Eastern Coyote

Scientific Name: Canis latrans


Coyote Hunting

When can I hunt coyotes? During most of the year coyotes may be hunted with only a general license, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, during any open big game season, you will need to be lawful to hunt the appropriate big game or have a furtaker’s license.

How can I hunt coyotes during big game seasons with my general license? If you do not have a furtaker license, during big game season you may only hunt coyotes if you are lawful to hunt the big game that is season. That includes but is not limited to:

  • -wearing the appropriate fluorescent orange for the big game season
  • -using the appropriate arms for the big game season
  • -having appropriate licenses and unused tags for the big game season
  • -abiding by the hunting hours listed in the digest for the big game season

May I hunt coyotes on Sundays with my general hunting license during the big game season? Yes. You do NOT need a furtaker license to hunt coyotes on Sundays because Sundays are not considered open season for big game.

May I hunt coyotes at night during a big game season with my furtaker license? Yes. Only those with furtaker licenses may hunt coyotes at night during the big game season. However, you should expect to undergo quite a bit of scrutiny from an officer if you are approached while hunting coyotes at night during a big game season. The officers will just be doing their job under the circumstances.

May I use electronic predator calls and decoys while hunting coyotes? Yes. Electronic calls and decoys are permitted for coyote hunting.

May I use a dog to hunt furbearers? Dogs are permitted to hunt furbearers. Electronic devices used for locating dogs while training or hunting, including such devices as e-collars, radio-telemetry dog tracking systems and beeper collars are permitted.

What arms may I use to hunt coyotes? Firearms legal for hunting furbearers include manually operated rifles or handguns of any caliber, manual or semi-automatic shotguns and, bows and crossbows. It is UNLAWFUL to take furbearers, including bobcats, with shotguns using shot larger than size number 4 buckshot, or implements that are not lawful firearms, bows or crossbows. Big game season coyote hunting firearm regulations apply. Please see bolded subhead above.

May I use a gun-mounted light while coyote hunting? Persons hunting for furbearers, including coyotes, foxes, bobcats, raccoons, skunks, opossums and weasels, may use gun-mounted lights that DO NOT project a laser-light beam.

Can I use a semi-automatic rifle to hunt coyotes? No. Semi-automatic rifles are not lawful hunting devices in Pennsylvania. The prohibition on semi-automatic rifles is in the statue and not the regulations. The Board of Commissioners has no authority to change it. It would require a change from the legislature.

Where can I read more about coyote hunting? Details about furtaking seasons and bag limits can be found on page 57 of the 2015-16 Hunting & Trapping Digest: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pa_huntingdigest1516/#/60

Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg Pennsylvania 17110-9797