Rules for Hunting Coyotes in Indiana

by Nichole Mayers

Coyotes are native to Indiana, and their numbers have increased drastically since the 1970s when sightings were uncommon. Although Coyotes normally avoid humans, they are opportunistic scavengers, eating from any available food source. With their increasing numbers, they are often seen in urban and suburban areas in Indiana, scavenging for potential food sources including unsecured trash bins and pet or livestock feed. They generally eat small mammals, and small household pets have become fair game, as well. Hunting coyotes is allowed in Indiana to control the population and eliminate nuisance animals.

Coyote Hunting License

Coyote hunting requires a valid license and state or federal stamp privileges. A license can be obtained online (, in person or by mail at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources located at Indiana Government Center South. The application requires your name, birth date, Social Security number or Indiana driver's license number, address and telephone number, and the license holder's height, weight, hair and eye color. Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1986, also must attend a hunter education class at the DNR unless they obtain an apprentice license and work closely with an experienced hunter at all times. Fees vary based on resident status. At the time of publication, for a hunting license, the fee for residents is $17. The nonresident fee is $80. A trapping license costs $17 for residents of Indiana and $140 for nonresidents. Landowners or those with written authorization from the landowner, do not require a permit from the DNR to hunt or trap on their land.

Coyote Hunting Regulations

Coyote hunting season in Indiana begins at noon on Oct. 15 and ends at noon on March 15. Landowners aren't relegated to this period, however. A landowner, or someone with express permission from the landowner, can hunt coyotes on their own land to reduce the nuisance threat. The designated hunting season serves to eliminate the threat that arises from coyotes who emerge from public land. It is illegal to hunt on private land without written consent of the landowner. Hunting coyotes in a motor-driven vehicle is illegal, including cars, boats and off-road vehicles. A motor vehicle can be used to check traps and for hunting if the hunter is authorized with a Persons with Disabilities Hunting Permit. Hunting on public roads is prohibited, as is shooting across a body of water, and silencers are not allowed while hunting. When hunting coyote, the hunter must carry a continuously burning light that can be seen from at least 500 feet. Disturbing a coyote den is prohibited. This includes shooting, digging or trying to smoke animals out of the den. Using tree-climbing equipment to reach an animal in a tree is also prohibited. Hand and mouth operated calls are allowed when hunting coyote.

Trapping Regulations

Badgers, bobcats and river otters are protected in Indiana. If accidentally trapped, a conservation officer should be notified immediately and if killed, its body surrendered to the officer. There is no penalty for reporting the trapping of a protected animal. The information is much appreciated, because it provides data on the location of endangered wildlife in Indiana. It is illegal in Indiana to use a foothold trap with saw-toothed or spiked jaws. Foothold traps must measure perpendicular to its base, less than 5 3/4 inches, and no greater than 6 1/2 inches in inside width. Square body gripping traps should measure larger than 7 1/2 inches, and round traps should measure grater than 8 inches. Traps with smaller measurements must be completely submerged in water. Snares can only be used by landowners or those with written authorization from the landowner. The maximum legal circumference of a snare is 15 inches, unless partially submerged or if a snare lock is used to prevent strangulation of domestic animals.


Coyotes mate in February and March; during these months, they're seen in daylight more often, and with their normal food source of small rodents in hibernation, human habitats become an attractive alternative. Coyotes feed primarily on small mammals, but will forage in urban areas, as well. If found near the home, do not corner them. Shout or make loud noises and leave a route for them to escape. If cornered, they are known to attack. Feed domestic animals indoors in order to avoid attracting coyotes.

About the Author

Nichole Mayers began writing in 2000 as an online columnist. She also wrote promotional material for JIN restaurant and Subterranean sandwich shop in Washington, D.C. and for the recruitment firm MosAL Consulting. Mayers has written press for comedian Victor Torres and prepared a monthly newsletter for Soule Restaurant in Brooklyn, N.Y. She holds a B.A. in English from Montclair State University.

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