State lawmakers look to help those hunting climbing PA coyote population

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The coyote population continues to grow in Pennsylvania despite laws allowing you to hunt coyotes 24/7 almost all year long. Now, a new bill in the House is looking to make it even more convenient for hunters.

Currently, hunters in Pennsylvania are limited as to what equipment they can use when hunting in the dark. Now, one bill in the House is looking to strip some of those restrictions.

Pennsylvania law currently bans the use of thermal and night vision equipment for hunting.

Representative Keith Gillespie says, “There would be some concern that people would use it as a means for poaching deer or other game as a result of that. And that’s why it’s important that we give the game commission the authority as to which species can be targeted. And it’s going to be exclusively for predators.”

House Bill 1188, introduced by Representative Parke Wentling, would remove that statutory restriciton, giving the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to regulate those devices as they see fit.

Gillespie says, “We have a real problem here in Pennsylvania, with coyotes being predators on deer, family pets, and other types of live stock.”

Gillespie is the Chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, and he says the coyote population has grown in Pennsylvania and this bill could go a long way in controlling that population.

“It’s going to give the hunters, the predator hunters in particular, and extra tool in their tool box. And an advantage over these extremely cunning creatures.”

On Tuesday, House Bill 1188 passed the Game and Fisheries Committee almost unanimously, and Representative Gillespie is confident it will ultimately make it to the governor’s desk.

“Again, it’s going back, giving the Game Commission the authority, who are the experts in this field, and I don’t see any opposition as we go forward with this.”

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