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Coyote down...scared to death?

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Unread 12-03-2010, 12:45 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Coyote down...scared to death?

Shot a coyote this morning. He dropped and went stiff-legged, but wasn't dead. He kept raising and moving his head, so I crossed the fence and went down to where he was. Well, I had to finish him with my pistol, and looked for the rifle wound (which I expected to find high up on the spine, but it wasn't there)

I shot him with a 6x47 lapua and 105 amax. Apparently all I gave him was a haircut across his chest. There was a furrow cut in his fur across the chest and offside front leg. No blood, no graze just a haircut down to the undercoat about 1/16 inch off the skin.

I still don't know what happened. There was the hair on the ground as evidence of the haircut.

I don't know if I hit a limb/twig between me and the 'yote and the bullet came apart before it got to him and a fragment spined him or if the bullet fragmenting on a rock about 2 to 2.5 feet past him somehow disabled him. He was below me in a creek bed with a rocky bottom.

Anyone have any experience or suggestion as to what may have actually happened.
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Unread 12-03-2010, 12:57 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 39
Re: Coyote down...scared to death?

Have you skinned it yet? I bet you will find your answer when you do. I shot one last year twice... obvious hit on the first shot, and only found one bullet hole until it was skinned. I know it sounds weird, but, its true. That was with a .308 too!
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Unread 12-03-2010, 01:53 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thunder Basin, WY
Posts: 1,788
Re: Coyote down...scared to death?

Interesting for sure!

Once time in a contest, my partner and I got 3 on one stand. The one I shot dropped right where he sat (steep downhill angle, sitting down and looking directly up at me). He kicked around some, but never got up and quit moving within a few seconds. When we went out to pick them up, we couldn't find blood anywhere! After dragging him back to the truck, we found a few drops of blood coming out of his johnson. Only thing we could come up with was.........bullet dropped low enough to hit him in the privates and blew up inside when hitting the pelvis, resulting in shock and enough internal bleeding to quickly kill him???
(22-250 with 55 Berger Varmint at 3750'/sec..........350 yds)

The coyotes taken become "property of the contest" so we couldn't skin him to verify, but I also once saw a pelvis shot on a sharply quartering away deer knock him stone cold dead instantly with no internal damage to the vitals and no bleeding inside the body cavity. Couldn't find any blood anywhere on him either. When skinned and processed, the only damage was to the hind quarter meat on the entrance side (no spine or backstrap/tenderloin damage)..........once again, only thing I could come up with was shock and internal bleeding from pelvis/major artery damage..........(25-06, 100 grn Barnes TSX at 3300'/sec.......180 yds).

Let us know if you skin and find anything out.
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Unread 12-03-2010, 04:36 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
Re: Coyote down...scared to death?

I didn't skin him. His hide wasn't in good shape. I wish I had taken the time though, just to find out where the injuries were. But I shot him twice with the .38. Once in the chest (and since it was taking him a while to expire), and a second to the head. I figured it might be a little messy with the blood from the two wounds and didn't bother. But I am quite curious as to what caused the incapacitation. I am wondering if I had left him alone if the paralysis might have been temporary. As he lay there, he only had use of his head/neck and was alert (at least until the .38 came in to play).
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Unread 08-03-2012, 11:34 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 185
Re: Coyote down...scared to death?

I'd have to say that coyotes are one of weirdest animals on the planet when it comes to shot reaction. With most high velocity-frangible bullet loads, you hit them in the killzone and they drop dead. With the heavier caliber loads and really fast, really frangible ammo (.243-55 grain BST and up) even just center-of-mass hits usually drop them, although that's no excuse not to shoot for the killzone.

Nonetheless, every now and then we meet that one coyote that just makes us scratch our heads........... "WTF was that????"
I've seen a big, heavy winter coyote take a 40 grain softpoint from a .22 mag at 160 yards and drop instantly, no spinal cord, no shoulder blade, just a straight up lung shot.
Then again I watched another heavy winter coyote tank a .300 Win mag to the shoulder from 200 yards. He took the bullet, rolled, and five seconds later he was trotting away. He made half a mile at least. My guess there is that there simply wasn't enough dog for the bullet to mushroom in, just penciled in and out.

As far as the coyote bleeding from his "johnson" goes, every male coyote I have shot frontally with my "big guns" has bled from his johnson.
Frangible bullets from rounds like a .22-250 can leave entry holes so small that they don't even bleed, but inside the coyote it's another story- so much internal trauma that pretty much everything inside is bleeding. Any blood in the digestive system has a good chance of leaking out his little buddy.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 12:55 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Bunker Hill, TN
Posts: 7
Re: Coyote down...scared to death?

I shot one last year with a 50cal ML during deer season a little back of the boiler room center cavity at twenty five yards. All it did was paralize it's back end. Don't know how that happened unless a rib did it. The thing would act like it was dead and then pick its head up and call then lay back down like dead for 15 minutes several times. Once I realized it wasn't going to expire I ended up dragging it down to the house and putting a 22lr behind the ear. Only time I remember feeling bad for a coyote suffering.

I have shot them with 223 in the same location before and had them DRT.
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