Can You Hunt Coyotes at Night in Missouri?

Can You Hunt Coyotes at Night in Missouri?

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After the end of deer season, you’ll shift your focus to small game, furbearers, or upland bird varieties. Other predation critters also litter the landscape, attracting intrigue and aggravation equally. So, can you hunt coyotes at night in Missouri?

According to an update in the Wildlife Code of Missouri, hunters and landowners can kill coyotes at night. From February 1st until March 31st, you can use artificial light, night vision, infrared, or thermal imaging equipment to take these critters during the hours of darkness. All you need is a conservation agent’s written authorization or a general hunting permit to hunt these critters in this state.

In Missouri, coyote hunting is open through most of the year, and you can pursue them after dark. These keystone predators cum scavengers sit on top of the natural food chain in the state due to the extirpation of bears, wolves, and mountain lions. Read on to see how calls for the management of their thriving population allowed them to be taken at night.

When Can You Hunt Coyotes in Missouri?

You can hunt coyotes in Missouri at any time during day and night for most of the year. According to Missouri Code Regs. Tit. 3 § 10-7.410, 1; B2, the use of an artificial light to spot, locate, take, attempt to take, or otherwise hunt these predators is allowed. In that manner, it’s legal to shoot them with a firearm or any other weapon from February 1st to March 31st.

You can also employ night vision, infrared, or thermal imaging equipment within the exact dates to take coyotes in Missouri. That’s in conjunction with other hunting methods, not from motor-driven air, land, or water conveyance or across a public roadway. The same changes by the Missouri Department of Conservation or MDC enable you to use electronic calls to bring the critters out of cover.

In Missouri, the wily canine is persistent, pursuing game animals, birds, furbearers, reptiles, and other rodents. At times even the occasional domestic livestock or pet falls prey to this predator, and it’s not above scavenging either. Coyotes have a keen sense of smell; honing in on a kill from miles away and hunting them involves using calls.

So, Can You Hunt Coyotes at Night in Missouri?

Coyotes were present in the state of Missouri long before humans settled here. They’ve persisted and proliferated in the state, much to the chagrin of livestock farmers due to damages caused. In the late 19th century, market hunters decimated predator and game populations to almost nothing.

That left this predator without much competition, becoming an invasive species requiring control. Beginning in 2021, you can pursue coyotes in Missouri through the hours of daylight and into the night. It’s now legal to use artificial lights regardless of their color or whether it’s part of Night Vision and thermal imaging equipment.

Other times, you can go after coyotes when the night is moonlit, or there’s snow cover on the ground. To ensure positive species identification and get a safe shot, you’ll need to call these critters. They tend to get more active during hours of darkness so hunting them from dusk to dawn often proves highly productive.

Which Seasons Aren’t You Allowed to Hunt Coyotes at Night?

With a small game hunting permit, you can hunt coyotes at night in Missouri. That’s if you’re between the ages of 16 and 65 years old, and you have unfulfilled deer tags during the open season. If you’re an eligible landowner, you can hunt the predators without a license regardless of the season. The only caveat is contacting the local game warden within 24 hours of taking the animal as obligated by the wildlife conservation code.

However, you can only hunt these predators during daylight hours, and the coyote season stays closed during those three weeks. You may take coyotes using the methods prescribed for spring turkey hunting, but you must have an unfilled turkey permit plus a small game hunting license. That also goes for Missouri nonresidents, who hunt these predators with nonresident furbearer hunting and trapping permits.

You can’t use the aid of a vehicle, aircraft, or boat to spot, pursue or shoot coyotes in this state. There are no bag limits to the number of predators you can harvest. During daylight hours in the statewide November deer season, you can’t use dogs to hunt the critters. You may also possess carcasses and pelts for sale or transportation except during the daylight hours from April 1st to the 19th.

When pursuing coyotes in Missouri, you can’t use chemicals, tranquilizers, poisons, or explosives to kill them. However, you can bait or call them using hand or manual calls and electronic ones. You may use a motorboat to stalk and hunt them if the motor is shut off and the boat’s not moving forward.

How Do You Get Coyotes Near So That You Can Hunt Them?

Coyotes effectively maintain a balanced ecosystem, but overpopulation comes with its challenges. They are very distinctive in appearance, with their outer hairs tipped black and their upper parts a dull yellow or light gray. The back of their ears is often a yellowish or reddish color, which extends to around the muzzle. Both sexes are similar except for size differences, and their eye irises are tawny.

They’re particularly active during the evenings and at dawn when they gather near their dens before going out to hunt for the day. Seeing as they prefer darkness, you’ll have better success if you’re hunting coyotes between the last two hours before nightfall and two hours before daybreak. You can use hand calls closed, and open reed calls for doing vocalizations like howls, barks, and yelps.

Check out this article on How to Bait Coyotes at Night?

Other sounds that call in coyotes include rabbit or rodents in distress and deer fawn bleats. You can do lots of turkey calls as well as bird soundings such as woodpeckers or flickers. Some electronic calls will give you up to 150 sounds with less movement, which helps you stay concealed.


Can you hunt coyotes at night in Missouri? Yes, but only from February 1st to March 31st. You can also take these predators from the start of the spring turkey season but during daylight hours. Landowners and hunters with special permits can also use artificial lights, infrared, night vision, and thermal imaging gear to spot the critters.

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