ST. LOUIS – Though peak coyote season recently passed, there’s a chance you could see one roaming through Missouri or Illinois on any given day.

Last year, the Missouri Department of Conservation warned people to be on the lookout for coyotes in early June. Coyotes could appear in broad daylight, though are more likely to be spotted during the evening hours. They can also create concerns to domesticated pets and their owners.

Occasionally, coyotes can be a nuisance around the St. Louis metropolitan area. Does that make it legal to hunt or kill one in Missouri or Illinois if they pose a threat? It depends.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, in the Show Me State…

  • Coyotes, by means of hunting, “may be taken all year except during the daylight hours from April 1 – 16.”
  • There aren’t any specific limits as to how many can be hunted.
  • Permits may be required if the time coyotes are being hunted coincides with various spring and fall hunting seasons.
  • Coyotes trapping season runs from mid-November to late-February, which includes a stretch of peak mating season for coyotes. A resident trapping permit is needed for this practice.

According to Coyote Hunting 101, in Illinois…

  • Coyotes, by means of hunting, can be killed, though “hunters need a hunting license and habitat stamp” aside from a few exemptions.
  • There aren’t any specific limits as to how many can be hunted.
  • Coyotes may be hunted on private property, with the assistance of dogs, archery devices, any type of caliber of handgun, or legal rifles including large-capacity semiautomatic rifles and shotguns.
  • Night hunting with lights is illegal.
  • Hunting coyotes on various days in November and December, ones that coincide with firearms deer hunting season, is also illegal.

Conservation agents also want people to keep the behavior of coyotes in mind before any decisions, specifically try to determine whether the coyotes is being aggressive and exhibiting problems or just roaming around.

Coyote Hunting 101 also breaks down what is and isn’t illegal in every US state on coyotes.