Rules for Hunting Coyotes in Michigan

Need a brief look at the rules for hunting coyotes in Michigan? Coyotes are found throughout the state, but the Lower Peninsula has the highest population. Wolves and colder temperatures keep the coyote numbers lower in the Upper Peninsula.

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Rules for hunting coyotes in Michigan.

Michigan allows coyote hunting year-round, with no bag limit. Michigan residents must have a valid base license, and nonresidents must have a base license and a valid fur harvester license. Residents hunting other furbearing species will need a base license and a fur harvester license.

There’s a few more rules and regulations below, as well as a host of tips and related articles to help you become a successful coyote hunter in Michigan.

Purchase a license here:

Check out the Michigan hunting seasons.

Related: Read the laws for hunting fox in Michigan.

Related: Read the laws for hunting bobcat in Michigan.

That’s the famous Kevin Rought—one of’s favorite master predator hunters.

You can subscribe to his Youtube channel here.

Related: Learn how to read coyote tracks and sign here.

Related: What is the best time to hunt a coyote? Read this article on the best hours of the day to hunt coyotes.

The rules for hunting coyotes in Michigan.

License required for hunting coyotes? Yes, an annual base license is required for every resident or nonresident who hunts in Michigan, unless otherwise noted. The base license allows hunters to hunt small game and to purchase additional hunting licenses.

No license needed for Opossums, porcupines, weasels, red squirrels, skunks, ground squirrels, woodchucks, and feral swine may be harvested year-round, statewide with a valid Michigan hunting license. There is no bag limit for these species.

In Michigan, raccoons, skunks, woodchucks, and coyotes may be taken year-round, using otherwise lawful hunting or trapping methods, on private property and with landowner permission when doing or about to do damage. A license or written permission is not needed.

Lawful hunting methods when you hunt coyotes in Michigan.

Baiting coyotes. If you use a game animal for bait, that season for that animal must be open.

Related: Read this article to learn how to make the perfect bait pile.

Hunting coyotes at night. Michigan law requires those hunters hunting coyotes at night to use either dogs or a predator caller.

Dogs cannot be used April 16 – July 7.

When hunting with dogs, an individual may possess only a loaded firearm, a
cocked crossbow, or a bow with a nocked arrow at the point of kill.

Related: Where is the best place to shoot a coyote? Read this article to make sure your coyote is DRT.

Related: Michigan has eastern coyotes. Learn how to kill the monsters here.

Interested in learning how to hunt foxes? Read my book, Night Hunting Read and Gray foxes.

Using night vision rifles scopes and lights when hunting coyotes in Michigan.

Can I use artificial lights when hunting for furbearers at night? Yes, read the specific regulations below.

Individuals in compliance with the above regulations may use artificial lights of the type ordinarily held in the hand or on the person.

Thermal or infrared rifle scopes may all be used by individuals complying with nighttime regulations above.

What are the restrictions on using artificial lights when I am not hunting furbearers at night?

• It is unlawful to use an artificial light (including vehicle headlights) to locate
wild animals at any time during November and all other days of the year
between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

• Unless hunting furbearers at night and in compliance with nighttime hunting
regulations, it is unlawful to use an artificial light on a highway or in a field, wetland, woodland or forest while having in your possession or control a bow and arrow, firearm or other device capable of shooting a projectile.

• An artificial light may be used from Nov. 1-30 on property you own or property owned by a member of your immediate family if you do not have in your possession or control a bow and arrow, firearm or other device capable of shooting a projectile.

• It is a violation of federal law to shine at any time on any national wildlife refuge.

• An artificial light may be used from Nov. 1-30 on property you own.

• Those not possessing a firearm or bow and arrow while traveling on foot may use lights during dog training or field trials to follow dogs chasing raccoon, opossum or fox.

• A lighted pin sight on a bow or a scope with illuminated crosshairs may be used to hunt game during legal hunting hours.

Related: You have to keep them interested to call them in. Read how to here.

Related: Interested in hunting bobcats? Here are three tips you need to know.

Night shooting while hunting coyotes in Michigan: Ammo Restrictions.

Night hunting in Michigan requires the use of .269 caliber or smaller for the take of coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and opossums at night. Nighttime take with centerfire rifles is prohibited statewide in all state parks and recreation areas and all state game areas within the limited firearm deer zone.

