Coyote Hunting Illinois, Laws, Regulations, Season, & License Info

Website: Department of Natural Resources
Contact Phone Number: 217-782-6302
Address: One Natural Resources Way – Springfield, IL 62702-1271
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Coyote Regulations in Illinois

Coyotes are defined as a furbearer in Illinois.

Furbearer is the name given to mammals that traditionally have been hunted and trapped primarily for fur. There are 14 species of furbearers in Illinois, although only 12 species may be legally hunted and/or trapped. Furbearers that are legally harvested for human use are always common and abundant. Not all kinds of furbearers are hunted and trapped in every state. Furbearers plentiful in one state might be scarce in another, due to habitat losses or other reasons.

Furbearers in Illinois include: Badger, Beaver, Bobcat, Coyote, Gray Fox, Least Weasel, Long-tailed Weasel, Mink, Muskrat, Opossum, Raccoon, Red Fox, River Otter, and Striped Skunk.

Do you need a license to hunt coyotes in Illinois? Hunters need a hunting license and habitat stamp unless exempt.

Can a non-resident hunt coyotes in Illinois? Yes

Is there a specified season for coyotes in Illinois? Year round (Statewide), Closed Nov. 18-20 and through 6 p.m. Nov. 20 and closed Dec. 1-4 and through 6 p.m. Dec. 4 in counties open for firearm deer hunting: Hunters with unfilled firearm deer permits may take coyotes during firearm deer season by shotgun with slugs, muzzleloader or handgun from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

Is there a bag limit for coyotes in Illinois? No limit.

What are the legal hunting hours in Illinois? During the Archery Deer Season bow hunting hours for coyote, striped skunk, raccoon, opossum, red fox and gray fox will be 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset. Open 24 hours Nov 10, 2016 – March 15, 2017

Are electronic game calls legal in Illinois? Electronic calling devices are legal for coyote hunting. They can also be used at night when night hunting is allowed.

Are decoys legal in Illinois? Yes.

What firearms are approved/disapproved for coyotes in Illinois? Coyotes may be taken with a rifle or handgun.

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Coyotes may be hunted on private property using dogs, archery devices, any type and caliber of handgun, any type of legal rifle including large capacity semiautomatic rifles, and shotguns using any type of shell except for slugs. (Exceptions for slugs exist during the firearm deer seasons when coyote hunting is closed except to deer hunters with unfilled firearm deer permits in their possession). When hunting with a shotgun, make sure that the magazine has been fitted with a plug which makes the shotgun incapable of firing more than three consecutive shots.

Coyote hunters are required to keep their guns unloaded and in a case while in a vehicle or on a conveyance (including but not limited to ATVs and horseback) unless exempt by special DNR permit. Guns must remain unloaded until the hunter is clear of the road and right-of-way alongside the road.

Are suppressors allowed in Illinois? No

Legal ammunition or restrictions for coyotes in Illinois? take any species of wild game except deer and fur-bearing mammals with a shotgun loaded with slugs. Except: During regular deer season (Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 1-4, 2016), deer hunters with valid, unfilled gun permits may take coyotes during legal deer hunting hours using only shotguns with slugs, handguns or muzzleloaders.

Are there regulations for possessing, transporting dead coyotes, or pelts across state lines in Illinois? It is unlawful to possess green hides before the season begins or longer than 20 days after the season closes.

Is night hunting allowed in Illinois? Night Hunting with Lights, Shining Wildlife: It is unlawful to use lights of, any light from, or any light connected to a vehicle or conveyance in areas where wildlife can be found. This does not prohibit normal use of headlamps for driving upon a roadway. Except: Skunk, opossum, red or gray fox, coyote and raccoon may be taken during the open season using a small hand-operated light by a person who is on foot and not in any vehicle.

Illinois does not restrict the type of sights or scopes that are used (including laser sights and night vision scopes). Lights with any color of lens can be used while hunting coyotes as long as the lights are not used from any vehicle or conveyance (including ATVs and horses) and the lights are not connected to the vehicle or conveyance.

Are there specified weapons allowed for night in Illinois? None

Can you hunt coyotes from a vehicle in Illinois? No

Can baiting be used to hunt coyotes in Illinois? It is legal to bait coyotes as long as any wild game used was legally taken.

Can dogs be used to hunt coyotes in Illinois? Furbearer Running Season: Furbearers may be pursued or chased with dogs, but not killed, during the running season. The running season for coyote, gray and red fox, opossum, raccoon and striped skunk is open year-round. Exception: It is unlawful to pursue any furbearer with a dog or dogs between the hours of sunset and sunrise during the 10-day period preceding the opening date of the raccoon hunting season and the 10-day period following the closing date of the raccoon hunting season.

