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Ideally, if you are wanting to hunt coyotes with a shotgun, you would need to be relatively close to it to get a positive hit or be on the run. This is because a shotgun disperses BBs in a wide zone when you fire the weapon.
This means that the kill zone of a shotgun is much larger than other weapons. However, this also means that the effective range of a shotgun is only around 40 yards.
It is possible to extend the range of a shotgun by purchasing a choke tube, or by purchasing ammunition that claims to have a longer range.
When a coyote is on the run, you will find it tough to make the kill. Not only do Coyotes tend to change directions quickly, but where you will find them will often be dense with brush or trees and other obstructions.
Semi-Automatic Shotguns are by far the best option when it comes to selecting a shotgun.
Once you have taken a shot, they automatically load the next shell in so you are able to take another shot soon after.
Unfortunately, this type of shotgun usually costs somewhere around the $700-$800 range.
Pump Action Shotgun
The plus side of a pump-action shotgun is obviously the cost – starting around the $350 mark, however, it does require you to pump mechanism to reload the weapon each time you fire.
With practice, you should find that you are able to reload the shells quite quickly.
If you do want to up the challenge a little, then I would consider taking it up a notch with either a Rifle or a Bow.
Gauge, Chamber Size and Barrel Length of Your Coyote Hunting Shotgun
After deciding on the type of shotgun to buy (Semi-Automatic or Pump Action), you will need to choose what gauge.
For coyote hunting; ideally, a 12-gauge shotgun is what you are after.
A chamber size of 3 inches will be enough to accommodate most shells you will want to use. The shell lengths you would probably want to use are 2 1/2 inch or 2 3/4 inch.
By purchasing a shotgun with a 3-inch chamber allows you to use the weapon for waterfowl hunting if you’re into that.
A 26-inch barrel length is what you’re after because it keeps the shot pattern tight enough but isn’t too long when you’re walking around the woods. If you went up to a 28-inch barrel you would find it tough to move around amongst the trees and brush.