Most annual deer hunters don’t bother diverting any of their time to hunting coyotes, and it’s easy to see why. They certainly aren’t for eating. Most farmers will kill them on sight. Outside of the aggravation of their existence, why hunt them? Hunting coyote in Kentucky is a necessity, and deer hunters should take notice.
Coyotes are overpopulated throughout the United States and, as their numbers continue to grow, it adversely impacts deer populations. They also spread diseases, especially to dogs, such as heartworm, rabies, and mange.
They attack livestock and chicken coops. Coyotes will eat almost anything and generally create havoc in their wake, especially when they group themselves into packs in the fall and winter months. In Kentucky, some hunters remain active all year just to hunt coyotes. Regular deer hunters should do the same.
Where to Hunt Coyotes in Kentucky
The coyote population in the United States is exploding, including in Kentucky. There is no right or wrong place to hunt coyotes in Kentucky. The only regulations on the hunting of coyotes in Kentucky come from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
According to the DFW, coyotes are termed furbearers. The title comes with a complete lack of stipulations. The only thing you can’t do when hunting coyotes is do it from inside a vehicle. Boats are an exception. You can hunt coyotes from boats.
The best places to go hunting coyotes in Kentucky are rural areas. The good news is, there are a lot of rural areas in Kentucky. The bad news is the coyote population is getting out of control, and they only come out at night.
In the fall and winter months, coyotes tend to form packs and hunt together. It’s far more common to sight several coyotes at once between late October and spring. Since they primarily come out at night, you have to hunt them using traps or by getting out very early in the morning or late at night.
If you happen to spot one out in the daytime, be careful. Coyotes don’t hunt in the daylight, but they have a reason to be out during the day if they have rabies. If you use dogs to hunt them, it’s even more dangerous for your hounds.
As far as where to go, coyotes are showing up on the outskirts of every major city in Kentucky. The season is completely open on coyotes, and you can kill them anywhere and at any time. The only thing that Kentucky limits is the time of year you can trap them.
Do you need a license
You don’t need a license to hunt for coyotes in Kentucky. They are not considered “game” so it’s open season all year long. There are only a few places in the entire state where coyote hunting is regulated.
- Big South Fork National River
- Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge
- Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
- Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge
- Pioneer Weapons and Redbird WMA
Rules and regulations
On public land, you can hunt coyotes all year long with a crossbow, bow, or shotgun. The shotgun has to be scattershot only—no slugs. On private land, the rules are the same, except you can use a rifle between December 1 and March 31.
It’s also legal to bait coyotes with deer carcasses or other means, so long as you are not on the above-listed lands or WMAs. You can also use artificial light, so long as it’s not connected to a mechanized vehicle.
Silencers are completely legal as well. In fact, you can hunt both game and non-game with silencers in the state of Kentucky. There are plenty of coyote calling contests in Kentucky you can enter as well.
The only other law that must be followed is regarding private land. You can’t wander onto someone else’s property while hunting coyotes unless you obtain permission.
There is no bag limit on coyotes. They are pests—vermin whose population numbers need to be reduced, and desperately so. Coyotes are culling the deer populations, which is why annual deer hunters need to help hunt down and eradicate coyotes where they are found.
At least until the coyote population is brought back in line with something more reasonable. Until then, they will continue to ravage livestock, destroy property, and continue to reduce the deer population.
There is no perfect place to hunt coyotes in Kentucky. They’re everywhere and are most problematic when it comes to deer populations, livestock owners, and farmers.
You don’t need a license to hunt coyotes in Kentucky, and there is no bag limit. You are welcome to kill as many coyotes as you can possibly place in your sights and pull the trigger. As vermin, they are problematic at the best of times and out of control at the worst.
For the deer hunters in Kentucky who hang up their weapons when deer season is over, it’s incumbent on you to help reduce the coyote population as well. If not, you may find that deer are becoming quite scarce around your tree stands and blinds each year.
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