Hot on the heels of New jersey’s contentious, litigious and largely successful bear season comes the Garden State’s first special nighttime coyote hunt.

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_First it was the black bears, now it’s coyotes. Beginning next Monday, New Jersey will permit hunters to shoot the wolves on the spot for a special hunting season. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife estimates more than five thousand coyotes are running wild around in the Garden State. Biologist Andrew Burnett says they usually prey on rodents and rabbits, but can easily attack small pets, alarming many residents and pet owners.

“There have been incidences of coyotes trying to take small dogs while their owners are walking them on a leash. Cats are usually always at risk. It’s not that the coyote will actively go out and seek these animals. However, should they encounter one they wouldn’t necessarily turn it down”, warns Burnett in an interview with Newark-based radio station website,

Wildlife experts say it may be difficult to hunt coyotes because they are generally wary of humans and run away quickly when spotted. Hunters in the Garden State have been allowed to use rifles to shoot coyotes during daylight since November. Now, the special permit will allow hunters to shoot the animals at night. Coyote hunting season will continue until mid March.

Bears, coyotes, what’s next, mountain lions? What’s with all the megafauna in the land of Tony Soprana and industrial parks? Is New Jersey the next Montana?