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


Tricks to hitting dogs on the run

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Unread 08-17-2012, 02:31 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 457
Re: Tricks to hitting dogs on the run

Originally Posted by Tikkamike View Post
I have shot a lot of coyotes and hitting them on the run is always the problem, along with trying to estimate distance when you dont have time to range them. we always second guess ourselves and try to hold high and lead these dogs. and 95% of the time its a miss. Here is the trick.. DO NOT hold off the hair. you will be surprised how much your hit ratio goes up on these running and "perceived" long distance shots. When I stopped trying to blindly compensate and just held on the hair I couldnt believe how many more I hit.. sure some were in the guts or butt, but it slows them down enough you can get a kill shot in them. The old time coyote hunters will tell you the same thing.
We drop close to 100 dogs a year, a good majority on video and somewhere between 10-20 are runners. Not holding off the hair completely depends on cartridge, caliber, distance, dog and bullet speed and angle. I'd have to say that in the last season, EVERY runner I hit (maybe only 3) was lead well off the fur.
My partner is noticeably better at runners, but he shoots daily and studies lead shots based on average running speeds.

The easy answer...it's just like shooting game birds. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

The more detailed answer is to just do the math and run the ballistics for movers.

Coyotes can crack 40 mph, but a nice average in "get the heck out of here" mode is between 30-35 mph depending on weather, conditions, terrain, age, etc etc etc.

My .243WSSM sending 105VLDs at 3000fps will have to lead in the neighborhood of 60-65 inches to score a hit at only 100 yds if the dog is moving full value. Hold on hair and you'll miss behind him.
The nice thing is that distance doesn't play as much of a factor because the bullet is covering it so fast. Between 100-200, the lead doesnt change by more than 3-4"...but change the angle too, and the coyotes speed essentially drops (because it's not full value) and then the hold greatly reduced.

My general rules to follow are...(100yds or beyond, additional foot at 500 yds)
2-3' feet out front (1/2 coyote length lead for full value runners.)
1-2' feet out front (hold on nose for a brisk trot or quartering runners)
Leading shoulder hair for quartering trots.
"We do not rise to the occasion...we fall to the level of our training."
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Unread 08-17-2012, 04:48 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 933
Re: Tricks to hitting dogs on the run

I think you should use the sustained lead method . The USA call it " tracking " .
You start the swing behind the coyote and match it's speed and then pull ahead the amount of lead you need and squeeze off . This should all happen in one smooth sustained swing. The point where you squeeze off the shot can vary from on the beast to way in front.
The lead needed is a function of the range and speed of the target the speed of the bullet and the speed of your trigger release. I would be inclined to use a scope that can set any elevation required on the scope turret straight up so no hold over while swinging is required as this tends to divide your concentration on the correct lead .
A slow poke on the trigger will need more lead than a quick snap shooter.
So noone can tell you exactly what lead you will need precisely .
The best that we can do is generalise .
Running targets are an instinctive thing and you need to have a mind picture concept of the leads you need in certain situations as outlined by c_bass16.
You can calculate the rough leads you need for certain ranges ,angles and target speeds using a ballistic program . Then you have to practise . After a while you get a kind of muscle memory swing and mind picture of the lead required coming together at the one time in the one smooth motion and bang the coyote hits the dust , it's a kind of zen moment where you did it but after , you are not quite sure how but you can do it over and over .
In my case I have never seen a coyote but that matters not , any moving game will give the same type of practise .
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Unread 08-17-2012, 05:27 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: vermont
Posts: 128
Re: Tricks to hitting dogs on the run

EARS yup ears,Up here the yote is running up or down the hill. Hold on the ears an send it.Very few shot s past a hundred. about 50% SL0AN
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Unread 08-17-2012, 06:36 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast
Posts: 3,623
Re: Tricks to hitting dogs on the run

I have done most of my coyote hunting in Alberta farm country that has rolling, cut fields and you don't get much time for calculation or thought before he disappears over a hill. Shots can be from 50 yards to 300 yards. Speeds, distances, and angles vary with every shot. I use a Mildot scope that is set a half the power of the scope which gives about 7"/mil at 100 yards and about 6-7 power. This gives greater lead values than using the dots at the standard full power setting. I swing through, not stopping the rifle. The range of holds become instinctive but the Mildots give an on hair hold that compensate for leads at increasing distances. Which Mildot used on the horizontal scale is quickly determined by the dogs speed and angle. For example, right angle fast running dog gets the 5th Mildot, a slow running away at a slight angle gets 1 Mildot. The brain quickly learns everything in between with practice. I don't worry about the range for lead variation because it self compensates using the Mildot scaling very well. For bullet trajectory at 300 yards, I just hold on the top of the shoulder. it works with all my rifles with around 2900-3100 FPS.

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt
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Unread 08-17-2012, 08:05 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 5,770
Re: Tricks to hitting dogs on the run

I swing through them and touch it of as the cross hair passes of the shoulder if they are running but not smoking, if they are smoking I shoot when it passes their nose. Most of our shots are moving so you get good and hitting them on the move, if you do get one to stand it's only seconds and they blow out.
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
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Unread 08-19-2012, 01:32 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boise IDAHO
Posts: 838
Re: Tricks to hitting dogs on the run

Me and my brother use to go out and walk threw the desert draws shooting at running jack rabbits for practice. Target rich environment, similar sized or smaller target moving at least as fast. We both got really good at it after a while.
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Unread 08-19-2012, 03:02 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 157
Re: Tricks to hitting dogs on the run

some say ...on the hair...some say ... off the hair.... Hmmm....

are there any tricks for practicing ... if you don't have jackrabbits...?

And where is a program chart that will show bullet leads vs speeding targets...

is there one out there... ?

All the dogs I've shot were standing still.... but have missed a couple running...

and I need to get a handle on this because I have plans for a Dakota coyote

hunt for a few weeks early this fall.

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