The majority of Iowa’s hunting seasons closed this week, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is estimating that nearly 15,000 hunters will be turning their attention to coyotes. The hunting season for Iowa’s top predator never really closes, but they are most often hunted during the winter months. The DNR reports that the number of coyotes harvested has been at record levels for two of the past three years, mainly due to the popularity of predator hunting shows on television and the value of the coyote pelts. State furbearer biologist, Vince Evelsizer, says that coyote fur is going for $15 to $25 per pelt, depending on the quality, with Iowa’s harvest generally ranked average. Top pelts are found in the Dakotas, Montana and Alberta, Canada. There are fewer rules for coyote hunters, who can use predator calls, hunt day or night, use high powered rifles, hunt over bait and use groups or hounds to round them up. There is no bag limit and coyotes can be hunted on a furharvester or hunting license. Hunters must be aware, however, that wolf sightings have been increasing and they need to ensure the animal in their scope is a coyote as the wolf is a protected species in Iowa. More details about coyote hunting and the differences between wolves and coyotes can be found by following the link included below.
www.iowadnr.gov/hunting: scroll to bottom and click on Iowa’s Occasional Wildlife Visitors.