just wanted to chime in a say good choice with your gun.
it is one of my most fun guns to shoot.
I have a the volquartsen 17hmr, carbon wrapped barrel with the forward blow comp(replaced the original comp, and it does have less perceived noise to the shooter), it sits in a turner barracuda stock with a leupold vxIII 4.5-14, I also bought the KID trigger for it because I wanted a lighter pull than the factory one had.
it shoots good with hornady 17gr stuff. I've shot almost all the 17gr ammo, but haven't shot any of the 20gr. I'm curious if it would shoot it.
as far as shooting coyotes, go ahead, but you may lose more than you get; unless you are head shooting them. we've made some good shots on a couple dogs and lost them before we quit carrying them yote hunting.
squirrels, now that's another story! its the perfect medicine for the sage rats in your state.
have fun, and sorry you live in cali...