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Hunting for coyotes can be challenging, but it can be easier if you prepare well. You’ll need to stay ready with the best shot size for coyote hunting if you wish to succeed. You’ve got many shots to consider, but whatever you stick with, you should ensure you have a sturdy shotgun to help you with the work.
Why use a Shotgun?
The general rule of thumb for coyote hunting is to use a shotgun instead of a rifle. It is easier to target a coyote that runs towards a call with a shotgun than if you use a rifle. The spread that the shotgun produces provides better results.
A shotgun will not do as much damage to the coyote’s pelt as a rifle would. Rifle shots can produce substantial exit wounds that can keep the coyote’s pelt from being as valuable as it should be.
But the best thing to do when finding the right shot size is to consider what goes into the shotgun shells you choose. Each shell will include dozens of pellets that can work for your firing needs.
Number 4 Buckshot
The best shot size for coyote hunting is the Number 4 buckshot.
The buckshot is a 12-gauge shot with at least 24 pellets. A 2.75-inch buckshot bullet can feature at least 24 of these pellets, while a 3-inch model can have about 40 pellets. Each pellet is .24-caliber or 0.24 inches in diameter. The size should be good enough to get through the coyote, while the number of shots in each shell will cover enough of the coyote’s body. The design also won’t cause an exit wound that will tear through the pelt.
A Number 4 buckshot blast will produce lead balls that travel at about 1,200 feet per second on average. The power produces a good shot if the range of engagement is at 10 yards or less. But it can work well at slightly further distances if the coyote moves well enough towards the call.
Number 3 Buckshot
You could also use smaller buckshot ammo if you prefer. A Number 3 buckshot blast will have about 15 to 20 pellets in a shell, plus it can have an effective range of 30 yards if you adjust the choke as necessary. The Number 3 shot also provides more energy. But since there are fewer pellets, it may not produce enough of a dent in the coyote’s body for it to be effective on one shot.
You can stick with a Number 3 buckshot option if you’re in a more wide-open space for coyote hunting. A Number 4 shot would still be the best shot size for coyote hunting and work better in tighter environments.
12 Guage BB
A 12-gauge BB shotgun load is another good choice to see. This shot size can include seventy or more BB pellets in one fire. A BB pellet is about 4.5mm or 0.18 inches in diameter and features a steel body. It may come with zinc or copper plating to reduce the risk of corrosion.
The BB size is the bare minimum that you should consider. The shotgun shell you use should have enough of these BB pellets to bring down the coyote.
You could always consider a BBB shot if you want something a little more massive. A BBB shot is 0.19 inches in diameter. It can be more effective in bringing down a coyote from a closer distance, but it may not work well from further out.
The last choice for the best shot size for coyote hunting is the Number T shot. A T shot is 5.08mm or 0.20 inches in diameter. It is traditionally made with tungsten, steel, or bismuth.
Some T shots are Hevi-Shot ones that feature a layer of steel near the base. The added steel provides a slightly greater mass, but it does not cause the shot to become wider. A shotgun shell can come with thirty or more of these pellets at a time, but a 3.5-inch shotgun load would be better in this case.
Be sure when looking for the right shots for coyote hunting that you know how each choice works. Look at how well your shotgun can handle these shots, and see how the environment you’ll enter works before you start your hunt.