Coyotes and Other Wildlife


This is a summary of hunting laws, intended solely for 
informational use  and is applicable from March - June, 2014

This page is dedicated to the hunting of coyotes and other wildlife but you may download the

Entire 2014 Spring Hunting Guide here

Coyote, Photo by Joe Lacefield

Photo by Joe Lacefield



Season Dates - searchable application


Hunting license required, unless exempt.  Shooting hours for groundhogs and wild pigs are one half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset.  Hunters may be in the field before and after shooting hours.  Hunters can take coyotes after daylight hours, but lights or night vision equipment can only be used from Feb. 1 - May 31.


Hunters may only use the following to take coyotes, wild pigs, groundhogs, and exotic species of wildlife:

  • Muzzle-loading rifle, modern rifle, or handgun of any caliber, with no restriction on magazine capacity.
  • New this Year - Shotguns are the only legal firearm for night coyote hunting.  A shell containing a single projectile may not be used.
  • Shotguns no larger than 10 gauge, shooting any size lead or non-toxic shot, including buckshot.  Breech-loading shotguns must be plugged to hold a maximum of three shells (two in the magazine and one in the chamber).
  • Archery and crossbow equipment.
  • Dogs may be used to aid in the hunt.


Hand or mouth-operated calls and electronic calls that imitate wounded prey or coyote calls are legal.

It is legal to hunt coyotes over animal carcasses.

Coyotes may only be trapped during furbearer trapping season.


Hunters can take coyotes after daylight hours. Lights or night vision equipment can only be used from Feb. 1 – May 31. Lights cannot be connected to or cast from a vehicle. Any color of light can be used.
Shotguns are the only legal firearm for night coyote hunting. A shell containing a single projectile may not be used.
Regulations prohibiting night hunting for coyotes on Kentucky lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service, including Department WMAs within the boundaries of these properties, were pending at the time this information was posted.  Please call 1-800-858-1549 for the latest information.


Groundhogs may be trapped year-round.

Wild pigs may not be hunted from March 1 – Sept. 5, 2014 on the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Hunters must have a permit from the National Park Service to hunt wild pigs on Big South Fork from Jan. 20 through Feb. 28, 2015.

It is illegal to possess, sell or transport wild pigs in Kentucky. Landowners are strongly encouraged to work with the department to remove wild pigs from their property. Trapping is the most effective method of removal. Tell your local conservation officer about the use of snares and/or corral traps on your property. Traps and snares should be tagged and checked in accordance with trapping regulations. Wild pigs must be killed at the trap site, and not released. To report sightings, illegal activities related to wild pigs, or to get advice on effective control, contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-858-1549.




  • Some species of exotic, non-native birds (pheasant, chukar, and Eurasian collared doves) may be hunted year-round, without a hunting license or bag limit.
  • English sparrows and starlings may be hunted year-round, with no bag limit, but a hunting license is required, unless license exempt.
  • However, pheasants released during quota hunts are not open to year-round hunting on Green River Lake WMA, Yellowbank WMA and Clay WMA.
  • All birds of prey and native songbirds are protected under state and federal laws and may not be taken.


  • Exotic, non-native hoofed stock may be hunted year-round.
  • No license required.
  • No bag limit or checking requirement.
  • Fallow deer on Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area are not open to year-round hunting.


  • The spotted skunk, a rare species found in eastern Kentucky, is a protected species and may not be taken.
  • All threatened or endangered species are protected under state and federal laws and may not be taken.


Bullfrog season opens at noon on the third Friday in May, and runs through the end of October.

The daily limit (noon to noon) is 15; possession limit is 30. If bullfrogs are taken by gun or bow and arrow, a hunting license is required. If taken by pole and line, a fishing license is required.

If frogs are taken by gig or by hand, either a hunting or fishing license is valid. It is illegal to possess a gig on a stream or lake, or in a boat, from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31.


Snapping turtles and soft shell turtles may be taken year-round with no bag limit. Alligator snapping turtles cannot be harvested.

A hunting license is required if turtles are taken by gun or bow and arrow. Consult the Kentucky Fishing & Boating Guide for information on other legal means of harvest.