February NRC Preview

February NRC: Year-round Coyote Hunting in the Crosshairs

A proposal to close coyote season from mid-April through mid-July was debated heavily at the February Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting. 

The proposal was borne from the Furtaker User Group in late 2023, where a majority of stakeholder groups present voted in favor. MUCC was one of only two organizations to oppose this change. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is neutral on the proposal, supporting only the retention of the quiet period for dogs, where no dogs can be trained on or hunt coyotes — a position MUCC shares. 

The proposal contradicts Proposal G and sound scientific management, said MUCC Policy and Government Affairs Coordinator Justin Tomei.

“A few bad apples should not dictate the course of wildlife policy,” Tomei said. “This restriction is to try and appease perceived social and political pressures, something that runs afoul of Proposal G and sound scientific management.”

Commissioner John Walters requested an amendment to remove the closure from the order; both the order and Walter’s amendment are eligible for action at the March meeting. 

Walters said the proposal lacks scientific backing, and for that reason, he requested the change to the order.

“I’m not seeing any science that shows this proposed closure will impact one way over the other,” said Walters. “To then close the season for a quarter of the year is shirking responsibility instead of taking responsibility.”

The commission also saw presentations on bear population trends and antler point restrictions survey results and a brief update on the Deer Management Initiative. 

There were no orders for action in front of the commission this month.

The director had two orders up for action. Land Use Order of the Director Amendment 2 of 2024, Forest Road Inventory Update, and Fisheries Order 255.24 which sets new reporting requirements for commercial and charter anglers to comply with new legislation and the Great Lakes Consent Decree. The director will sign both orders. 

There were no land transactions exceeding 80 acres to review, however, the State Land Review Group 9 recommendations were up for information. 

The March meeting is scheduled for March 14, 2024, at Lansing Community College’s downtown campus. 

To ensure our natural resources remain protected and managed thoughtfully and our outdoor heritage defended, join Michigan United Conservation Clubs today: http://bit.ly/JoinMUCC.      

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