Action Alert: Maine Coyote Hunt/Trap Proposed Amendments

October 5, 2020 | by National Deer Alliance

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) recently received two valid petitions to consider amending Chapter 16 – Hunting (Predator Hunting Contests) and Chapter 17 – Trapping (Coyote Trapping Season) of the MDIFW Rules as they pertain to the hunting and trapping of coyote and predator hunting contests. Ultimately, the proposed rulemakings to amend Chapter 16 and Chapter 17 serve no purpose other than to undermine coyote hunting and trapping opportunities and outright eliminate predator hunting contests.

Chapter 16 of the MDIFW rules specifically pertains to the hunting of coyote and predator hunting contests. The petition has requested the rules be modified to create a definition for coyote and predator hunting contests, establish a registration requirement for all coyotes harvested and create a daily bag and possession limit for coyote with a modified hunting season. The petition has also requested that two new rule sections be created which will limit the harvest of coyote to those weighing less than 40 pounds and implement a prohibition on any predator hunting contests. Chapter 17 of the rules pertains to the coyote trapping season. The petition requests that the rules be modified to remove the coyote from the statewide general trapping season.

The National Deer Alliance (NDA) and Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) outline predator and competitor management as a key focus area. It's not a priority because we don't appreciate predators and the role they play in wildlife management; rather, we understand that careful management of predator populations is for the greater good of all wildlife, and people. Trapping is one of the most effective management tools for predators, including coyotes, which are a significant predator of deer fawns. We support MDIFW’s science-based management of the state’s wildlife. Unfortunately, the proposed amendments banning hunting tournaments and coyote trapping is in response to an emotionally-driven petition, which would undermine the scientific process and the efforts and expertise of the MDIFW.

MDIFW is holding virtual public hearings on Chapters 16 and 17. The Chapter 16 hearing will be held on October 6, 2020 at 4:00pm, and the Chapter 17 hearing will be held on October 7, 2020 at 4:00pm. We encourage NDA and QDMA members to attend the hearings if possible and submit comments for consideration by MDIFW. To access the virtual public hearings or submit comments, contact Becky Orff at 207-287-5202 or [email protected].