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New coyote hunting rules attract excitement

Staff writer

After hearing there will be new regulations for hunting coyotes this January, Chase Carlson is eager to try hunting with artificial light.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “I think it’s going to help tremendously. I’ve never done any sort of hunting at night, so it’s going to be something completely new and different.”

Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism recently approved use of lights and thermal-imaging equipment when hunting.

Carlson, who helps organize Marion County’s annual coyote hunt, thinks night vision or thermal imaging is too expensive but plans to experiment with hunting lights.

The new rules could make a major difference even though coyote hunting isn’t as popular in Marion County as some areas, game warden Evan Deneke said.

“This is something new,” he said. “There hasn’t been a lot of night vision and stuff floating around. That’s probably going to change, and already has started to.”

That doesn’t mean anyone can buy a night-vision scope and use it. Regulations only allow use from Jan. 1 to March 31.

“It’ll be a seasonal thing, not corresponding with deer season,” Deneke said. “We obviously don’t want guys running around with thermal optics and night vision during deer season or we’re going to have a lot of deer getting poached.”

Carlson expects the county’s coyote hunt to take place before January, so it would be unaffected by the new rules.

With more than three months until the equipment can be used, Deneke already is receiving calls about how people feel. Several have voiced their approval, but there have been those less happy with the changes.

“I had one guy who called and he was angry,” Deneke said. “He did not want anyone around his property with thermals. There is some opinion on it around the county.”

The equipment will be allowed solely for hunting coyotes, and is not permitted while using a vehicle.

Even once people own the equipment they will have to register before hunting coyotes, Deneke said.

“The guys who are going to buy the permit so we know they’re out doing it are the ones we’re not going to have issues with,” he said. “The ones who aren’t buying that $2 permit are the ones we’re going to have issues with. It’s more of a way to see how many people are using this thermal technology.”

Some people are likely to ignore the new regulations, but Carlson expects most hunters to abide by the rules.

“There’s always that chance,” he said. “As a hunter, you have to trust fellow hunters to follow the regulations they’re supposed to. There are always going to be those people who abuse the system any way they can.”

Last modified Sept. 17, 2020

 

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