While strongly supported by some members of the hunting community, a new proposal that aims to allow the use of night vision goggles for hunting coyotes is facing opposition from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The proposed bill would allow hunters in the state of Minnesota to use night vision or thermal imaging equipment when hunting predators at night.

On one side of the argument resides the DNR along with a fair number of hunters who believe that implementing this kind of legislation would make hunting more dangerous at night and would lead to an increase in poaching.

Those in favor of the amendment, however, believe that the use of this technology would, in fact, make hunting at night safer.  Supporters believe that arming hunters with a tool that accurately allows them to identify their target and beyond can only make the hunt safer.

While I can certainly understand both sides of this argument to a certain extent, I believe incorporating these types of tools and technology to our hunting practices borders the fair chase argument.

At least in my opinion.

I believe that it also has the ability to deplete our god-given ability to forage for and secure wild game.

At what point do we curb the advantages we have over an animal such as the coyote?   Let’s face it, in the state of Minnesota (and many others) these animals can be hunted year round without a limit and at night.  While there is little doubt we need to actively manage the population, a little bit of a challenge never hurt anyone.

To me, if you want to predator hunt at night, do it under a clear sky lit up with a full moon.  Use your senses to spot, stalk and hopefully take your prey just as we do with many other species you pursue.

That being said, we are all on the same team.

I always have and always will support any one of you who hunts ethically and within the law.

Image: Ultimate Night Vision