If you plan on hunting coyotes in Kentucky, there are a few rules you need to know. While this list of laws will get you started, regulations change. It is you responsibility to check the law for changes and updates before proceeding with your first stand. Good luck!
Coyotes may be hunted year-round, day or night, with no bag limit. Hunters may only use artificial light or other means designed to make wildlife visible at night from Dec. 1 – May 31. Artificial light or other means designed to make wildlife visible at night cannot cast from a mechanized vehicle.
Purchase a Kentucky hunting license here.
Check out the Kentucky hunting seasons.
Related: Read the laws for hunting fox in Kentucky.
Related: Read the laws for hunting bobcats in Kentucky.
The rules for hunting coyotes in Kentucky at night.
On public land, nighttime coyote hunters may use a bow, crossbow or a shotgun loaded with a multiple-projectile shell only.
On private land, nighttime coyote hunters may use a bow, crossbow or shotgun loaded with a multiple-projectile shell only, except that from December 1 – March 31 hunters may also use a rifle of 6.5mm (.264 caliber) or smaller bullet diameter; a muzzleloader of .54 caliber or less; or a shotgun shell with a single-projectile.
Night hunting for coyotes is prohibited on Kentucky lands managed by Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Daniel Boone National Forest, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge and Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, including Beaver Creek, Cane Creek, Mill Creek, Pioneer Weapons and Redbird wildlife management areas (WMAs).
Related: With coyote hunting open all year, to find a coyote, you need to know what coyotes eat.
Related: Learn how to track coyote sign here.
Can you use an electronic caller when hunting coyotes in Kentucky?
Yes, hand or mouth-operated calls and electronic calls that imitate wounded prey or coyote calls are legal.
Related: Learn which two sounds bring in the most coyotes.
Related: Learn how to use an open reed caller here.
Related: Learn how to use a closed reed call here.
Check Amazon for electronic coyote caller prices here.
Is baiting coyotes legal in Kentucky?
It is legal to hunt coyotes over animal carcasses. Animal carcasses are considered bait.
However, a hunter shall not place or distribute bait or otherwise participate in baiting wildlife on all WMAs, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Daniel Boone National Forest, Jefferson National Forest, Land Between The Lakes and state parks open to hunting.
You can read this free article on how to create the perfect bait pile here.
Are electronic riflescopes legal in Kentucky?
Kentucky law states: Artificial light or other means designed to make wildlife visible at night cannot be connected to or cast from a mechanized vehicle. This would seem to include night vision, infrared, and thermal riflescopes.
If you plan on hunting coyotes in Kentucky, give your local game warden a call to confirm the legality of using electronic riflescopes before you make your first stand.
If you can I suggest you read the following helpful articles.
Using 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 (better target identification compared to thermal), but they can get pricey. Beginners should consider the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro, but read this article before buying one.
A thermal riflescope will set you back thousands of dollars. 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.
Additional laws for coyote hunting in Kentucky.
Suppressors. Silencers are legal for hunting both game and non-game animals in Kentucky.
Coyote calling contests. Legal, you can check here for updates.
Private land laws.
A person shall not enter upon the lands of another to shoot, hunt, trap, fish or for other wildlife-related recreational purposes without the oral or written permission of the landowner, tenant, or person who has authority to grant permission.
Those who fail to obtain permission are subject to arrest and prosecution.Railroad tracks and rights of way are privately-owned property and permission to hunt, trap or fish must be obtained prior to entry.
Landowners are under no obligation to allow hunters to retrieve game or hunting dogs from their property.
If you have limited land and no real access to public land, you need to manage what you have and ask for permission to hunt private land. The following articles will be useful to you:
Learn how not to over hunt a property here.
Learn how to ask for permission to hunt private land here.