Rules for Hunting Coyotes in Vermont

Do you need a quick look at the rules for hunting coyotes in Vermont? The first coyote documented in Vermont was shot in 1948. Reports of coyote sightings and occasionally dead coyotes in Vermont increased noticeably in the 1960s and early 1970s. The coyote population has since become well established and relatively stable in Vermont. Coyote hunters in Vermont are chasing the largest of coyotes, the eastern coyote.

Rules for hunting coyotes in Vermont.
The rules for hunting coyotes in Vermont.

In Vermont, the is no closed season for coyote hunting. A license is required. Night hunting is permitted, but no lights may be used.

New laws for 2022.

  1. Hunters are no longer be able to hunt coyote with dogs. The one exception allows a person to hunt coyote with dogs is in defense of a person or property and the hunter has permission from the landowner through a courtesy permission card.
  2. A person in the act of taking game may use a use, possess and carry a gun suppressor, according to criminal and fish and game law.
  3. A person who intentionally and knowingly killed a game animal is to make every effort to retrieve and use it. The animals this applies to are big game, quadruped game, game bird, fur-bearing animals and crows. The requirements to use the animal do not apply when it is unfit for consumption or is a coyote taken not by trapping.

Purchase a Vermont hunting license here.

Check out all the Vermont hunting seasons.

Related: Learn the rules for hunting fox in Vermont.

Related: Learn the rules for hunting bobcat in Vermont.

A few regulations for hunting coyotes in Vermont.

Suppressors. At this time in 2022, it is lawful to hunt with one.

Electronic callers. Are allowed for coyote hunting.

Lights. It is illegal to hunt coyotes at night using lights in Vermont.

Night vision, infrared, and thermal riflescopes. With night vision and infrared scopes, the law is mute. However, in most places an emitter is considered a light. The use of thermal scopes does not appear to be prohibited. Your best bet is to contact a local game warden and ask them, do it before your start your hunt.

Starting with a simple scope mounted light is inexpensive—but truly an exciting way to hunt coyotes. Read this article to choose the right color of light for night hunting predators.

Infrared scopes have their value in terms of better target identification compared to thermal, but they cost a lot more. Beginners should consider the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro, but read this article before buying one.

A thermal riflescope is a major purchase. You must wait until you have determined you are addicted to coyote or predator hunting before buying one. For new hunters, I recommend the ATN Thor 4 (good for up to 150 yards). Please check out my article on ATN Thor 4 scope before buying one.

If you have no night hunting option available, you will have to master the craft of calling in what might be a well-fed, sleeping coyote, or one that’s scared you’re a wolf.

Therefore the following articles are strongly recommended, especially for new predator hunters.

  1. 3 open reed coyote calls you can learn now.
  2. How to master the best closed reed coyote call.
  3. Coyote calling sounds your successful pals keep secret.

Check electronic predator caller prices here.

Baiting. Baiting coyotes is legal. You can learn how to create the perfect bait pile here.

You need a different strategy for hunting coyotes in Vermont during the day.

Let’s face it; coyotes move a lot more at night. The only way to increase your odds of success is to locate their habitat, find their dens, maximize the property you have, and get access to more property.

Locate their habitat. 

  1. Learn how to track coyote sign here. Hunt only where you can find coyote sign.
  2. Learn what coyotes eat throughout the year here.

Find a coyote’s den.

  1. Learn how to recognize and locate a coyote’s den here.

Maximize the property you already have access to.

  1. Don’t over hunt what you have already. Here are some tips to avoid over hunting a location.
  2. Learn how far you have to move between stands here.

Get more land to hunt coyotes on.

  1. Read here to discover 8 ways to get permission to hunt private property.

You will need a decoy, check coyote decoy prices here.

Coyote Hunting Competitions Prohibited in Vermont.

The fine for the first offense is $400 to $1,000 and ten points on a hunter’s license. The second offense is $2,000 to $4,000 and twenty points on a hunter’s license. It is illegal to participate in a coyote hunting competition for a prize. 

Related: When is the best time to call an eastern coyote?

Related: Learn how to hunt an eastern coyote here.

Avoid trespassing while hunting coyotes in Vermont.

Hunting, fishing or trapping on properly posted land is illegal without written permission. This includes land posted for hunting, fishing or trapping by permission only. In order to be properly posted, the landowner must file with the town clerk and the Fish & Wildlife Department. See 10 V.S.A., Sect. 5201-5206.

Whether the property is posted or not, a hunter or angler shall show their license if requested by the landowner.

It is illegal to damage or remove posters prohibiting hunting, fishing or trapping.

A person must leave the land immediately on demand of the owner, whether the land is posted or not.

Posting & Permission Only Signs

A landowner, or a person having the exclusive right to take game on land or the waters thereon may maintain signs stating that hunting, fishing, or trapping or any combination of the three is prohibited or by permission only

Permission Only signs shall state the owner’s name and a method by which to contact the owner or a person authorized to provide permission to hunt, fish or trap on the property.

Posting and Permission Only Signs

  • The owner or person posting the land, shall annually record the posting at the town clerk’s office for a fee of $5.00.
  • Signs must be not less than 8 ½ inches by 11 inches.
  • Lettering and background on the signs must be of contrasting colors.
  • Signs must be maintained at all times and dated each year.
  • Signs must be erected on or near all boundaries, at each corner, and no more than 400 feet apart.
  • Signs shall not be considered void if other language is added, as long as a reasonable person would understand that hunting, fishing or trapping are prohibited.

Location of Posting Signs

Posting signs and “By Permission Only” signs must be erected on or near all the boundaries, at each corner and not over 400 feet apart.

Safety Zone when hunting coyotes in Vermont.

A property owner may establish a 500-foot Safety Zone around an occupied dwelling, residence, barn, stable or other building with signs provided by the Fish & Wildlife Department. These signs shall be placed at each corner of the safety zone and no more than 200 feet apart. Shooting is prohibited in the Safety Zone and no wild animal may be taken within it without permission from the owner.

Remember: You bear sole responsibility for hunting legally in Vermont. Check state and local laws for updates before you begin hunting coyotes in Vermont.

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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