The state Wildlife Resources Commission will hold a hearing in Raleigh on Tuesday on proposed rules that would allow daytime hunting of coyotes in the five-county area where red wolves have been reintroduced.
The hearing, at the commission's headquarters on Varsity Drive at N.C. State University's Centennial Campus, had been postponed last week because of the weather. It begins at 7 p.m.
The rules would satisfy an agreement that settled a lawsuit by conservation groups who objected to nighttime hunting of coyotes because the animals could be confused with wolves. The rules would apply to the five counties - Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, Beaufort and Washington - where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has tried to re-establish a wild population of red wolves, starting in 1987.
The new rules would allow daytime coyote hunting on private property from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset with a coyote permit. Daytime hunting would be allowed on state-owned game lands by special hunt permit only. All hunters would be required to report any coyotes killed in the five-county area.
In the state's other 95 counties, coyote hunting is allowed on private land any time, day or night, with no bag limit, and on public land at night with a permit.
The hearing is the second of two public hearings on the hunting rules and a proposal to designate the red wolf as a state-listed threatened species. The federal government considers the species endangered.
Comments also can be made online at http://bit.ly/19yjlkU or by letter to Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701. Comments will be accepted through March 16.