rental car reservations through websites that show a variety of available options to help them find the best price. Now this same service is available to hunters with the launch of BookYourHunt.com, the very first online booking platform specifically for hunters. The new site places online booking technology at the fingertips of hunters for the first time, allowing a user to search for hunting trips by country or animal species and compare prices from outfitters around the world.While it’s possible look up outfitters on their individual websites, many of them don’t post prices, making it hard to comparison shop. With BookYourHunt.com, users know immediately how much the hunt will cost, what is included, and what dates are available. It’s easy to ask questions, get more information about the outfitter, compare the hunt with a similar one, or book it immediately. The offers come directly from the outfitter, so users pay no booking fees. BookYourHunt.com offers a “Best Price Guarantee” and will match any lower published rate for the hunt. Read more

Natural Resources Commission approves year-round coyote hunting season in Michigan

The Natural Resources Commission, at its monthly meeting in Lansing, Michigan, earlier this month, approved new coyote and nighttime furbearer hunting regulations.

Effective immediately, coyote hunting season is open year-round in Michigan. Please note that dogs may not be used to hunt coyotes April 16 through July 7.

Nighttime hunting season dates now match the daytime hunting season dates by species. Coyote and opossum hunting are open year-round. Raccoon hunting is Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, and fox hunting runs Oct. 15 through March 1.

Raccoons, opossums, foxes and coyotes now may be taken at night with 3 and 4 buckshot. Nighttime furbearers can be taken with a bow and arrow, crossbow, a rimfire firearm .22 caliber or smaller, or a shotgun with loads other than buckshot larger than number 3, slug or cut shell. Centerfire rifles may not be used to take furbearers at night. Read more

NWTF Launches Wild Turkey Basics Microsite

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation’s webpage already is a viable resource for aspiring and experienced turkey hunters, but with the launch of its new Wild Turkey Basics microsite, the NWTF has established its site as the go-to, one-stop-shop for all things wild turkey.The Wild Turkey Basics page is designed to provide visitors with a wealth of information about the two turkey species: the North American wild turkey and the Ocellated turkey. The North American species has five subspecies including: the Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam’s and Gould’s. The Ocellated turkey is a completely unique species located in Mexico and parts of Central America. Read more

New Ameristep Warlock Blind

Kryptek™ Highlander™ camo pattern casts a visually magic spell on the new Ameristep Warlock.

New Oversized, Bow-hunter-friendly Ameristep Warlock Blind With NS3 Technology Performs A Total Disappearing Act

PLANO, IL- The Ameristep® 2016 line-up of ground blinds is full of incredible models to cover any hunting or photography situation – including 7 all-new designs. Suffice it to say that if you can’t find an Ameristep blind to fulfill your needs, you should probably focus more on, say…knitting.

Ameristep’s ALL-NEW Warlock Blind delivers anything a hunter could ask for, starting with its striking, high-tech Kryptek™ Highlander™ camo finish. Ample dimensions come next. With a footprint of 65″ X 65″ and a height of 72″, the Warlock Blind won’t rub you wrong. Big dudes, bow hunters, hunting couples, families and camera crews will all lend their enthusiastic support to the Ameristep Warlock. Read more

Senate Passes Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Priorities in Energy Legislation

April 20, 2016 (Washington, DC) – After five years and multiple attempts to pass a comprehensive sportsmen’s package of legislation through the U.S. Senate, a bipartisan amendment containing many provisions of great importance to the hunting and fishing conservation community was adopted with a vote of 97-0 under the Natural Resources Title of the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012).

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Pioneer Airbow Now In Production

BLOOMFIELD, New York — The groundbreaking Pioneer Airbow from Benjamin has been a hot topic among hunters since its unveiling in January and now it’s about to get real: the Airbow begins shipping this week. Customers who placed orders through the Crosman website before February 3 will be among the first to receive the highly anticipated hybrid hunting product that combines the ease-of-use and safety of compressed air with the primitive weapon excitement of archery.

The Airbow embodies some of the major advancements in air gun technology that have occurred in recent years. A pneumatic weapon designed, developed, and built in the USA, the Airbow is based on a technology first utillized in a weapon in the 15th century. The projectile is an arrow that, other than the removal of the nock, is no different than that used by traditional bowhunters. And the platform incorporates a stock, just like a rifle or crossbow.

An integrated pressure regulator enables consistent shots up to 450 feet per second (FPS). This equates to 168 foot pounds of energy (FPE), placing the Airbow in the same sub-200 FPE category and sub-100 yard effective range of other archery products.

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