Can you eat coyote? 

coyote profile
Yes, Coyote meat is okay to eat. It is very nutritious and is high in protein and vitamins, and low in fat and cholesterol. Coyotes' varied diet gives the meat its desirable nutrient density.

Some people enjoy out-of-the-ordinary meats, such as alligator and kangaroo. What about eating coyote meat?

Native Indian Tribes would only consider consuming dogs, but would never consume coyotes or wolves for religious reasons. Non-natives would also consume wild dogs but would only consider coyote “in the absence of all other varieties.”

Read on to find out why coyotes, although edible, are rarely consumed. 

Can you eat coyote meat?

Coyote meat is edible. Most animals, excluding several species of animals that are toxic to humans, are edible. Coyote meat, when cooked properly, is very nutritional.

The meat of a coyote is high in protein, vitamin b12, zinc, and iron. It is low in fat and cholesterol. This is because coyotes are omnivores. Their diet of bugs, fruits, seeds, and grass causes them to be nutritious to humans.

coyote foraging in the forest

How do you cook coyote?

Even though coyote is not a popular table fare, those who eat it tend to eat the backstraps of coyotes. While you can eat the hams and shoulders, the backstraps are the easiest part of the coyote to cook.

The smell will be unappealing, but once you remove the back straps and trim the fat, it will smell like ordinary beef. Marinating coyote after cutting it will make it more tender.

Leave it in the refrigerator for several hours to several days with a marinade made of oil, vinegar, and spices. After marinating, the coyote should be cooked slowly. If it is cooked too fast, it will be dry.

You can eat the meat as is or put it in a dish, such as tacos. Coyote meat could also be ground and used in chili, spaghetti, stew, and more. 

Additionally, you can make or buy coyote jerky. Coyote jerky can be made the same way as described above, but before cooking it, put it in a dehydrator at its highest meat setting for a few hours.

coyote in the grass

Is it dangerous to eat coyote meat?

As long as the coyote is cooked thoroughly, it will be safe to eat. Just like any meat, coyote meat should never be eaten raw or undercooked. Eating raw meat or undercooked meat will result in food poisoning and sickness.

Coyotes carry trichinosis, a disease humans can catch from eating an animal with the Trichinella disease. This disease occurs in animals that eat other forms of meat. It will only affect humans if the animal’s meat is eaten raw or undercooked.

To kill the Trichinella parasite, meat must be cooked at an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the same case for the rabies virus.

Cooking meat will kill rabies, but if you previously knew the coyote had rabies, it is safest to avoid eating the coyote.

What does coyote meat taste like?

Coyote has been described as a fatty, rich meat. Like any meal, coyote meat will vary in taste depending on how it is cooked and where it comes from.

It has been reported that coyotes from the south taste different than the coyotes that live in the north. This is due to the difference in diets based on location.

Some people say you wouldn’t be able to tell if it was pork or coyote in a pulled coyote meat sandwich!

However, most people that have tried coyote say it is challenging to compare coyote to other meat. They report that coyote has a unique flavor that is one of a kind. Most people say that coyote meat isn’t delicious but isn’t disgusting either. It is simply an average-tasting meat.

The taste of coyote depends on what time of year the coyote was killed. Coyote will taste better in the colder months because typically, coyotes eat more meat during this time of year. In hotter months, coyotes usually eat on rotting carrion such as roadkill. This diet of theirs will change their flavor. 

Coyote is a tough meat. For it to be tender, you need to cook it slowly and on low heat. Many people don’t like coyote when they try it because they have grilled it and overcooked it.

What is the stigma with eating coyotes?

Many people don’t eat coyotes because of the poor stigma that comes with doing so. People prefer to eat other wild game, such as deer, elk, and rabbit.

Most people believe coyotes are scavengers and shouldn’t be ingested. This belief is mainly based on the coyotes diet. Urban coyotes are especially viewed as unsavory because these coyotes dig in garbage cans to eat. Rural coyotes are also seen as disgusting creatures because they feast on carcasses and insects.

Wild animals carry diseases, and these diseases that coyotes may carry make people turn their noses up at the thought of eating them.

coyote walking

The most popular reason people don’t eat coyotes is that coyotes are too closely related to dogs. Both animals are part of the Canis family, and eating coyote seems wrong to people since they remind people of the loyal and popularly beloved pet dog.

While it is illegal to kill and eat dog in the United States, other places such as China, Switzerland, and Vietnam consume dog.

The smell of coyotes also makes them unappealing. Coyote pelt and urine have a strong, disgusting smell. Hunters have stated that wounded coyotes smell horrible. People who cook coyote also complain of the odor while cooking it.

Coyotes are primarily hunted for reasons other than for food. People kill coyotes for their fur and population control. Those who have eaten it say that it isn’t worth hunting coyotes for their meat. If you happen to kill a coyote for other reasons, take the opportunity to try the meat and see what you think.


Whitney is a graduate of Georgetown College and a current graduate student at the University of the Cumberlands. She resides in the beautiful state of Kentucky, which she has always appreciated and endeavors to maintain the land's well-being. A lover of animals and the earth, Whitney strives to communicate accurate information that will help readers learn new information, ideas, and become informed stewards of the natural world.

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