Tennessee Commission Votes ‘No’ to Hunting Coyotes at Night

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) voted down a proposal Thursday that would have allowed hunters to take coyotes at night. 

The measure may have passed if all members were present to vote, but commissioner Jim Stroud did not attend the meeting and the vote ended in a six-to-six tie.

A majority is needed to carry a proposal so that it’s included in the new hunting regulations that are good for the next two years. 

TFWC Vice Chairman Jim Ripley introduced the proposal that would have allowed hunters to take coyotes using .22 rimfire rifles or shotguns loaded with number four buckshot (or smaller) at night on private land only.  Hunters would need written permission from landowners and would not be allowed to use spotlights.

However, night vision optics and scopes would be permitted.

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“The practice is allowed in numerous other states, including Georgia,” Ripley said, according to NewsChannel9, “I believe it’s time for us as an Agency to say, ‘Let’s not hide our head in the sand. Let’s embrace this, let’s create new opportunity. Let’s bring people into our sport who might not otherwise come in.”

Opponents raised safety concerns over night hunting and argued that current law already allows landowners to kill predators causing depredation without restrictions.  

One commenter on Youtube (see video above of the full meeting) argued that concerns over the dangers of night hunting were overblown.

“FYI: hunting accidents happen in the daytime,” wrote a Youtube community member with the handle Autobody Tech. “With your logic, we should cancel hunting all together [sic]. It’s all about firearm safety and using the proper equipment. I wish all of these folks would educate themselves with the technology and the facts before making any decisions for everyone else.”

Commissioners voting “for” the proposal included:

  • Jim Ripley
  • Tony Sanders
  • Kent Woods
  • Dennis Gardner
  • Tommy Woods
  • Hank Wright

Those voting “Against” included:

  • Connie King
  • Angie Box
  • Jimmy Granbery
  • Brian McLarren
  • Steve Jones
  • Kurt Holbert

As mentioned, TFWC may revisit the proposal in the coming years. But it looks like for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, there will be no coyote hunting at night.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Bob Clark June 2, 2020, 4:44 pm

    Amen brother

  • Joel A June 2, 2020, 3:54 pm

    Secondly, how much do these pitiful Commissioners get paid ??? Enough to not show up at a vital meeting where voting for new regulations is taking place. The Vote was split 6-6, majority would have won but it was a TIE. Why, Mr. Jim Stroud do not even come, show up to vote. Don’t give me some hard luck story either. The Commish’s who voted no are not IGNORANT, that would mean they know no better. They are stupid and punish the tax paying ethical sportsmen of this state because of the bad people. The Coyote has decimated many game species and the Red and Grey Fox populations. The Coyotes arrived around 20 years ago and their numbers have exploded. Yet my Tennessee Commissioners sit on their hands and act passive. The “NO” voters are….
    Connie King
    Angie Box
    Jimmy Granbery
    Brian McLarren
    Steve Jones
    Kurt Holbert and of course Mr. No Show Stroud.
    Your views and opinions do not show what the respectful sportsmen in this state need. Progress and management, while you are clueless.

  • Joel R. Anthony Jr. June 2, 2020, 1:53 pm

    I was born and raised a Tennessean all my 57 years. Hunter safety and etiquette was taught at an early age. My childhood dream was to be a TWRA officer. Now to the point I’m making. I have calmly argued the case with TWRA agents about night hunting to no avail. We are the only state in this region of the country that is as non-proactive and behind on this topic. I was told by the TWRA, the reason is rounds downrange and safety. So basically the stupid unethical, unsafe hunters, poachers, etc…. cause the true safe ethical Tennessee hunters to be punished. My state is as goofy and stupid as any in the country. We are last in everything from our State Fire Commission and training to our TWRA laws and the list goes on. It makes me sick and it is time for a change in the upper minds making these dumb decisions. One word TWRA, you are pathetic ! To the TWRA Officers who only enforce and have no say so in these rules. You are appreciated more than you know, I am thankful for you. For TWRA management, retire and leave your backward idea of what is needed proactively alone. Proud to be a Tennessean, ashamed of high ranking idiots,
    J Anthony

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