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.

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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