Coyote Hunting in Iowa, Laws, Regulations, Season, & License Info

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Coyote Hunting Iowa, Laws & Regulations

Coyotes are defined as furbearers in Iowa.

Do you need a license to hunt coyotes in Iowa? Coyotes may be hunted on a hunting or furharvester license. Residents 16 to 64 years old and all nonresidents regardless of age must also have paid the Habitat Fee. A Hunting License is not needed to hunt furbearers. Coyote and groundhog may be hunted with either a Furharvester License or a Hunting License. Nonresident furharvesters wanting to purchase an Iowa nonresident Furharvester License may do so only if their state of residence also sells a nonresident Furharvester/Trapping License to Iowa residents.

Can a non-resident hunt coyotes in Iowa? All residents and nonresidents regardless of age must have a Furharvester License to trap or hunt furbearing animals. Residents 16 to 64 years old and all nonresidents regardless of age must also have paid the Habitat Fee. A Hunting License All residents and nonresidents regardless of age must have a Furharvester License to trap or hunt furbearing animals. Residents 16 to 64 years old and all nonresidents regardless of age must also have paid the Habitat Fee. A Hunting License.

Is there a specified season for coyotes in Iowa? Continuous Open Season

Is there a bag limit for coyotes in Iowa? No Limit

What are the legal hunting hours in Iowa? No Restrictions

Are electronic game calls legal in Iowa for coyotes? Yes

Are decoys legal in Iowa for coyotes? Yes

What firearms are approved/disapproved for coyotes in Iowa? All firearms (except those deemed in Iowa Code as offensive/exceptionally dangerous) are legal for the taking of coyotes.

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Are suppressors allowed in Iowa? No, Ownership is Prohibited. No further hunting regulations 724.3 UNAUTHORIZED POSSESSION OF OFFENSIVE WEAPONS. An offensive weapon is any device or instrumentality of the following types: 8) Any mechanical device specifically constructed and designed so that when attached to a firearm silences, muffles, or suppresses the sound when fired. However, this subsection does not apply to a mechanical device possessed and used by a person solely for the purpose of shooting a deer pursuant to an approved city special deer population control plan if the person has a valid federal permit to possess and use the mechanical device.

Legal ammunition or restrictions for coyotes in Iowa? None

Are there regulations for transporting dead coyotes or pelts across state lines in Iowa? You cannot possess game or furbearing animals or their pelts, except deer venison, for more than 30 days after the close of the season for that species.

You may possess game that has been lawfully taken outside the state and lawfully brought into the state, but you must be able to prove it was legally killed and legally transported into the state.

Is night hunting allowed in Iowa? Yes

Are there specified weapons allowed for night in Iowa? No restrictions

Can you hunt from a vehicle in Iowa? No, The use of motor vehicles on all game management areas is restricted.

A person shall not intentionally kill or wound, attempt to kill or wound, or pursue any animal, fowl, or fish from or with an aircraft in flight or from or with any vehicles commonly known as snowmobiles.

Can baiting be used to hunt coyotes in Iowa?  Yes, you cannot use hazardous material, or illegally taken game animals.

“Bait” means grain, fruit, vegetables, nuts, hay, salt, mineral blocks, or any other natural food materials, commercial products containing natural food materials, or by-products of such materials transported to or placed in an area for the purpose of attracting wildlife. Bait does not include food placed during normal agricultural activities.

Can dogs be used to hunt coyotes in Iowa? Any method of take is legal on small game. You must have a Hunting License or a Furharvester License and habitat fee to train a dog on coyote or groundhog.

Is there a coyote bounty program in Iowa? No

Private Property: “Trespass” means entering property without the express permission of the owner, lessee or person in lawful possession, with the intent to commit a public offense; to use, remove therefrom, alter, damage, harass, or place anything animate or inanimate, or to hunt, fish or trap on the property. The term trespass does not mean entering the right-of-way of a public road or highway. Railroad right-of-ways are considered private property.

This paragraph does not prohibit the unarmed pursuit of game or furbearing animals lawfully injured or killed which come to rest on or escape to the property of another.

NOTE: You cannot use a two-way mobile radio transmitter to communicate the location or direction of game or furbearing animals, or to coordinate the movement of other hunters. (See the definitions of one-and two-way mobile radio transmitters in previous column.)

Exceptions: Coyote hunters may use two-way transmitters, except during the two regular gun (shotgun) deer seasons. A falconer may use a oneway mobile transmitter to recover a free-flying bird of prey that is properly banded and covered on a falconry permit. Hunters with dogs may use a oneway mobile transmitter to track or aid in the recovery of the dog.

