Wondering how to start your coyote hunting quest in Kentucky? At the very minimum, you will need to understand the laws and regulations regarding coyote hunting in Kentucky. And the good news is, you’ve come to the perfect place. Kentucky offers some of the most liberal seasons and bag limits in the nation when it comes to hunting coyotes. Many hunters consider Kentucky as a coyote hunting paradise thanks to millions of acres of public hunting land. This article goes into an in-depth analysis of laws and regulations regarding coyote hunting in the Sunflower State of Kentucky. Along the way, I will also try to answer a few FAQs related to coyote hunting in Kentucky.
Coyote Hunting in Kentucky
The Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates all the coyote hunting activities in the state of Kentucky. Furthermore, the department is also responsible for protecting and managing land, water, fish, and wildlife – and also providing access to outdoor recreation opportunities in Kentucky. The state of Kentucky has classified coyotes as Furbearers. That means there is neither any closed season nor bag limits for hunting coyotes.
Do you need a license to hunt coyotes in Kentucky?
Both residents and non-residents, over the age of 12, need a small game and furbearer license for hunting coyotes in Kentucky.
Prior to purchasing a hunting license, a resident must have established a lawful residence in Kentucky for at least 30 days. A Kentucky resident includes full-time students enrolled in educational institutions of Kentucky for at least six months, and military service personnel on permanent assignment in Kentucky. Bear in mind, a non-resident who owns land in Kentucky must purchase nonresident licenses and permits.
Coyote Hunting seasons in Kentucky
There is no closed season for hunting coyotes in Kentucky. You may hunt coyotes all year day or night, except you may trap coyotes only during furbearer trapping season. The legal furbearer trapping season is one-half hour before sunrise from Nov. 15, 2021 – Feb. 28, 2022.
Can you hunt coyotes at night in Kentucky?
You can coyotes in Kentucky even at night. However, you may only use artificial light or other means designed to make coyotes visible at night from Dec. 1 – May 31. Artificial light or other means designed to make coyotes visible at night cannot be connected to or cast from a mechanized vehicle.
Coyote hunters with valid mobility-impaired Access Permits or Hunting Methods Exemption Vehicle Permits may use a stationary vehicle as a hunting platform and may use lights or other means designed to make coyotes visible at night so long as the means used are not connected to the vehicle.
You may not hunt coyotes at night in a county or area where a deer or elk firearm or muzzleloader season is open. Furthermore, night hunting for coyotes is prohibited on Kentucky lands managed by Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Daniel Boone National Forest, George Washington, and Jefferson National Forests, Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge, and Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, including Beaver Creek, Cane Creek, Mill Creek, Pioneer Weapons and Redbird wildlife management areas (WMAs).
On public Kentucky land after daylight hours, you should not use any equipment other than a bow, crossbow, or shotgun loaded with multiple projectile shells. Coyote hunters may not use any equipment other than a bow, crossbow, or shotgun loaded with a multiple-projectile shell on private lands after daylight hours, except from December 1 to March 31, when they may use a rifle with a bullet diameter of 6.5mm (.264 caliber) or smaller, a muzzleloader with a caliber of.54 caliber or less, or a shotgun shell with a single-projectile.
Bag limits for coyote hunting in Kentucky
Since coyotes are classified as furbearer animals, there are no bag limits for hunting coyotes in Kentucky. Additionally, there are also no bag limits for trapping coyotes in Kentucky but keep in mind, there is a season for trapping coyotes. You must trap from one-half hour before sunrise from Nov. 15, 2021, to Feb. 28, 2022. All in all, You can hunt coyotes in Kentucky all year round without having to worry about the season or bag limits.
Where to hunt Coyotes in Kentucky?
Western Kentucky offers excellent coyote hunting opportunities across its farmlands, prairies, and woodlands. Several public land options provide access for hunters within the region.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is a top destination, with over 170,000 acres spanning along the Kentucky/Tennessee border. It offers a mix of open lands, woods, and waterways holding a healthy coyote population. Fort Campbell Wildlife Management Area is another hot spot, with coyotes drawn by populations of deer, rabbits and other small mammals.
In Western Kentucky counties, Peabody WMA, Ballard WMA and West Kentucky WMA also provide thousands of acres of prime hunting grounds open to the public. Graves County in particular is known for having frequent coyote sightings. Planning out potential stand locations from mapped parking areas and roads is advised.
Legal ways to hunt coyotes in Kentucky
You may hunt coyotes in Kentucky using a centerfire, rimfire gun, muzzle-loading rifle, or handgun. Furthermore, you may also use muzzle-loading or breechloading shotguns but they should be no larger than 10 gauge.
Shotguns with breech-loading must be plugged to store a maximum of three shells (two in magazine and one in chamber). There is no limit on the shot size but shotguns must be shoulder-fired.
You may use shotshells with a single projectile only during daylight hours while hunting coyotes in Kentucky. Additionally, bow and arrow, crossbow, and air guns with pellets that are at least .22 caliber in size are all legal to use during coyote hunting. And last but not least, falconry is also perfectly legal equipment for hunting coyotes.
It is completely legal to use hand or mouth-operated calls or electronic game calls to hunt coyotes in Kentucky. Moreover, it is also legal to use baits while hunting coyotes. Bear in mind, the state of Kentucky considers animal carcasses as bait.
Therefore, it is very much legal to use them as bait while hunting coyotes. However, coyote hunters should not place or distribute baits or participate in baiting coyotes in all WMAs, Big Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Daniel Boone National Forest, Jefferson National Forest, Land Between The Lakes, and all the state parks open to hunting.
Can you use dogs to hunt coyotes in Kentucky?
Yes, it is completely legal to use dogs while hunting or pursuing furbearers like coyotes in Kentucky. Coyote hunters may run or train dogs for coyotes year-round. Keep in mind, Some WMAs have special restrictions on using dogs, so check ahead of time. All members of the party must have a valid hunting license (unless license-exempt) to pursue coyotes, even when training dogs without taking coyotes.
Can hunt coyotes from a vehicle in Kentucky?
You may not hunt or attempt to hunt coyotes from an automobile or other vehicle, except as prescribed by regulations. Since it is legal to hunt furbearers from boats, it is completely legal to hunt coyotes from a boat in Kentucky.
Are there any bounty programs for hunting coyotes in Kentucky?
There aren’t any bounty programs for coyotes in Kentucky for now. I will update this section accordingly if any news regarding bounty programs pops up.