Minnesota offers some of the most liberal seasons and bag limits for coyote hunting in the nation. Minnesota is also a coyote hunting paradise thanks to millions of 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 Minnesota, you have come to the right place. This article goes into an in-depth analysis of laws and regulations regarding coyote hunting in the Gopher State of Minnesota. Along the way, I will also try to answer a few frequently asked questions related to coyote hunting in Minnesota.
Coyote Hunting in Minnesota
The Department of Natural Resources regulates all the coyote hunting activities in the state of Minnesota. Moreover, the department is also responsible for protecting and managing land, water, fish, and wildlife – and also providing access to outdoor recreation opportunities. The State of Minnesota has designated coyotes as Unprotected species. Unprotected species also include plains pocket gophers, porcupines, red/pine squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), striped skunks, and woodchucks. This means there is no any closed season nor any bag limits for coyote hunting in Minnesota.
Do you need a hunting license to hunt coyotes in Minnesota?
No. Residents and nonresidents are not required to have a license to hunt unprotected species including coyotes. However, all residents and nonresidents, 16 and over must have a small game license and a trapping license to take the coyotes with traps. Hunters may trap coyotes without a small game license in their private property. You may trap without a small game and trapping license on land you own or is your principal residence to remove certain animals causing damage. However, Nonresidents may trap only on land they own in Minnesota with nonresident trapping and small game licenses.
Residents under age 13 do not need a trapping license. Residents aged 13 through 17 must have a junior trapping license and residents aged 18 through 64 must have a regular trapping license to trap coyotes. Additionally, residents age 65 and over must have a regular or reduced-fee trapping license.
Do you need to take Trapper Education Course to obtain a trapping license in Michigan?
Individuals born on or after December 31, 1989, who have not been issued a trapping license in a previous license year may not obtain a trapping license without a Trapper Education Certificate. The Minnesota Trappers Association conducts trapper education courses statewide, free of charge to the participants, and issue certificates that satisfy this requirement. Trappers must take the Minnesota course to meet the requirement. Contact the MTA at mntrappers.org for class information. These courses include a mandatory field training portion. And you complete that before certification. Please plan to take courses well in advance of the fur trapping season.
Coyote Hunting Seasons in Minnesota
Since coyotes are designated as unprotected species, there is no closed season for coyote hunting in Minnesota. That means hunters may hunt coyotes year-round by following proper hunting rules and regulations.
Can you hunt coyotes at night in Minnesota?
The legal coyote hunting hours in the state of Minnesota are half-hour before sunrise to half-hour after sunset. However, you can legally hunt coyotes at nighttime from January 1 to March 15. A person hunting for coyote from January 1 – March 15 can use an artificial light (either carried in the hand or attached to the person) under all of the following conditions:
- While on foot and not within a public right of way
- Using a shotgun
- Not within 200 feet of a vehicle
- Using a calling device
A person may use night vision, thermal imaging equipment, or infrared illuminators while hunting coyotes in Minnesota at night from January 1 – March 15.
Shinning of light is legal for two hours after sunset without a firearm, bow, or other equipment to coyotes. From two hours after sunset until sunrise, no individual may cast artificial light on a highway or into a field or forest to locate a coyote. A person may not cast artificial light on land that has markings with signs prohibiting the shining of lights. The signs must:
- display letters that are at least 2 inches in height and state “no shining” or
- be placed at the interval of 500 feet or less along the boundary of an area.
Bag limits for Coyote Hunting in Minnesota
There are no bag limits for hunting coyotes in Minnesota. Therefore, you can hunt coyotes in Minnesota all year round without having to worry about seasons or bag limits.
Legal ways to Hunt Coyotes in Minnesota
Since coyotes are classified as unprotected species in Minnesota, you may hunt coyotes in any manner, except with the aid of artificial lights or by using a motor vehicle to drive, chase, run over, or kill the coyote. Additionally, poisons may be used only when the safety of humans and animals is ensured and in accordance with state and federal restrictions.
You may also use radio equipment without a permit for coyote hunting in Minnesota. A remote-controlled animal noise caller can be used for fur-bearing animals and unprotected animals. Bear in mind, you must not use unattended electronic devices for hunting coyotes in Minnesota. And lastly, it is not a violation of this law in Minnesota to use laser range finders or shine lights without a firearm while doing any activity not related to spotting, locating, or taking a wild animal. It is also not a violation to use an electronic range finder from 1⁄2 hour before sunrise until 1⁄2 hour after sunset while lawfully hunting coyotes in Minnesota.
You may not hunt or be afield with a loaded or uncased firearm or an uncased bow while under the influence of a controlled substance or with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher.
Is electronic game call legal while hunting coyotes in Minnesota?
Yes, it is legal to use electronic calls, mouth calls, other types of game calls, or predator calls when hunting coyotes in Minnesota. Furthermore, it is completely legal to use mechanical or electronic decoys while hunting coyotes in the state of Minnesota.
Can you use dogs to hunt coyotes in Minnesota?
Hunting coyotes with the use of dogs is completely legal in the state of Minnesota. However, you can not train dogs on DNR administered lands from April 16 to July 14. At other times a person training a dog afield and carrying a firearm may only have blank cartridges and shells in possession when the season is not open for any game bird, except by permit. Other hunting seasons are open before, during, and after the deer season.
Many hunters use dogs to hunt upland game, waterfowl, rabbits, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes. Therefore, it is illegal to shoot a dog if seen pursuing big games during the fall hunting seasons.
Can you hunt coyotes from vehicle in Minnesota?
You can not hunt coyotes from a vehicle in Minnesota. However, permits to shoot from a stationary motor vehicle may be issued by DNR Enforcement to individuals who have a permanent physical disability. Bear in mind, the physical disability has to be more substantial than discomfort from walking. The permanent disability must be verified in writing by a licensed physician, certified nurse practitioner, or certified physician’s assistant acting under the direction of a licensed physician or chiropractor. A person with a disability who has the appropriate permit may hunt coyotes with a firearm or archery from a motor vehicle. The applicant must possess a valid disability parking certificate or license plates issued by the Department of Public Safety. Permit applications are available online or from any DNR regional office.
Can you use drones while hunting coyotes in Minnesota?
Using drones to hunt big or small games in Minnesota is illegal. Moreover, it is also unlawful to harass hunters, trappers, or anglers with a drone. No person may use aircraft over a WMA in a manner that chases, herds, scares, or otherwise disturbs wildlife, except in emergencies or by authorization of the wildlife manager. Furthermore, it is illegal to fly drones in wildlife management areas in Minnesota.
Are there any bounty programs for coyote hunting in Minnesota?
There are no state-wide coyote bounty programs in Minnesota. If there is some news, we will update this section. However, some counties may offer a local level bounty program for coyote hunting. Therefore, make sure to check with your local county.