NC Night Hunts Darken Prospects for Red Wolf Recovery
A new rule proposed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) would allow round-the-clock hunting of coyotes and feral pigs throughout North Carolina. Hunting under cover of darkness with the use of artificial lights, as well as hunting on private land using archery equipment, would be permitted under this proposal.
If approved, night hunting is likely to result in many more accidental shootings of the state’s endangered population of red wolves (Canis rufus). Red wolves are difficult to distinguish from coyotes, even in daylight. Already, shooting is the number one cause of death for the wolves, which may number no more than 110 in North Carolina and are currently protected within a five-county recovery area on the Albemarle Peninsula. Night hunting of coyotes and feral pigs is also more likely to cause intense suffering—since quick kills are less likely at night—as well as endanger hikers, campers, companion animals, and other unintended targets.