Coyote hunting regulations in Texas are established by the Parks and Wildlife Department. Coyotes are a problem when they prey on livestock or pets, scavenge in dumps or residential areas or invade gardens in search of fruit such as watermelons or berries. Coyotes can also carry rabies, which poses a health risk to humans and animals. Hunting is one of several means of controlling coyote populations and associated problems.
Hunters of all ages, including residents and nonresidents, are required to obtain a license to hunt any animal in Texas, including coyotes. However, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department permits the hunting of coyotes without a license if they "are attacking, about to attack, or have recently attacked livestock, domestic animals, or fowl".
Hunters should be familiar with local ordinances restricting the discharge of a firearm within city limits. Additionally, state law prohibits the discharging of a firearm across or on a public roadway, even if livestock animals are under attack from a coyote.
Texas residents and nonresidents can purchase a hunting license. Residents can purchase licenses that are valid until August 31 of the licensing year, and discounted licenses are available for resident seniors. Combination hunting and fishing licenses are available for residents, as are lifetime hunting licenses. Resident and nonresident children under the age of 17 can also purchase a discounted hunting license.
Nonresidents can hunting purchase licenses that are valid until August 31 of the licensing year, and special licenses for spring turkey season, exotic game, and banded birds. Nonresidents can also purchase a five-day license at a reduced rate, which permits hunting of specific animals on the five consecutive days that are noted on the license.
Where to Obtain a License
Texas hunting licenses are available at 1,700 locations across the state. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's website provides a database of sales locations that is searchable by city name. Licenses can also be purchased through the Department's website or by calling 800-895-4248, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hunter Education Certification
Although certification is not required to purchase a hunting license, Texas requires that all hunters born on or after September 2, 1971 complete a Hunter Education Training Course and carry proof of certification with them when hunting. A one-time deferral from the training course until the end of the current hunting year can be purchased, and proof of the deferral must be carried when hunting.
The purchase of a hunting license does not give the holder the right to hunt coyotes on any property without first obtaining the landowner's permission. Additionally, Texas law prohibits crossing property lines without landowner consent to pursue a wounded coyote. An individual trespassing without permission is subject to arrest.
Texas hunting regulations are enforced by game wardens, who have the right to stop any hunter and request to see photo identification and a valid hunting license. They can also inspect hunting equipment, wildlife in the hunter's possession and wildlife storage containers.
- Eastern Coyote (Canis latrans) image by Steve Byland from Fotolia.com