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Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards Techniques For Coyote, Fox and Cat Hunting


Is my gun big enough?

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Old 02-07-2011, 02:51 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ketchikan,AK
Posts: 51
Is my gun big enough?

Hey everybody, looking for a little reassurnce here. Last fall I bought a new Remington LVSF in .17 Rem for late winter early spring wolf calling. My friends have been laughing at my new toy gun and think there is no way it will take a wolf. Just getting into wolf hunting I haven't much practical experience. I did shoot one few years ago while hunting deer with a .243 and it just ran away. I feel bullets made for deer don't expand properly on k-9 and violent expansion via varmint bullets is best. Fwiw none of my friends ever heard of the 17 Rem let alone shot one til they saw mine.

Tim J.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:32 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
Posts: 2,242
Re: Is my gun big enough?

i have not shot a wolf. where are you hunting them?? what ammo were using?? in outdoor life a guide there reccomends a .257 weatherby. the .17 is a fine round for prairie dogs. i have seen it fail on coyote they are much smaller than wolf.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:50 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thunder Basin, WY
Posts: 1,788
Re: Is my gun big enough?

I've never shot a wolf, but I have shot hundreds of coyotes. IMO, the 17 is too small for most shots I've ever had at coyotes, and not enough gun for wolf.

IMO, the 17 is a great cartridge for praire dogs, jackrabbits, chucks and such, but not enough bullet weight for the bigger varmints. Personally, I'd try and go with 243 as a minumum, and use bullets that are varmint class, but on the heavy side, or big game class but on the light side.

I am not saying the 17 won't kill one with the right shot placement, but they can be dangerous animals..........are you willing to risk your life on it? They run in packs usually too I've heard/seen on video. They drag down elk and moose and horse size animals. I've seen video of them running off Grizzly Bears!
Aim small = Miss small

Last edited by SBruce; 02-07-2011 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:41 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,090
Re: Is my gun big enough?

Well......it all depends..........

Do ya wanna kill them DRT or do you want a dead wolf every once in a while?

I've shot plenty of small critters with the 17. Mainly house cats, magpies, jackrabbits and such. Worked pretty well.

I've never thought the 17 as a large animal cartridge. However it does well on yotes.

As far as large calibers not working on K-9s, I tend to dissagree, fairly strongly.

I've taken plenty of yotes with a 270 Win and 140gr bullets of about every ilk. Lost Rivers, Nosler, Hornady and haven't ruined a hide or lost a yote that was hit.

Wolves are just big dumb dogs. Go for it.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:24 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 172
Re: Is my gun big enough?

I have shot a couple wolves up here in AK. I would think of them as a small deer but with more will to live. In my opinion a .17 would be too small. I have used my .223 but a .243 would give you a little more range which is pretty important. They tend to be a very careful animal when approaching your calls.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:43 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 129
Re: Is my gun big enough?

more bullet selection than anything, i lost 2 yotes this year with a .223 using what i thought would work great but it didnt, 40 gr v-max at 3900 fps is dropping them, but they get up and run off, going to try the 50 gr noslers next at about 34-3500 fps, but for now the .223 is demoted for squirells and chucks, i am having no problems with deer grade bullets expanding on coyotes so they should work on wolves, in my opinion for wolves like mentioned earlier, the .243 would be great with heavy varmint or light deer loads.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:51 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 39
Re: Is my gun big enough?

I am a firm believer in "bring enough gun." Though a .17 could do it under the right circumstances, what are the odds you will have the right circumstances? I too would say go with something more like a 6mm, or .243 at a minimum.
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