Can you hunt coyotes?

Increased sightings in Michigan due to mating season


Photo by Cynthia Alvado

Photo by Cynthia Alvado

GENESEE COUNTY — With increased activity from coyotes in the tri-county area, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding people of the law in regards to hunting.

Hunting season for coyotes is year-round statewide. There is no kill tag, mandatory registry or bag limit. However, hunting coyotes may be limited in certain areas that have firearm, shooting or trapping restrictions.

Holly Vaughn, public outreach and engagement unit manager in the Wildlife Division of Michigan DNR, said, “If you are in an area where hunting or discharging a firearm is legal, coyote may be taken on private property by a property owner or designee all year if they are doing or about to do damage on private property.”

A license or written permit is not needed.

“If you are in an area where hunting or discharging a firearm is not allowed and a coyote is acting aggressive and is not easily scared away, you can contact a nuisance wildlife control company to come remove and euthanize the problem animal(s),” she said.

In Fenton, under Ordinance 20-91(c) a landowner may use a pellet gun on coyotes for pest control, but trapping is not allowed, said Lt. Jeffrey Cross. Fenton Township does not have specific ordinances regulating the hunting of coyotes.

In Linden, Police Chief Scott Sutter said their ordinance that “Hunting wild game animals and birds is unlawful in the city, except that a landowner may use a pellet gun on his or her own property for pest control with respect to rats, coyote, opossum, porcupine, weasel, red squirrel and skunk.”

DNR Conservation Officer Justin Muehlhauser said Argentine Township and Gaines Township do not have further ordinances prohibiting hunting or trapping coyotes.

“They can be taken without a license if they’re about to do damage, and that includes protecting livestock and poultry,” he said. “Trapping season is from October through March 1, but if they are about to do damage, you can trap them legally on your own property.”

Check with your local municipality before hunting or trapping coyotes.

• Genesee County: Region Seven, Bay City Customer Service Center 989-684- 9141

• Oakland County: Region 10, Detroit Customer Service Center 313-396-6890

• Livingston County: Region Nine, Detroit Customer Service Center 313- 396-6890

• The DNR Customer Service Center afterhours number is 1-800-292-7800.