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35 Comments

  1. Travis

    Can u spotlight in iowa?.
    If u can hunt at night can u use night vision…scopes and optics?

    Reply
    • Toney

      You cannot use spot lights or any type equipment that casts a beam of light. IR optics are allowed but you cannot use them in conjunction with night vision. It’s crazy. Best time is during a full moon with snow on the ground.

      Reply
      • Billy Tate

        So you can hunt coyotes at night but can not use a light seems unsafe

        Reply
    • Zach

      Yes night vision optics are legal for coyote hunting in Iowa.

      Reply
  2. Dan

    Being a landowner in southern Iowa who usually allows hunters who ask permission to hunt my property, I find it offensive that coyote hunters are not required to ask permission to hunt on private property. It is almost as though a landowner does not have any rights to prevent coyote hunters from trespassing on private land.
    I am also troubled with the running of dogs to hunt coyotes during shotgun and muzzleloader deer seasons. Knowing full well that deer which are being legally hunted will run from cover to elude barking coyote dogs released into the deer’s habitat. The practice of hunting coyotes during the regular shooting hours for hunting deer should be considered a method of interfering with the legal hunting of the deer, which is a violation of the Iowa DNR hunting rules and regulations. Because shooting and trapping the coyote is still possible during the deer hunting seasons, restricting the hunting of coyotes with dogs during these seasons would not interfere with the continuous open season.
    I view hunting coyotes with dogs as nothing more than legalized dog fighting without a ring. Since there is no bag limit, coyote hunting with dogs is nothing more than a blood sport.

    Reply
    • Bill

      I’m having a hard time believing that coyote hunters don’t have to ask permission to hunt on private property, is this true???

      Reply
      • Chad

        No it is not Bill. I called and spoke with the DNR. I believe Dan has confused picking up an animal that has expired on private ground with hunting on private ground. Here is the law: ““Trespass” means entering property without the express permission of the owner, lessee or person in lawful possession, with the intent to commit a public offense; to use, remove therefrom, alter, damage, harass, or place anything animate or inanimate, or to hunt, fish or trap on the property. The term trespass does not mean entering the right-of-way of a public road or highway. Railroad right-of-ways are considered private property.

        This paragraph does not prohibit the unarmed pursuit of game or furbearing animals lawfully injured or killed which come to rest on or escape to the property of another.”

        Reply
      • Brenda Stewart

        Yes, I have hunting dogs run through my property where I run cattle all the time and spook cattle through Fence. They never ask permission and act like they own the land.

        Reply
    • Chad

      Dan I just spoke with the DNR on the phone, and hunters are required by law to ask for permission to hunt on your property.

      If an animal has been shot and then comes to rest on your property, the hunter is not required to ask for permission, but the DNR prefers they get permission to cross onto private ground for recovery. They must take the most direct route in and out. They cannot stop and hunt for the afternoon. I’ve added the verbiage at the bottom of the page.

      I don’t like coyote hunting with dogs either, it is lawful however at this time. The best thing for you to do would be to start a petition to see the changes you want come to fruition. Good luck, and good hunting!

      Reply
    • Emily Frisbie

      They can only enter your property to pursue injured or killed game and they must be unarmed, that escaped to your property from somewhere that it was lawfully injured.

      Reply
    • ♪( ´θ`)

      What it means is if someone is on there property and shoot a coyote or deer and it runs onto your property and dies he has the right to not bring a firearm over wait till it is dead and come over and walk from point a to point B to grab the animal and take it back directly to his property. Technically the animal that was shot and killed is now the hunters property as long as it was killed legally. This law is here to protect the lives of animals so the hunter who just killed the deer or whatever it was doesnt just say “oh its on someone else property and just decides to leave it and wait for another chance. Then two would die. But if your the hunter you should be courteous and explain to the land owner what happend ask if you may retive it. If they say no then it is time to call a dnr officer they will come and talk to the land owner and will retrive it

      Reply
  3. Dan

    Is the following the only written rule concerning hunting coyotes with dogs?

    Can dogs be used to hunt coyotes? You must have a Hunting License or a Furharvester License and habitat fee to train a dog on coyote or groundhog.

    Reply
    • Chad

      This was all I could find in the regulation. I asked the DNR and they told me that “Any method of take is legal on small game.” I’ve added this to the regulations.

      Reply
  4. Greg hanson

    Question, is it legal to bowling coyotes?

    Reply
  5. Mike

    Can Thermal Rifle Scopes be used to shoot Coyote?

