Coyotes In Your Pocket - A Quest To Shotgun Coyotes
Feeling about half naked and wondering if I could hit anything anyway, I started my quest. I had previously purchased a Remington 11-87 turkey gun with coyote hunting in mind. A Dead Coyote choke tube was installed. I put a Tru-glo fiber optic three dot sight on the rib making it more like an open sight than a shotgun bead-- comforting to the rifleman-turned-shotgunner. My brother told me of his attempt to remodel his scattergun for coyotes and how far off of point of aim it shot so, after taking out a second mortgage on the home, I purchased a few boxes of Hevi-Shot’s Dead Coyote 3” T-shot and patterned my gun. It was good thing I did as the center of the pattern printed about 12 inches high at 40 yards. Good to know. The difference between POA and POI could have stopped my shotgun-coyote efforts before they got off the ground.
Lesson Number One: Pattern your Shotgun.
The next stand turned out a little different than the first. Ben and I set up next to a slightly larger opening--Ben again with his .17 and me with the 12 gauge. Not long into the stand a pair was coming hard from Ben’s side. Barking had little effect and Ben took a shot at the lead coyote, a big male. The shot missed and I opened up with the shottie finally knocking the coyote down on shot number three. Ben put a finisher in him with the .17. As we walked up to the coyote, I realized I already had over ten dollars worth of shotgun ammo in this coyote hide!
Lesson Number Two: Heavier than Lead Loads are Expensive.
I’ve tried some lead and copper-coated lead shotshells as well as the Hevi-Shot loads and all have been effective. The position of the coyote in relation to the shooter and the coyote’s adrenaline level seem to have more impact on the effectiveness of the shotgun than the load itself. However, a friend of mine, Bob Morris, has much more experience shotgunning coyotes than I. He feels the heavier than lead loads are significantly more effective and that the new 15 gram per cc ultra-heavy shot is even better yet. Prices have sky-rocketed recently on the tungsten alloy shot and the shells are getting increasingly expensive but if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your shotgun for coyotes, they may be worth the money. Stock up now if you can find old inventory of UHD loads.
Since, my primary coyote hunting partner went to college this fall, I’ve been double carrying a rifle and shotgun on most stands. The shotgun stays in my hands and the rifle is set up next to me on a Stoney Point Rapid Pivot Bipod. The shotgun has accounted for over 80% of the coyotes this fall although the rifle has finished a few after knocking them down with the shottie. The shotgun opened up a lot of areas closer to home that would have been too tight of cover for good rifle stands. A couple of shotgun doubles have fallen to the 11-87 and having coyotes close enough to hear them breathe adds another dimension to the game.