Note: Competitive hunts licensed by U.K.C., N.K.C., P.K.C. or A.K.C./A.C.H.A. may be held during the 10-day closed periods under authority of a DNR Field Trial Permit. It is unlawful to possess any firearm or ammunition other than a pistol loaded with blank cartridges while training dogs during the time when hunting seasons are closed except on an authorized field trial or dog training area. When training dogs from sunset to sunrise, no person in, along with or accompanying the dog training party shall be in possession of a firearm or live ammunition, except pistols capable of firing only blank cartridges.

Non-residents are prohibited from hunting furbearers or running their dogs in Illinois during any time when Illinois residents would not be allowed to hunt furbearers or run dogs in the non-resident’s state.

It is unlawful for a coyote hunter to wantonly allow a dog to hunt on another person’s land without first obtaining permission of the landowner or tenant. If a hunting dog crosses onto property in which the coyote hunter has no permission to hunt, the hunter has no legal right to follow the dogs. Illinois Animal Control Laws or other local animal control ordinances could apply to dogs running at large.

Is there a bounty program in Illinois? No

Blaze Orange: Coyote hunters must wear 400 square inches of solid blaze orange when hunting in a county when any firearm deer season is in progress, including youth, muzzleloader-only, late-winter and CWD seasons. Before coyote hunting at public hunting areas, check with the site office for site specific regulations.

It is unlawful to use or possess any tree climbing or cutting device when hunting furbearing mammals, except coyotes.

This information is for informational purposes only. This website has no affiliation with any department of the above mentioned state. For your own safety please contact your local office to verify the information presented. is not responsible for your own stupidity.

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  1. David burress

    Can you hunt coyotes out of a helicopter in Illinois

    • Chad

      Can’t hunt out of a truck, so I don’t think helicopters are legal either.

      • Frank

        If you have a standing vehicle permit then yes you can hunt out of a vehicle helicopter not too sure of what sounds like fun

    • John Utterback

      out of all the opportunities to hunt and all that you can do and have HELICOPTERS should not used to hunt yotes but I think you may be talking about small drones to hunt with I think small drones should be allowed to use drones to locate yotes only on the remises of the party that allow you to hunt on there land YOU should not be allowed to use drones to drive yotes this disturbes animals that at are at rest for the day

  2. Jason

    Can you Ninja Kick or Choke out a Coyote with your bare hands legally before skinning it and turning it into jerkey?

    • Chad

      Yes, I do it all the time. Tastes like chicken.

    • Daylan

      Only if you have non lace boots.

  3. Tony

    Can i jump out of my helicopter and ninja kick a coyote then choke it out with my bare hands?

    • Chad

      Only if you film it, but permits for that are pricey.

  4. Jason

    Can I hunt coyote from a powered parachute then light a campfire, ninja kick the meat to tenderize it, turn it into jerkey, and fly said jerkey out of the campsite the next day?

    Quick….look on YouTube for powered parachute videos.

    • Connor

      I sure hope so

  5. Rodger

    Since we cannot hunt wolves, bears, or cougars in Illinois, then, they’re not allowed to hunt people, right? Who trains these predators, and, who is ultimately responsible for that Illinois law when someone is, eventually, killed by one of these supposedly timid critters? I can’t let my grand-kids play without DIRECT supervision in the yard–I’ve seen 2 cougars too close to the house–wonder what they’re looking for…

    • Brandon

      Are there bears here???

      • Scott

        YES…. they sometimes can be seen on Sundays. Unfortunately they are more harmless then Pandas.

        • Jeff

          That was funny, I don’t care where you’re from!

    • Frank

      If you have photographic evidence I believe you can get a nuisance tag

  6. Rodger

    I see one of the questions above asked about ammunition, etc., and the answer got improperly truncated, and, no direct answer about ammunition. Are FMJ 223 bullets legal to take coyote in Illinois, or only HP and other expanding bullets?

    • Terry

      HP’s are the way to go. FMJ’s will just pass through with minimal damage..

  7. Troy Gowler

    Is it legal to kill a coyote if it is killing your livestock (chickens, goats….) or do you need to get a permit?

    • Tim DeSherlia

      yes it is legal with 223

  8. Tomas

    So has anyone (mainly Tony) been able to ninja kick a coyote and if so, how was the jerky?

  9. Hoss

    Ninja throwing stars work best. Nonchucks make them angry lol!!!!