    Reply
  6. Derik

    Isn’t it illegal to shoot coyotes with high power riffle during shotgun seasons

    Reply
  7. Will

    Just to answer some lingering questions on here: suppressors are now legal for ownership and use in Iowa as of 2016. There are no restrictions on how to hunt coyote or what you use gun or equipment wise in Iowa other than you can’t use a infrared laser/night vision combo. Also you can’t hunt coyote during the gun seasons with a rifle if you have a tag for any of those gun seasons. This has to do with how the statute reads in regards to party hunting in Iowa.

    Reply
  8. Tom

    Travis I don’t know where Toney got his info but if you look in the hand book there are no restrictions for hunting coyotes in Iowa. It does mention the use of light not allowed for game animals however coyotes are not considered game animals I wouldn’t eat one anyways. Would you my friend? Have fun and be safe out there

    Reply
  9. Ethan

    You cannot use spot lights for Coyote in Iowa, I asked my local DNR officer. I also thought you couldn’t use buckshot to hunt coyote? Any thoughts?

    Reply
  10. Joseph meisner

    I recently lost my ability to buy a hunting license for 1 year and read online that you can hunt coyote and coon with a fur harvester license. Am I still able to do so legally?

    Reply
  11. Dan P Hemsworth

    Are there restrictions on magazine sizes for coyote? And also is it legal to hunt them on state Parks?

    Reply
  12. WILLIAM STEINFELDT

    is it legal to hunt coyotes at night with the aid of red and green lights. I have both, we want to set up in an area and call using a howler and use the lights to see if any coyotes come calling. We don’t drive or simply spotlight from any vehicle. We will only hunt with land owner permission. The use of lights is unclear. Laser’s on guns are not allowed that I understand. Weather I could use colored light flashlights is the question.

    Reply
  13. Robert Vergamini

    I read the section on nonresident license need and still cannot figure out if I’d have to have a trapping license (won’t happen it’s too expensive just to hunt coyotes once or twice) or a nonresident hunting license. Whoever wrote it didn’t read it!

    Reply
  14. Joseph VanDusen

    Thinking about purchasing a night vision scope with an IR illuminator. Does the illuminator emit visible light? If not can I use it for yote hunting?

    Reply
  15. concerned hunter

    Are IR illuminator ok seeing how there is no visible light projected. How about the use of thermal imaging what’s stopping poachers from using these instead of spotlighting.

    Reply
  16. Wade

    Can you use an electronic caller at night to hunt coyotes?

    Reply
  17. TINA PADGETT

    do you have to hunt with your dogs or just turn them loose and road hunt?

    Reply
  18. JB

    I wish they had a bounty for coyotes. I’m sick of them killing my cats (unfortunately I cannot keep all my cats indoors or keep them all inside our fence). Coyotes are a nuisance and the population seems to be increasing where I live. We often hear them howling when the noon and 6 p.m. whistle blows in Fertile, Worth County, and just last night I heard them howling and yipping and hoped they weren’t after one of my pets. The wooded areas west and south of Fertile would be a good place to go if you want to hunt coyotes. 😉

    Reply
  19. L

    I cant find any info on the dnr website. Is there any limitation or regulation to hunting or trapping in city limits?

    Reply
  20. Scott M Dorau

    Yes

    Reply
  21. Ben Hehr

    Looking for places to coyote hunt in Northern Iowa. know lots of places on public land, but looking for private land, anyone offering land or know someone that needs help with coyote problems!

    Reply
  22. Duey K

    What are coyote pelts going for $ wise.

    Reply
  23. James

    Are thermal scopes legal to hunt coyotes in Iowa??

    Reply
  24. Iowa Hunter

    JVD and Concerned Hunter: Yes you may use an IR light to hunt as long as it is NOT during any deer season AND it is attached to either the scope or firearm. This is new for 2020.

    “A person may use an infrared light source to
    hunt coyotes as long as the infrared light source
    is mounted to the method of take or to a scope
    mounted on the method of take. HOWEVER, no
    person shall use an infrared light source to hunt
    coyotes during any established muzzleloader,
    bow, or shotgun deer hunting season.”

    Now Thermal is OK at all times, however in talking to the DNR they currently consider “night vision” as infra red, IE passive night vision with no illuminator, is considered infrared and is not legal during deer seasons. Since passive night vision emits no beam, it would not appear to violate the law, however, DNR says that it does.

    Reply
  25. Michael Steen

    Do you have to wear blaze orange to hunt coyote in Iowa after December 1st?

    Reply

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