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Coyote hunting regulations

Before you go hunting for coyote, be sure you know the rules. This page contains regulations for hunting coyote in Massachusetts.

2024 hunting season dates
Jan. 1 – March 8, 2024
Oct. 19, 2024 – Mar. 8, 2025

All dates inclusive. Hunting on Sundays is prohibited.

Table of Contents

Hunting hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end at midnight.

Exception: hunting hours start ½ hour before sunrise and end ½ hour after sunset during shotgun deer season.

Click here for a sunrise/sunset table.

Required licenses and permits

To hunt coyote in Massachusetts you must have the appropriate license and permit, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.

Massachusetts residents:

  • Hunting or sporting license


  • Small game or big game license

Bag limits


Hunting zones

All Wildlife Management Zones statewide.

Hunting implements

Shotguns: Only shot sizes up to and including FF (.230 inches diameter). Slugs, single balls and buckshot may only be used during the shotgun deer season.

Archery equipment: Archery tackle is legal, with no minimum pull. Crossbows may be used by certain permanently disabled persons by permit only. Poisoned arrows, explosive tips, bows drawn by mechanical means are prohibited.

Rifles and handguns:

  • Daytime hunting: During the period from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, there are no restrictions on size or caliber of rifles or handguns.
  • Nighttime hunting: During the period from ½ hour after sunset to midnight rifles are restricted to those chambered not larger than .22 long rifle and handguns are restricted to those chambered not larger than .38 caliber. 
  • Prohibited during the shotgun deer season.

Muzzleloader:  Smooth bore muzzleloaders: Only shot sizes up to and including FF (.230 inches diameter). Slugs, single balls, and buckshot may only be used during the shotgun deer season. Rifled bore muzzleloaders: no restrictions on caliber size.

Hunting methods

Legal methods:

  • Electronic calls (Prohibited during the shotgun deer season)
  • Manual calls (Prohibited during the shotgun deer season)
  • Dogs (Prohibited during the shotgun deer season)
  • Decoys
  • Bait


  • Artificial light
  • Wanton waste: It is unlawful for hunters to intentionally or knowingly leave a wounded or dead game animal in the field or the forest without making a reasonable effort to retrieve and use it. Each retrieved animal shall be retained or transferred to another until processed or used for food, pelt, feathers, or taxidermy. This does not apply to animals unfit for consumption or use—animals and their parts that are damaged, destroyed, decayed, rotting, diseased, or infected.

Blaze orange requirements

  • During the shotgun season for deer, 500 square inches on chest, head, and back is required.
  • When hunting on a pheasant or quail stocked WMA during the pheasant/quail season, a blaze orange cap is required.

Shotgun deer season special restrictions

  • Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise – ½ hour after sunset.
  • You must wear 500 square inches of hunter orange on your head, chest, and back.
  • Rifles and handguns are prohibited.
  • Dogs, electronic, and manual calls are prohibited.


Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements

  • You must report your coyote within 48 hours of harvest.
  • Report at an official check station or online
  • If you report your harvest online, write the confirmation number on a tag and attach the tag to the carcass or pelt.
    • These confirmation numbers must stay attached to the pelt or carcass until that pelt or carcass is prepared for mounting or sold or tanned.

Hunting season framework

First Saturday after Columbus Day – March 8 of the following year (including shotgun deer season).

Coyote hunting regulations

This page is to be used as a reference, it is not the entire law and is subject to change. You can refer to the fox, coyote, and bobcat hunting regulations in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, 321 CMR 3.02(3) and to several provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131 for more information about coyote hunting laws and regulations.

Contact for Coyote hunting regulations

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