Delaware’s coyote season in progress

 (AP Photo/Janet Kessler)

(AP Photo/Janet Kessler)

Delaware’s second coyote hunting season is underway and the Division of Fish & Wildlife is reminding hunters to report their harvest.

The hunting season remains open through Feb. 28 while the trapping season runs from Dec. 1 through March 10.

According to the state’s hunting regulations, all hunted or trapped coyotes must be reported to the division within one business day by calling 302-735-3600.

The Div. of Fish & Wildlife said the reports will provide information about the coyote population in the state, further guiding the division’s scientific management of their numbers. 

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The coyote is a non-native species to the First State. Within the past decade, coyotes have expanded their territory to include Delaware. Coyotes can threaten small farm animals as well as cats and small dogs. With proper management, however, the state does not expect coyotes to adversely affect populations of most wildlife species, including Delaware’s white-tailed deer population. 

Conversely, the division said coyotes may indirectly benefit ground nesting birds such as wild turkey by displacing turkey predators. Coyotes also add biological diversity and may further provide ecological balance to the state’s other wildlife populations by suppressing overabundant predators such as the red fox and raccoons.

Additional hunting/trapping regulations include: 

Coyotes can only be harvested with the following firearms: shotgun, rimfire or centerfire rifle up to .25 caliber, muzzle-loading rifle, longbow and crossbow; during deer firearms seasons, only firearms legal for deer hunting can be used
A hunting license is required to hunt coyotes
Hunting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset; Sunday hunting is prohibited.

Delaware’s first coyote hunting and trapping season was uneventful. Only one male coyote was harvested by a deer hunter in the Hockessin area in January. 

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