It’s time to get out and help maintain the coyote population in California. And while the Department of Fish and Game (“DFG”) does not list coyote season on their website, you can hunt them. You’re not going to get paid to hunt them like you can in Utah, but you can go out and have a lot of fun in the field. (See eHuntr article on Utah’s New Coyote Bounty Phone App).
When someone asks you which law allows you to hunt coyotes point them towards 14 California Code of Regulations § 472 (“General Provisions”). 14 C.C.R. § 472(a) specifically allows for a year-round hunting season of coyotes. Although the DFG doesn’t want to let you know they can be hunted, the laws of California allow it.
Again, you won’t get paid to hunt coyotes since the state outlawed hunts with prizes back in 2014. While it would be nice to make a few extra bucks on the side to pay for your ammo you should be able to have some fun! Afterall, there is no daily bag limit.
There are a few other regulations to remember. These include which areas may be hunted, an allowance for the use of decoys, use of lights, and a restriction on suppressors. You can find a more detailed explanation of the coyote hunting laws of California on coyotehunting101.com.
Why hunt coyotes?
Coyotes can be incredibly violent creatures that are not able to be relocated without written permission from the DFG. They can carry disease, eat your dogs, and be hostile during breeding season (May through September). With somewhere between 250,000 and 750,000 in California’s wildness and near cities, it is important for hunters to do their part.
If you’ve never hunted coyote before, Realtree gives a few public land hunting tips on their website.
California has had a lot of rain in the past couple years with even more on the way. Rain means more plants, more plants mean more rabbits, and more rabbits means more coyotes. Have fun out there chasing coyotes!