New regulations may curtail coyote population

The Herald Staff

In a 5-2 vote last week, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commissioners passed a regulation change that will allow hunters to use artificial light and thermal-imaging equipment when hunting coyotes at night beginning in 2021.

Tim Van Leiden, owner of Gun Guys in Ottawa, sees the regulation change as a positive for the activity in Kansas.

"This will allow folks to hunt them at night, which is when they are active," he said. "Hopefully it will allow hunters to curtail the populations. Coyotes have become a huge problem for farmers and ranchers lately. They've become so numerous that they are coming up into people's yards."

Once the regulation is implemented, interested hunters must purchase a Night Vision Equipment Permit for $2.50 to use artificial light, scopes and equipment that amplify visible light, and thermal-imaging scopes and thermal-imaging equipment, when hunting coyotes at night, with the following restrictions:

• Use of this equipment will be permitted from Jan. 1 to March 31 only.

• Use of this equipment will require a hunter to possess a Night Vision Equipment Permit.

• Use of this equipment will be permitted for hunting coyotes only.

• Use of a vehicle when hunting with this equipment is prohibited.

• Use of this equipment will not be permitted on department lands and waters, including WIHA and iWIHA properties.

“The amount of public input we’ve received on this proposed regulation change was truly impressive,” said KDWPT Secretary Brad Loveless. “It just goes to show that, as a state agency, we make better decisions when we take good data, consult with our subject matter experts, and invite the public to provide their experience and insights. I’m pleased with this process and believe this will expand opportunities for hunters, and will benefit our ranching community, as well.”

The new Night Vision Equipment Permit will be valid beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Until then, hunters must observe all current laws and regulations pertaining to the use of special equipment and hunting coyotes (see for details).

"My dog was attacked by a coyote out at Hope Cemetery while we were walking. She had to go to the vet and get five staples," Van Leiden said. "They've shown up behind the Orlis Cox complex, behind the ball diamonds. People with homes underneath the overpass have also complained about coyotes coming up into their yards.

"So it would not hurt my feelings if there were fewer coyotes."