  10. Ping Pong

    Are pit with punji stakes covered with leaves and twigs an acceptable method for taking coyotes in Illinois?

  11. Coyote

    Coyote hunting season has been cancelled. You are encouraged to feed Coyotes 24 hours, 365 days a year.

  12. Jeff

    Can u hunt coyote with a big bore air rifle in illinois

  13. Chip

    Coyote hunting 101 is filled with stupidity for the most part. For serious hunters, go to the DNR site. This one is for people on drugs asking about parachutes, ninja kicks, good God…obviously dumb non-hunters.
    We take coyote hunting seriously.

    • Whogoesby Chipanyway

      Chip, we’re glad that you take coyote hunting “very seriously” because no one else does. Also, with a name like Chip, I suspect no one takes YOU seriously.

      I hope you’re wearing your 400 square inches of orange flair out there, Chip.

  14. SlikNik

    I know but there are some gloriously hilarious comments here.

    • Jeff

      I hear coyotes are a huge problem down at the southern border. Humans follow them north by the 1000’s. No one seems to be hunting them. They are not endangered and freely roam where they want.

  15. Ahhhhhnold

    Bruh, do any of you even LIFT?!

  16. Seamus Lenihan

    could i hunt a coyote with a air rifle

  17. Justin

    Can I hunt coyote on public dnr land with a rifle?

  18. McCheez

    I ninja kicked said coyote, made jerky, then ninja kicked jerky.
    Jerky turned into it’s kicked form, kerky. Kerky was inedible.

  19. Gdoghuntforfun

    Can I hunt coyote with my Crosman F4 air rifle

  20. Larry lamere

    I would like to hook up with some one to go coyote hunting in Illinois.

  21. Jonathan

    Howdy! Local hunter at field and stream told me I’d Im hunting on family property I don’t need any license period, I can get a habitat stamp to dot my i’s and cross my t, but there isn’t any law saying I can’t shoot a coyote on private property. I tried to backcheck on DNR websites but can not confirm. Anyone know anything? I shot a rabid one a few weeks ago and wondered if I’d done goofed.

    • Jonathan

      If Im*

      • Mystic Redneck

        Private property or not, law states you need a hunting license and habitat stamp unless exempt. Illinois DNR site will tell you what criteria is to be “exempt”. Would I shoot one if it was rabid or going after my dog even if I didn’t have a license? Probably, but that doesn’t make it legal.

  22. Bort

    This shit is magnificent…I was on the wrong internets before I found the comments section of this internets…fellas after my own mind, I see.



  23. Greg

    Can I killa coyote in McHenry County if they go after my dog

  24. Susan

    Coyotes help control the feral cat community.

  25. Jason

    Kill the coyotes, save the kitties. The feral cat population kills the mice and the rats….and rarely attack your dog.

    Coyote jerky is tasty to.

  26. Jason

    Chip it’s not my fault you suck at kicking and are inflexible. Don’t take your inflexible chicken legs that are incapable of generating power out on me.

    I assure you that like Al Gore when he hunts the allusive and dreaded Mandbearpug….I am super serial.

    I also assure you that I have never imbibed in Illegal drugs. Ever.

    Furthermore I rarely drink and I was not drunk when I posted that.

    Oh and you should look up powered parachutes, they are awesome.

  27. Jason schmitt

    One night my cat was working hard on the rodents and was caught by coyotes. O god where was the ninja coyote kicking ,jerky making hunter flying down in his powered parachute to save my cat. Instead I had a guy by the name of chip waiting on the right time and permits to keep the town safe

  28. Scott

    Can I “hunt” the coyote barking at night in my urban subdivision right now!

  29. Jason

    During non deer season is there a limit on shells you can keep in a shotgun.

  30. Jason

    And also number of shells you can keep

  31. John

    Can I hunt yotes in shorts? I like to wear cut offs, but my left nut seems to always find it’s way out. I would never consider hunting yotes from my pick-up truck, but I do wear cut offs while driving said pick-up. Is there a conflict of interest here?
    Lastly, if it is in fact legal to hunt yotes in shorts, can I do so while while wearing Nancy Pelosi’s gigantic bra as ear muffs during winter months?

  32. Bobbert

    What about my preferred method of hunting on a gas-powered pogo stick, with a wet mop slathered in bbq sauce? How is this not in the faq section?

  33. John

    Can you use corn to bait coyotes in Illinois?

  34. Jamie

    Can I keep a coyote as a pet? I want to train it to bite of left nuts.

  35. Rodger

    It is legal in Illinois to hunt over bait for coyotes, as long as any game used was legally taken. So, I guess that means, don’t steal the corn.


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