Alabama is at the forefront of change at the moment. This time, it involves a specific measure that the governor of the state signed into action recently.
Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that will now allow Alabamans the ability to hunt coyotes and feral hogs at night. While this may not seem like a landmark bill to some, others will be incredibly excited by this new measure.
The bill will allow the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to create an official night hunting season for coyotes and feral hogs. This comes in an announcement from Outdoor Alabama.
While this is not a brand new regulation, rather, it is a modification to an existing regulation. Before the Governor signed this bill, people had to get a special permit to hunt these animals at night. Instead, the new regulation will only require a $15 license. For hunters, this means not having to go through a tedious process to get the night hunting permit.
The New Legislation for Hunting Coyotes and Feral Hogs at Night in Alabama
Feral hogs have been causing a ton of damage around the state. It is estimated that these pigs have caused around $50 million in property damage. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources also reported that the feral pigs are ruining natural wildlife habitats.
Feral hogs are not just a nuisance to the southern state but all across America. The U.S. Department of Agriculture believes that the animals are responsible for over $800 million worth of agriculture damage every year throughout America.
So, to combat this, Alabama has no closed season on the feral pigs. The state also doesn’t have a limit on the number of swine you can take.
Coyotes, on the other hand, damage other valuable resources to the state. According to Alabama state officials, Coyotes have a significant impact on the white-tailed deer populations. It is also worth noting that the animals are not native to the state.
They were introduced by hunters in the early 1900s specifically so they could be hunted. But, since then, the animals have run rampant across the state.
How Long Will the Night Hunting Season Run?
Even though the governor signed this new night hunting bill into action, Alabama officials are not expecting a drastic change in population control for either species.
The director of Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Chuck Sykes, gave his thoughts on the hunting law change.
“We don’t think this is the silver bullet,” Skyes said. “We’re not saying going hunting at night is going to eliminate the hog problem because it’s not. What we are doing is giving people more [opportunities] to remove more pigs and coyotes if they choose to do so. It is another tool to reduce the number of predators.”
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said that the 2021 season for hunting both animals will begin on July 1. The end of the night hunting season will end on November 1. But, the 2022 season will run much longer. That season is expected to run from February to November.