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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.

2018 hunting season dates

First season: Jan. 1 - March 8
Second season: Oct. 13 - March 8, 2019
All dates inclusive. Hunting on Sundays is prohibited.

coyote hunting

Regulations

Hunting hours

Hunting hours begin ½ hour before sunrise and end at midnight. There are two exceptions for this:

  • Hunting hours start at sunrise and end at sunset on WMAs stocked with pheasant or quail during the pheasant or quail season
  • 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 certain licenses and permits, which you can buy through MassFishHunt.

Massachusetts residents:

  • Hunting or sporting license
  • No additional permits

Non-residents:

  • Small game or big game license
  • No additional permits

Bag limits

None

Hunting zones

All wildlife management zones

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 on wildlife management areas stocked with pheasant or quail, during the pheasant and quail seasons.

-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:

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

Illegal methods:

  • Artificial light

Shotgun deer season special restrictions

  • Hunting hours are half hour before sunrise - half 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.

Trapping

Learn more about coyote trapping.

Tagging, transporting, and reporting requirements

  • You must report your coyote harvest within 4 working days of the end of the season.
  • 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 8th 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.

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