UPDATE 2-18-2020: After hearing concerns from Ohio Farm Bureau, the ODNR Division of Wildlife will be putting its suggested rule changes regarding coyote trapping and hunting on hold for now. ODNR will engage with Farm Bureau and other stakeholders regarding this issue before proceeding further with their proposals impacting coyote trapping and hunting regulations.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife has submitted proposals to the Ohio Wildlife Council to change certain rules relating to coyotes.
One of the Division of Wildlife’s proposals would require fur taker permits for the hunting and trapping of coyotes hunted or trapped on land owned by another person.
Secondly, under current wildlife regulation, there is no closed season for coyote, which means hunters are permitted to take coyote in any legal manner at any time, including through gun hunting, trapping or any other legal means. The ODNR Division of Wildlife also has recommended limiting coyote trapping to the existing trapping season for fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum and weasel, Nov. 10 through Jan. 31.
Ohio Farm Bureau has significant concerns regarding these proposals and their impact on livestock farmers. Coyotes cause significant losses to Ohio’s livestock industry, particularly cattle, sheep and goat operations. Trapping coyotes is an important management tool to limit predation. Trapping allows the livestock owner to trap the “problem” coyote whenever it threatens their herd or flock.
“The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ proposal to restrict coyote trapping dates would create an undue burden on Ohio’s poultry and livestock farmers,” said Roger High, Ohio Farm Bureau director of livestock. “The inability to properly control coyotes by trapping during calving, lambing and kidding could very well cause livestock and poultry farmers whose production system is primarily pasture-based to be at risk of higher losses due to coyotes.”
It is important to note that this does not impact the ability of landowners to hunt coyotes using any other legal means (including gun hunting) at any time. The limited season proposal only impacts the trapping of coyotes.
Farm Bureau is asking that members voice their concerns to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Initial comments regarding these proposed rule changes may be done in person during a weeklong open house period from March 2 through 6 at any Division of Wildlife District Office or submitted online beginning Feb. 21.
Also, Ohio Wildlife Council meetings are open to the public. The next council meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19, the same day as Ag at the Capital. The meeting will be held at the ODNR Wildlife District One Office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus. NOTE: Anyone wishing to give comment at this meeting must call 614-256-6304 by Feb. 17 to register. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.
Finally, an additional statewide hearing on all proposed rules will be held at the Division of Wildlife’s District One Office at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 25. Interested parties will have the opportunity to provide input at this hearing. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules during its next meeting.