The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission approved temporary rules Thursday that allow daytime hunting of coyotes in five counties where red wolves roam.
The statewide open season on coyotes prompted a lawsuit last year because wolves, which look like coyotes, were being shot. A federal judge banned coyote hunting in wolf territory, but later modified the ban to allow daytime hunting.
The temporary rules the commission approved allow coyote hunting from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset on private property in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties.
The commission also recognized red wolves, for the first time, as a state-listed threatened species. The federal government considers the species endangered.
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The commission said it will develop rules to make daytime coyote hunting and the wolf designation permanent.