Rules and Regulations for Coyote Hunting in Idaho

Are you thinking about coyote hunting in Idaho for the first time? Then you need to be aware of all the state’s rules and regulations. Here’s a cheat sheet for you, but always check for updates before you head out. 

Coyote hunting in Idaho
Photo Credit: Paul Hunter

Idaho classifies coyotes as Predators. Therefore, they may be taken in any amount, at any time, and in any manner not prohibited by state or federal law, by holders of Idaho hunting licenses, provided such taking is not in violation of state, county, or city laws, or other regulations.

You can purchase an Idaho hunting license online here.

Check out the Idaho hunting seasons.

Related: Click here to learn the laws for hunting fox in Idaho.

Related: Click here for the laws for hunting bobcats in Idaho.

Can lights be used for hunting coyotes in Idaho?

It is unlawful to hunt any big game animals, upland game animals, or fur-bearing animals with the aid of any artificial light. However, you can obtain a permit for some species of animals

A Permit to Hunt with Artificial Light is required to hunt predators (only Coyote, Jackrabbit, and Skunk) and unprotected animals (animals not classified as a game or protected animals).

You can apply for a spotlight permit at your local Idaho Fish and Game Regional Office. Ask to speak with your Regional Conservation Officer regarding the permit. 

When is the best time of the day to go coyote hunting? Learn the facts here.

Coyote hunting in Idaho
Photo Credit: Paul Hunter

If you are using NVG for Predatory and Unprotected Wildlife, as defined by Idaho Code, and you are not casting a light of any kind, you do not need a spotlight permit. However, you can utilize only ambient light and your NVG. All other rules and laws are still applicable. You can get a permit at the Regional Fish and Game office you intend to hunt.

Regions consider the potential to injure other people, disturb or kill big game, disturb or damage private property such as buildings, livestock, irrigation systems, etc. and trigger complaints of unlawful activity. Therefore, permits are very restrictive and require notification to the County Sheriff’s Office and Fish and Game Regional Office for each trip. 

The permit restricts caliber, light application, distance from residences and campgrounds, season, private property, areas with livestock and cannot be used during any general or controlled big game season.

Landowners can authorize hunting at night with a spotlight on their privately owned property by issuing written permission. A hunting license is required. When hunting on private property with written permission, a permit from Fish and Game is not required.

Coyote hunting in Idaho
Photo Credit: Paul Hunter

Can you use night vision or IR scoped rifles when you hunt coyotes in Idaho?

Night vision is permitted. Infrared light scopes, however, are a source of artificial light. Therefore, infrared light scopes require a permit to hunt on public lands. Likewise, both a permit and written permission from the landowner are required to hunt on private land with artificial light.

Thermal scope, however, are permitted.

Not sure where to aim at a coyote to instantly put it down? Check out this article.

Are decoys legal in Idaho? Yes.

What firearms are approved/disapproved for coyotes in Idaho? No restrictions.

It is legal to use a .22 rifle or pistol to hunt predatory and unprotected animals. Likewise, you can hunt unprotected wildlife legally with an Airgun.

Calling coyotes during mating season? Read this.

Can you hunt coyotes in Idaho with a suppressor?

 Yes, it is legal to hunt in Idaho with a suppressor. 

Can you hunt coyotes with dogs? “A dog may be used for training on or taking unprotected and predatory wildlife.” Idaho Admin. Code r.

Can you hunt from a vehicle in Idaho? No, not unless you hold a handicapped motor vehicle hunting permit. 

Are calling contests and bounties? Contests are legal. The state of Idaho does not pay rewards. 

Can you use archery equipment to hunt coyotes? Yes, crossbows and other archery weapons are permitted. You do not need an archery permit to hunt coyotes with a bow, and you may use mechanical broadheads. An archery permit is only required in archery-only hunts. Weapons restrictions such as mechanical broadheads apply in archery-only hunts.

Can you use bait when you hunt coyotes in Idaho?

Coyotes are classified as predatory wildlife. Fish and Game does not prohibit the use of bait for hunting predatory wildlife (coyotes). However, using the edible portion of harvested game animals as described in Idaho Code 36-1202 is not allowed. Consult with the land management agency to determine if they have any restrictions on placing substances to bait coyotes

Possession? Coyotes are predators and can be possessed and sold at any time. 

Need to track a wounded coyote? Check out this article.

Hunting coyotes in Idaho using manual or electronic predator calls is legal. 

This information is provided to aid you, you are responsible for insuring its currentness. Check all hunting rules before you begin hunting coyotes in Idaho. Good luck!

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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