Related: Can you read a coyote’s body language? Learn how to tell when it is time to take your shot.

Related: Hunting with just a light? Not a problem, read how to choose the right color here.

Rabies and mange are a hazard when you hunt coyotes in Michigan.

The state of Michigan is one of the few states to take the time to point out these two hazards in thier field guide. Coyote hunters should read and understand these warnings before approaching wounded coyotes, or handling dead ones.


Rabies is a disease of the central nervous system caused by a virus. The virus is usually transmitted in the saliva from animal to animal and from animal to human by a bite.

All mammals are susceptible. It is important to understand that there are no typical or characteristic signs for this disease, and many signs associated with rabies overlap with symptoms of other wildlife diseases. However, some behaviors to watch for include aggressive biting, paralysis, restlessness, tremors, and convulsions.

Once signs of illness appear, rabies is 100% fatal; however, proper postexposure treatment is nearly 100% effective. Contact your local state health department regarding any sample submissions.

Sarcoptic Mange.

Sarcoptic mange is commonly seen in wolves, coyotes, red foxes and occasionally raccoons. It is caused by a mite, which lives and burrows into the layers of the skin. The mites irritate, resulting in the animal scratching and biting the affected area and spreading the mite on its body. Hair loss, thickening and wrinkling of the skin, and scab and crust formation on the skin are the results of the infestation.

It’s very important to never let you pets come into contact with any mange infested coyote, or bring one into their housing or play areas.

Feeding behavior may be altered due to the intense irritation, resulting in malnutrition. In severe cases, the animals can die due to exposure from losing the insulating layer that the hair provides. In most cases, the mange will resolve itself. Mange-infested animals should only be handled while wearing gloves.

Freezing the carcass will kill the mites for safer handling. The mite can live on humans for some time, causing severe irritation at the exposure site. Consult your physician or veterinarian, respectively, if you or your pet may have been in contact with an infected animal.

Don’t drink and hunt coyotes in Michigan.

Hunting and alcohol never go together, but in Michigan it is specifically against the law. A conviction under this section may prohibit you from applying or possessing a hunting license for 3 years.

Hunting coyotes in Michigan: Private property entry and trespass laws.

324.73102 Entering or remaining on property of another; consent; exceptions.

Sec. 73102.  (1) Except as provided in subsection (4), a person shall not enter or remain upon the property of another person, other than farm property or a wooded area connected to farm property, to engage in any recreational activity or trapping on that property without the consent of the owner or his or her lessee or agent, if either of the following circumstances exists:

  (a) The property is fenced or enclosed and is maintained in such a manner as to exclude intruders. 

 (b) The property is posted in a conspicuous manner against entry. The minimum letter height on the posting signs shall be 1 inch. Each posting sign shall be not less than 50 square inches, and the signs shall be spaced to enable a person to observe not less than 1 sign at any point of entry upon the property.  

(2) Except as provided in subsection (4), a person shall not enter or remain upon farm property or a wooded area connected to farm property for any recreational activity or trapping without the consent of the owner or his or her lessee or agent, whether or not the farm property or wooded area connected to farm property is fenced, enclosed, or posted.  

(3) On fenced or posted property or farm property, a fisherman wading or floating a navigable public stream may, without written or oral consent, enter upon property within the clearly defined banks of the stream or, without damaging farm products, walk a route as closely proximate to the clearly defined bank as possible when necessary to avoid a natural or artificial hazard or obstruction, including, but not limited to, a dam, deep hole, or a fence or other exercise of ownership by the riparian owner.  

(4) A person other than a person possessing a firearm may, unless previously prohibited in writing or orally by the property owner or his or her lessee or agent, enter on foot upon the property of another person for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog. The person shall not remain on the property beyond the reasonable time necessary to retrieve the dog. In an action under section 73109 or 73110, the burden of showing that the property owner or his or her lessee or agent previously prohibited entry under this subsection is on the plaintiff or prosecuting attorney, respectively.  

(5) Consent to enter or remain upon the property of another person pursuant to this section may be given orally or in writing. The consent may establish conditions for entering or remaining upon that property. Unless prohibited in the written consent, a written consent may be amended or revoked orally. If the owner or his or her lessee or agent requires all persons entering or remaining upon the property to have written consent, the presence of the person on the property without written consent is prima facie evidence of unlawful entry.

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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