If you are wondering about the rules and regulations regarding coyote hunting in Pennsylvania, you’ve come to the right place. Pennsylvania offers some of the most well-balanced seasons and bag limits for coyote hunting in the nation.
Pennsylvania is also 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 Keystone State of Pennsylvania.
Along the way, I will also try to answer a few FAQs related to coyote hunting in Pennsylvania.
Coyote Hunting in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Game Commission regulates all the coyote hunting activities in the state of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the commission is also responsible for protecting and managing land, water, fish, and wildlife – and also providing access to outdoor recreation opportunities in PA.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has designated 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 Pennsylvania?
During most of the year, both residents and non-residents can hunt coyotes 24/7 with just a general hunting license/ Furtaker License. However, during any open big game season, you will need to be lawful to hunt the appropriate big game or have a furtaker license.
If you do not have a furtaker license, during the big game season you may only hunt coyotes if you are lawful to hunt the big games in that season. Some of the restrictions to keep in mind while hunting coyotes during the big game season are:
- wear the appropriate fluorescent orange for the big game season.
- use the appropriate arms for the big game season.
- have appropriate licenses and unused tags for the big game season.
- abide by the hunting hours for the big game season.
If you have not held a hunting license issued in Pennsylvania or any state, you are required to attain a certification in an accredited hunter-trapper education program before applying for a hunting license.
You can buy all the necessary licenses and permits online through HuntFishPA.
Coyote Hunting Seasons in Pennsylvania
While there is no closed season for hunting coyotes in Pennsylvania, there are additional restrictions during big game seasons. Outside of any big game season, you may hunt a coyote anytime with a hunting or a furtaker license and without wearing orange.
On the other hand, during a big game season, you must either have a furtaker license or use the hunting license and follow the hunter orange requirements.
Can you hunt coyotes at night in Pennsylvania?
You may hunt coyotes at night in Pennsylvania except during the big game hunting season. Hunters hunting coyotes at night may use gun-mounted lights that do not project a laser-light beam, as well as handheld and sporting-arm mounted night vision and infrared thermal optics.
Legal ways to hunt coyotes in Pennsylvania
The use of natural and manmade bait to attract coyotes for hunting or trapping is completely legal in the state of Pennsylvania. Additionally, it is also completely lawful to use electronic or mechanical game calls and decoys while hunting coyotes.
It is unlawful to hunt coyotes with the aid of fish hooks, snagging hooks, or any other hooks of similar design. Furthermore, it’s also illegal to use any other implements that are not a lawful trap while hunting coyotes in Pennsylvania.
You can use manually operated rifles and handguns of any caliber while hunting coyotes in PA. Furthermore, there are also no restrictions on the use of manual or semi-automatic shotguns and, bows and crossbows.
However, it is unlawful to hunt coyotes with shotguns of shot size larger than #4 buckshot, or implements that are not lawful firearms, bows, or crossbows.
Bear in mind, you can use semi-automatic rifles and air guns while hunting coyotes but they are not legal while hunting big games.
You can also use muzzleloading rifles or handguns that propel single-projectile ammunition during coyote hunting in Pennsylvania. And lastly, using suppressors is legal while hunting any game animals in PA.
It’s unlawful to hunt coyotes with a manual or autoloading shotgun unless the magazine is limited to a two-shell capacity.
A plug must be a one-piece filler installed so it cannot be readily removed without disassembling the gun or magazine.
Bag limits for coyote hunting in Pennsylvania
Since coyotes are classified as furbearer animals, there are no bag limits for hunting coyotes in Pennsylvania. You can hunt coyotes in Pennsylvania all year round without having to worry about the season or bag limits.
Where to hunt Coyotes in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania’s western counties provide excellent coyote hunting opportunities across expansive forests interspersed with farmlands. Several state parks, state forests and state game lands offer access.
Allegheny National Forest is a top destination, with over 500,000 acres of wooded habitat in Elk, Forest and McKean counties holding healthy coyote populations. The adjoining Susquehannock State Forest spans nearly 270,000 acres of additional hunting grounds. State game lands in these counties also see frequent coyote sightings.
Southwestern counties also have good public lands, with coyotes drawn by rabbit and deer populations. State game lands 109, 111 and 176 offer thousands of acres, along with Forbes State Forest spanning over 60,000 acres. Planning potential access roads and parking areas through provided mapping is key.
Can you use dogs to hunt coyotes in Pennsylvania?
Yes, it is completely legal to use dogs while hunting furbearers like foxes and coyotes in Pennsylvania.
Furthermore, there is no closed season for training dogs, except on game state lands, where all dog training activities are closed from the Monday prior to the start of youth pheasant season until the opening day of the statewide pheasant season.
And lastly, you will not need a hunting or a furtaker license to train dogs.
Can you hunt coyotes from a vehicle in Pennsylvania?
It is illegal to hunt coyotes from a vehicle in Pennsylvania. However, the commission may issue permits to shoot from a stationary motor vehicle for individuals who have a permanent physical disability.
Furthermore, you may not shoot across public roads unless the line of fire is high enough to insure the safety of other road users.
Are there any bounty programs for coyote hunting in Pennsylvania?
No, there aren’t any bounty programs for coyotes in Pennsylvania for now. If there is any news in the future, we will update this section accordingly.