Wisconsin Coyote Hunting [Rules & Regulations 2023-2024]

Wondering how to start your coyote hunting quest in Wisconsin? Well! Understanding the rules and regulations is a great start. Wisconsin offers some of the most liberal seasons and bag limits in the nation when it comes to hunting coyotes. Many hunters consider Wisconsin 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 Badger State of Wisconsin. Along the way, I will also try to answer a few FAQs related to coyote hunting in Wisconsin.

Coyote Hunting in Wisconsin

The Department of Natural Resources regulates all the coyote hunting activities in the state of Wisconsin. Additionally, the department is also responsible for protecting and managing land, water, fish, and wildlife. It also helps in providing access to outdoor recreation opportunities in Wisconsin.

The state of Wisconsin has classified coyotes as Furbearing Animals. That is why there is neither any closed season nor any bag limits while hunting coyotes in Wisconsin.

Related: Coyote Hunting in Iowa: Rules and Regulations 2022

Do you need a license to hunt coyotes in Wisconsin?

You will need to purchase a hunting license to hunt furbearers in Wisconsin. Therefore, in order to hunt coyotes in Wisconsin, residents need to purchase a small game license while non-residents need to purchase a non-resident furbearer license.

The owner or occupant of any land and members of their family may hunt coyotes year-round without needing any hunting license on their own property.

Family members who do not live with the owner may also hunt coyotes without a license on this land; only if they are siblings and/or children of the owner or occupant and are under the age of 18. Even on private property, mentorship regulations still apply to children aged 11 and under.

Coyote Hunting seasons in Wisconsin

There is no closed season for hunting coyotes in Wisconsin. You may hunt coyotes 24 hours a day year-round.

Can you hunt coyotes at night in Wisconsin?

You may hunt coyotes even at night in Wisconsin. Unprotected species, as well as coyotes, maybe hunted without shooting hour restrictions except if hunting with a bow or crossbow. You may use a flashlight or firearm-mounted lights at the point of killing while hunting coyotes on foot.

Additionally, you may not use a light including vehicle headlights for shining any coyotes while hunting or in possession of a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow. Laser sights on rifles, bows, and crossbows are examples of this.

There are some exceptions, such as for Class C disabled permit holders and certain small game hunting. Furthermore, you may not use a light including a vehicle headlight for shining coyotes between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am from October 14 through February 15 whether or not in possession of a firearm, bow, or crossbow.

Please do check with the local sheriff’s department or local officials for local shining restrictions.

Bag limits for hunting coyotes in Wisconsin

Since coyotes are classified as Furbearer species, there are no daily, or annual bag limits on hunting coyotes in Wisconsin. Additionally, there are also no bag limits for trapping coyotes in Wisconsin.

All in all, you may hunt coyotes in Wisconsin year-round without having to worry about the hunting season or bag limits.

Where to hunt Coyotes in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin offers abundant opportunities for hunting coyotes across much of the state, with the exception of the southern region where populations are low. The highest concentrations exist in the forested and agricultural lands of central and northern Wisconsin. Several state and federal public hunting lands harbor healthy numbers of these adaptable predators.

Some top producing coyote habitat exists within Washburn and Marinette counties spanning large swaths of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest interspersed by open pastures and farmlands holding prey like deer, turkeys and small mammals. The neighboring 230,000 acre Northern Highlands State Forest also maintains high densities of resident coyote packs for hunters to target.

Central Wisconsin counties also offer expansive coyote range on lands like Mead Wildlife Area, Roche-A-Cri State Park and Buckhorn State Park areas – each providing a mix of woods, fields and wetlands well-suited for the species. Identifying public game lands and zones legally open to hunting coyotes can lead hunters to prime locations.

Buckshot is legal to use when hunting coyotes in Wisconsin. Furthermore, you may legally use a rifle, shotgun, handgun, muzzleloader, bow and arrow, crossbow, or falconry to hunt coyotes.

Hunting with any other means of a firearm is not legal. Hunting coyotes with a machine gun or other fully automatic weapon is strictly unlawful in the state of Wisconsin.

