Ask an Official: Local DNR Warden discusses open-season on coyotes
This week’s featured question was submitted for southern Lincoln County DNR Conservation Warden Curt Butler.
The question reads:
“How does the law work for coyotes these days? Is it still open season on them or has that changed? How about a bounty on their heads? I remember years ago hearing about the DNR paying some type of bounty for them, was that ever a thing and is it still? If legal to shoot on sight, what are the rules about reporting or registering and so on? Thanks“
Answer as given by Warden Butler:
“For coyotes, there is a statewide year-round open hunting season with no bag limit. The Wis. Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) does not pay a bounty for coyotes. I don’t doubt your historical knowledge on bounties but it was before my time. However, you can sell a legally harvested coyote hide to a licensed fur buyer for money. The price for the hide can vary greatly depending on the market, time of year, and hide condition. There are no requirements to report or register a coyote harvest. However, there are numerous laws that regulate coyote hunting activity that mostly address safety concerns.
“For a more complete understanding of the regulations that regulate hunting coyotes, you should read the most up to date WDNR small game regulations pamphlet. In addition to the general small game regulations listed on pages 4 to 9 (majority of which are safety related hunting regulations), the following regulations are more specific to hunting coyotes:
- Licenses, Stamps and Permits: A small game hunting license is required, except that, landowners do not need a license to shoot coyotes causing damage or nuisance. Also, of you are a non-resident a furbearer hunting license is required.
- Night Hunting: Coyotes may be hunted without shooting hour restrictions except:
1) If hunting with a bow or crossbow, the hours listed on pages 31–32 (shooting hours table) apply for hunting coyotes during the bear and archery deer seasons.
2) If hunting with a gun, the hours listed on pages 31–32 (shooting hours table) apply for hunting coyotes during the regular 9-day November gun deer season.
- Highly Visible Clothing Requirement: Coyote hunters are exempt from the blaze clothing requirement during any gun or muzzleloader deer season, if hunting 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.
- Use of Lights: A flashlight or firearm-mounted light may be used at the point of kill while hunting on foot for coyote. Lights may not be used to shine for these animals while in possession of firearm, bow or crossbow.
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