Coyote Hunting at Night in Kentucky

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Coyote hunting at night in Kentucky is allowed!

The nighttime hunting season for rifles runs from December 1st through March 31st, while shotguns can be used year-round.

Hunting is permitted on private land for rifles and both public and private land for shotguns. The use of lights, night vision, and thermal equipment to make wildlife visible at night is allowed.

However, for the most accurate and up-to-date information, you can refer to the official Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources website or their published hunting guides.

Coyote Hunting in Kentucky

Coyote hunting in Kentucky is a common practice that helps manage the state’s wildlife balance.

Coyotes, known for their adaptability and intelligence, are widespread in Kentucky. Their population has grown significantly over time, making them one of the most common wild mammals in the state. This growth is due to their ability to thrive in various environments, from rural to suburban areas, and even near urban settings.

Their widespread presence across the state provides a unique challenge for hunters, especially when hunting at night. This activity, while challenging, is important for managing the coyote population and is a common pursuit among Kentucky’s hunting community.

Regulations for Nighttime Coyote Hunting in Kentucky

Kentucky’s hunting regulations stipulate specific seasons for nighttime coyote hunting. For rifle users, the season spans from December 1st through March 31st. Shotgun users, however, enjoy the liberty to hunt year-round. It’s important to note that rifle hunting is restricted to private land, while shotgun hunting is permissible on both public and private land. The caliber of the rifle used should be 6.5 millimeters or smaller.

Equipment for Nighttime Coyote Hunting in KY

When hunting coyotes at night, visibility is key. Kentucky allows the use of lights, night vision, and thermal equipment to make wildlife visible. Infrared and thermal scopes are particularly popular among hunters for their effectiveness in low-light conditions.

Coyote hunting at night in Kentucky

Techniques for Successful Coyote Hunting at Night in Kentucky

Successful coyote hunting at night requires a blend of skill, patience, and strategy. One effective technique is the use of coyote vocalizations to attract these curious creatures.

Familiarizing oneself with the hunting area during daylight hours is also beneficial, providing a clear understanding of the terrain and potential obstacles.

Read our comprehensive guide to coyote hunting at night here.

Safety Considerations for Nighttime Coyote Hunting

When hunting at night, safety considerations become even more critical due to the reduced visibility and the potential for unexpected encounters with wildlife or obstacles. Here are some specific safety measures that hunters should take into account:

  1. Scout the Area in Daylight: Before embarking on a nighttime hunt, it’s recommended to scout the area during the day. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the terrain, identify potential hazards, and locate good spots for setting up.
  2. Communicate with Landowners: If you’re hunting on private land, it’s essential to communicate your plans with the landowners. This not only maintains good relationships but also ensures that they’re aware of your presence, reducing the chance of misunderstandings or accidents.
  3. Check for Livestock and Equipment: During your daytime scouting, check for signs of livestock or farming equipment in the fields. Accidentally startling livestock or damaging equipment can have serious consequences.
  4. Use Appropriate Lighting Equipment: Using appropriate lighting equipment, such as night vision or thermal scopes, is crucial for spotting coyotes and navigating the terrain safely. However, remember that the use of such equipment is regulated and should be used within the legal hunting season.
  5. Practice Safe Shooting: Always be sure of your target and what’s beyond it before taking a shot. This is especially important at night when visibility is limited.
  6. Inform Others of Your Hunting Plan: Let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. In case of an emergency, this information can be crucial.

By following these safety measures, hunters can ensure a safe and successful nighttime coyote hunting experience.

Personal Experiences and Stories

Nighttime coyote hunting in Kentucky is filled with thrilling experiences. One hunter recounts his first successful hunt using an infrared scope. After setting up his call and waiting patiently, he heard a bark.

The coyote was close, just 200 yards away. Using his bipod and shooting sticks, he was able to take a successful shot, marking his first nighttime coyote with the new rifle season in Kentucky.


Coyote hunting at night in Kentucky is a unique and rewarding experience, steeped in tradition and regulated for safety and ecological balance. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or a beginner, understanding the regulations, mastering the equipment, and honing your hunting techniques can lead to successful and safe hunting experiences. Happy hunting!

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