Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

A crash course in hunting coyotes

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There's been a lot of talk about coyote hunting this year. Since it's something I've never done, I thought it might be best to get some accurate information before I consider heading out. I asked Brian Hagglund, Wildlife Allocations Manager with Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship, to answer some of my questions.

While there are opportunities for hunters, licenced trappers harvest the majority of coyotes in the province. According to the five-year average between 2004 and 2008, trappers took more than 8,200 coyotes annually. If you're interested in trapping, get your hands on a 2012 Manitoba Trapping Guide, available through Manitoba Conservation.

Do you need a licence to hunt coyotes in Manitoba?

Yes. Coyote can be hunted under the authority of any current big game licence, and as such, there are no tagging requirements. For example, you can hunt coyotes under the authority of your deer or moose licence.

How old do you have to be to hunt coyotes?

To be eligible for a Manitoba hunting licence, you must be 12 years of age or older. In addition, all hunters are now required to possess a valid Hunter Education Certificate or equivalent from another jurisdiction to obtain any type of Manitoba hunting licence.

Is there a specific season for hunting coyotes?

The coyote season typically starts the last Monday in August and runs until the end of February (it ends Feb. 29 this year). Coyote hunting is allowed in all Game Hunting Areas (GHA), except GHA 38, located inside the Perimeter Highway around Winnipeg.

What's the bag limit for coyotes?

The bag limit is one coyote per year. To be clear, if you harvest a coyote under the authority of your deer licence, then you cannot harvest any more coyotes during the remainder of the coyote season, even if you have other big game licences (bear, moose, elk or caribou).

Can I hunt coyotes in a specific GHA during an open big game season? In other words, if moose season is open in an area, can I still take a coyote at that time in that area?

If you are hunting coyote while in a GHA that has any other big game season on, you must have an unused game tag (personal or party) for that area, species and time period. In other words, if you are hunting for coyote during the general deer season, then you must have an unused general deer tag to harvest a coyote. If you harvest a deer, you can no longer hunt coyote during that season, or if any other big game season is on. If you signed up as a party, you can keep hunting coyote until all hunters in the party have filled their deer tags.

Okay, so the deer season is over and I didn't take a coyote. Can I still hunt for coyote?

Yes. If all big game seasons are over and you have not harvested a coyote then you can hunt coyote under the authority of any used or unused big game licence until the coyote season is over or you harvest one.

Are there different rules for coyote hunting for non-residents (a person who is a Canadian citizen but is not a Manitoba resident) and foreign residents (a person who is neither a Canadian citizen nor a resident of Manitoba)?

Non-resident and foreign resident hunters can only hunt coyotes during the season for which they have a big game licence. For example, they can only hunt coyote under the authority of a general deer licence during the general deer season. They could not hunt coyote after the general deer season is over. All other hunting regulations pertaining to coyotes are the same.

From personal observations and talk among hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, it seems there are lots of coyotes out there. What kind of shape is the coyote population in these days?

The coyote population in Manitoba is considered healthy and can be found in good numbers in most areas of the province.

Any final tips or rules when it comes to coyote hunting?

Electronic predator calls maybe used for hunting coyote under the authority of a big game licence.

Shel Zolkewich writes about the outdoors, travel and food when she's not playing outside, traveling or eating. You can reach her with your comments at shel@shelzolkewich.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 18, 2012 C12

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