Coyote Hunting, Predatorial Series #3 - "Coyote In The Crosshairs"
Coyote Hunting Predatorial Series #3 - "Coyote In The Crosshairs"
By Greg Ballard
We have covered the basic behavior of the coyote in Predatorial 1 and we covered the basics of the coyote calls in Predatorial 2. In this Predatorial we are going to cover another tool of this business. A tool that is deadly serious. Deadly for the coyote, that is. We are going to cover our shooting equipment. This will include various pieces of equipment that we will use to shoot or to help us shoot more coyotes.
This subject is such a broad and diverse one that we canít realistically cover all of it in one article so I am going to go over my personal preferences when it comes to hunting coyotes. I base these suggestions upon what has worked for me over the past 30+ years of hunting the coyote. By no means is this going to cover every coyote rifle or rifle caliber nor ammo types and such. The good news is that you can bring what you got and do quite well. I donít hunt any other types of animals using rifles or shotguns so my equipment is pretty much what I deem to be ideal for hunting coyotes. I am not saying that what I use is the best for coyotes, I am only stating that this is what I use or have used in the past with great success on coyotes. I will also give some realistic suggestions of equipment that will work and work well for you.
Coyote Hunting Rifles
First, I am going to talk a bit about rifle selection. In my opinion, the ideal coyote rifle will be one in a caliber that will shoot MOA or better using bullets that weigh 75 grains or less. I also have a preference for the polymer tipped bullets. I have spent the past decade of my coyote hunting career mostly shooting a Remington 700 bolt rifle in a .243 caliber and did so shooting a 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet.
This was my primary coyote gun for the past decade. It is a Remington 700 VS rifle in .243 caliber. For coyotes I shot the 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips at just over 4000 fps. The scope is a Leupold 6.5-20x50 LR
This is a near perfect combination of velocity and accuracy with plenty of punch at the impact to drop any coyote with any sort of well placed hit. Any rifle in calibers such as .204, .223, 22/250 or those similar to these calibers will work quite well for all of your coyote hunting needs. A rifle that has a light recoil, fast velocity and MOA or better groups is going to work wonders for you.
The reality of coyote hunting that is done via the use of coyote calls will most generally always be a 300 yards and under affair. In fact, I would say that most every shot at a coyote that you will take will be less than 200 yards. With a fast and flat shooting rifle such as the .243 shooting the 55 grain bullet at around 4000 fps this means that you can sight in dead on at 200 yards and at 300 yards you are only 3.5 inches low. For me this equates to the following holds since I will near always shoot the coyotes in the cranium if they are 300 yards or less. At 100 yards, I will hold right on top of their black nose if they are looking at me, and they generally will be, and at 200 yards I hold right between their eyes and at 300 yards I can move the crosshair right between their ears. That is about all that I need to remember for nearly every shot that I will have to take on a called in coyote. This is the benefit of shooting a lighter bullet at a high velocity.
This is a custom coyote rifle built by LazyD guns of Tulsa Oklahoma. It is caliber 204 Ruger and shoots 40 grain Hornady VMax bullets at just over 3800 fps out of a Shilen 22 inch barrel. It currently has a Nikon Monarch 3-9x40, but will soon be replaced by a Nikon Monarch 5.5-16.5x44