Moreover, you may not use or hunt with a firearm equipped with a suppressor or silencer, unless you possess the proper federal firearm license that authorizes possession and use of the device.

Bear in mind, a hunting license does not authorize a felon to possess a firearm for hunting coyotes. If you are a felon or have been prohibited from possessing a firearm under Wisconsin law, it is illegal to use any firearm for hunting.

Furthermore, you must obtain permission from the owner or resident of a facility property before shooting a handgun within 100 yards of a building devoted to human occupancy while on areas you do not own, including public lands and public waterways.

In the case of ammunition, It is illegal to use any tracer or incendiary ammunition that is not a distress flare. Furthermore, using a bullet, arrow, or bolt that is designed or modified to explode or deliver poisons/drugs is illegal.

All in all, It is illegal to hunt coyotes in Wisconsin with any weapon or ammunition that is of inherent design, or used in such a manner, as to not be reasonably capable of reducing a target wild animal to possession.

You may use muzzleloaders while hunting coyotes during any firearm deer season. However, during the muzzleloader-only deer season, you may only use muzzleloaders that have a solid threaded breech plug making them capable of being loaded only from the muzzle.

Keep in mind, black powder revolvers are not legal during the muzzleloader-only season because they are capable of being loaded by the cylinder instead of the muzzle.

Moreover, it is also illegal to hunt with a handgun, including muzzleloading handguns, if you are under 18. Rifles used during coyote hunting must have an overall minimum length of 26 inches with a 16-inch minimum barrel length.

Shotguns must have an overall minimum length of 26 inches with an 18-inch minimum barrel length; unless you have a federal license to possess a “short-barreled” rifle or shotgun.

You may use crossbows or bows and arrows to hunt coyotes under the authority of a gun license during any firearm season(i.e. small game, gun deer, or muzzleloader for deer season).

Anyone can use bows and crossbows to hunt wild turkeys under the authority of a turkey hunting license or migratory birds and small game with the jurisdiction of a small game hunting license and a nonresident furbearer license.

A crossbow is not legal to hunt under the authority of an archer license and a bow and arrow are not legal to hunt under the authority of a crossbow license.

You may use a bow and arrow to hunt small game and migratory birds under the authority of an archery license, and you may use a crossbow to hunt small game and migratory birds under the authority of a crossbow license.

Can you use dogs to hunt coyotes in Wisconsin?

You may use the aid of dogs while hunting coyotes in Wisconsin. However, dogs may not kill any coyotes and you shall not use dogs as an aid for hunting elk or deer.

Furthermore, dogs are considered private property in Wisconsin and therefore protected by law. Bear in mind, Owners may need to bear responsibility for the damage their dog causes.

A dog that is actively engaged in legal hunting activity, including training, is not considered to be running-at-large as long as the dog is monitored or supervised by a person and the dog is on land that is open to hunting or on land on which the person has obtained permission to hunt or to train a dog.

If you allow your dog to run on lands without permission, Wisconsin considers it to be running at large. This may lead to your dog being taken into custody by a law enforcement officer.

Can you hunt coyotes from a vehicle in Wisconsin?

Hunting coyotes from a moving or stationary vehicle is illegal in the state of Wisconsin. Loading a firearm other than a handgun while inside a motor vehicle or to discharge any firearm, including handguns, inside or from any moving or stationary vehicle is illegal while coyote hunting in Wisconsin except for certain disabled hunters with proper permits.

Furthermore, it is also unlawful to hunt coyotes with the aid of any aircraft, including unmanned aircraft or drones. If a wagon/trailer is unattached to a vehicle, It’s legal to shoot from it while coyote hunting in Wisconsin.

Bear in mind, you must unload all the firearms (except handguns) when inside any vehicle, whether moving or stationary. Moreover, if a crossbow is cocked while inside or on a moving vehicle, you must unload it too.

Qualified persons with disabilities with the permit authority to shoot from a stationary vehicle must have all firearms (other than handguns) unloaded while the vehicle is in motion.

Are there any bounty programs for hunting Coyotes in Wisconsin?

No, there aren’t any bounty programs for hunting coyotes in the state of Wisconsin at this time. However, if any news pops up, we will update this section accordingly.

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