Coyote Hunting in Massachusetts: [Rules and Regulations 2023-2024]

Massachusetts is a coyote hunting paradise thanks to 232,000 acres of public hunting land. If you are a novice coyote hunter and would like to explore the rules and regulations regarding coyote hunting in Massachusetts, you have come to the right place. This article goes into an in-depth analysis of laws and regulations regarding coyote hunting in the Bay State of Massachusetts. Along the way, I will also try to answer a few frequently asked questions related to coyote hunting in Massachusetts.

Coyote Hunting in Massachusetts

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife regulates all the coyote hunting activities in the state of Massachusetts. Moreover, the department is also responsible for protecting and managing land, water, fish, and wildlife – and also providing access to outdoor recreation opportunities. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts identifies coyotes as furbearer animals. Therefore a management program and regulated hunting and trapping seasons have been established for coyote hunting in Massachusetts.

Related: Coyote Hunting in Minnesota: Rules and Regulations 2022

Do you need a hunting license to hunt coyotes in Massachusetts?

In order to hunt coyotes in Massachusetts, you will need appropriate licenses and/or permit. You can purchase all the necessary licenses and permits for coyote hunting in Massachusetts online through MassFishHunt.

If you are 15 years old or older Massachusetts resident, you will need a hunting or sporting license to hunt coyotes in Massachusetts. On the other hand, if you are a non-resident, you will need a small game or big game license.

In order to be eligible for a hunting or sporting license in Massachusetts, you will need to meet one of the following requirements from any jurisdiction:

  • Earned a government-issued Basic Hunter Education Certificate
  • Held a hunting or sporting license before January 1, 2007

Bear in mind, that proof of the certificate is not required, but it is a necessity. If you buy your hunting or sporting license from a licensed vendor or at a MassWildlife office, you’ll be asked to verbally confirm (verbal affidavit) if you held a hunting or sporting license before 2007, or if you’ve ever passed a Basic Hunter Education Course and have a certificate.

A verbal or electronic affidavit means that you declare, under penalty of perjury, that you’re eligible for a hunting or sporting license.

You must be at least 12 in order to hunt coyotes in Massachusetts. Coyote hunters of age 12-14 must be accompanied by a licensed hunter who is 18 or older and must share a single firearm/bow and a single bag. Keep in mind, only one minor per adult is legal.

Coyote Hunting Seasons in Massachusetts

Since coyotes are designated as furbearers in Massachusetts, the state regulates the hunting and trapping seasons for coyote hunting. For the year 2022, there are currently two coyote hunting seasons available.

  • January 1, 2022 – March 8, 2022
  • October 15, 2022 – March 8, 2023

Bear in mind, the dates are inclusive but you can not hunt coyotes on Sundays in Massachusetts.

There are few restrictions and extra regulations while hunting coyotes in Massachusetts during shotgun deer season.

Shotgun deer season special restrictions for coyote hunting in Massachusetts

The shotgun deer season begins the first Monday after Thanksgiving and ends on the second Saturday thereafter, all days inclusive, except Sundays of course. There are a few special restrictions you may need to keep in mind while hunting coyotes during this season. Here is the list of all restrictions you need to comply:

  • Coyote hunting hours are half hour before sunrise to half hour after sunset during shotgun deer season.
  • Rifles and Handguns are prohibited to use while hunting coyotes during shotgun deer season.
  • Hunting with the aid of dogs, electronic, and manual calls are strictly prohibited.
  • You must wear 500 square inches of hunter orange on your head, chest, and back while hunting coyotes during shotgun deer season.

Can you hunt coyotes at night in Massachusetts?

The legal hunting hours for coyotes in Massachusetts during open season begins from one-half hour before sunrise and ends at midnight except in on wildlife management areas as provided for in 321 CMR 3.01(1). Also keep in mind, during the shotgun deer season, the coyote hunting hours shall end at one-half hour after sunset.

Bag limits for Coyote Hunting in Massachusetts

There are no bag limits for coyote hunting in Massachusetts. This means you can hunt as many coyotes as you wish during the open coyote hunting season.

Where to hunt Coyotes in Massachusetts?

Coyotes can be found across most of Massachusetts, with the highest concentrations in more rural central and western regions of the state. Several wildlife management areas offer good public land hunting access and harbor healthy coyote populations.

One top area is the Quabbin Reservoir WMA, spanning across over 50,000 acres and seeing frequent coyote sightings around its mixed terrain of woodlands, fields, and wetlands. Another premier destination is the Connecticut River Valley, where a string of wildlife management areas such as Montague Plains, Millers River and Birch Hill provide thousands of acres of prime hunting habitat.

In Western Massachusetts, the October Mountain State Forest and Chalet WMA also hold sizable coyote populations on several thousand acres apiece intermixing thick forests and more open meadows. Berkshire County is another hot spot, with Canaan Valley WMA and the surrounding Green Mountain National Forest. Identifying parking areas and interior roads is key through provided mapping.

Electronic calls or manual calls for hunting coyotes are completely legal in Massachusetts except for shotgun deer hunting season. Furthermore, baiting and decoys are also legal during lawful coyote hunting season.

You must not use shotguns of shot size up to and including FF (.230 inches diameter) to hunt coyotes in Massachusetts. Furthermore, you may only use slugs, single balls, and buckshot during the shotgun deer season.

It is completely legal to use archery tackle to hunt coyotes. There are no restrictions for minimum pull. On the other hand, crossbows may be used by certain permanently disabled persons by permit only. Poisoning the arrows, making the tips explosive, or drawing the bows with mechanical means is strictly prohibited to hunt coyotes in Massachusetts.

During the legal coyote hunting hours, there are no restrictions on the size or caliber of rifles or handguns used. However, during the nighttime coyote hunting, you may not use rifles with chambers larger than .22 long, and handguns with chambers larger than .38 caliber. And lastly, using rifles and handguns to hunt coyotes during shotgun deer season is strictly not allowed.

In the case of muzzleloaders, one with a smooth bore and sizes up to and including FF (.230 inches diameter) is allowed to hunt coyotes in Massachusetts. There are no restrictions on rifled bore muzzleloaders.

The use of artificial lights to hunt coyotes is strictly prohibited in Massachusetts.

Can you use dogs to hunt coyotes in Massachusetts

You can lawfully use dogs to hunt coyotes in Massachusetts during the legal coyote hunting season. During shotgun deer season, you are not allowed to hunt coyotes using a dog in Massachusetts.

Can you hunt coyotes from a vehicle in Massachusetts?

It is illegal to hunt coyotes from motor vehicles, off-highway vehicles(including snowmobiles), and/or aircraft in Massachusetts.

Are there any bounty programs for coyote hunting in Massachusetts

No there aren’t any bounty programs for coyotes in Massachusetts. We will update this section if something changes in near future.

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