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How To Hunt Coyotes
If you just started hunting or just want to know more about how to hunt coyotes this is the guide for you. Hunting these cunning predators can prove to be really exciting and rewarding, and knowing you are doing a positive service to your community – in particular the farmers is an excellent feeling.
Why Hunt Coyotes?
As I’m sure you already have guessed, in most places, coyotes are considered a nuisance predator. There are some specific reasons why many people hunt.
Here is a list of some of the main ones environmental reasons to hunt coyotes:
- Livestock and other farm animals are often attacked
- Coyotes are responsible for the spread of disease
- They kill many game animals
Here are some reasons you might be considering taking up coyote hunting:
- Coyote Hunting is both entertaining and a challenge
- It is great practice if you are into other types of hunting
- It’s a great ‘filler’ when you are between other hunting seasons such as ducks, deer, squirrel, turkeys or geese.
- There are some great tournaments you can enter
Weapons for Shooting Coyote
One of the great things about hunting coyotes is that you can really take your pick when it comes to selecting a weapon. There are a number of options you can choose to hunt these predators.
Every weapon choice presents its own unique strengths and challenges to hunting coyotes.
If you want to keep things fresh, you could mix it up a little by mastering one type of weapon, and then moving on to a different type.
The good thing is that you can get set up for hunting coyotes quite affordably. You can get away with a setup for as inexpensive as around $250 brand new. Of course, you could certainly spend far more than that if you buy from a high-end range.
The three most common weapons used for coyote hunting are:
How to Hunt Coyotes With a Shotgun
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.
If you are looking to eat what you shoot, then a shotgun would be a great decision to go hunting for coyotes with.
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 cost 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 accomodate 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.
How to Hunt Coyotes with a Rifle
Another great option for hunting coyotes (and other predators) is a rifle.
But what type of rifle?
Good question, to answer this we really need to think about the caliber size of the rifle. If you’re at all familiar guns and shooting you probably already know this so scoot ahead if you need to.
What does Caliber Size Mean?
Basically, the smaller the caliber size, the smaller the size of the bullets that are ejected from the barrel of the rifle.
The larger the caliber (and therefore bullets) that is being used means that they will pack a bigger punch when they hit a coyote. Unfortunately, this means that the pelt and meat will also take more damage depending on where you hit the coyote. Larger caliber bullets also cost more.
The smaller the number, the smaller the caliber rifle. So a 0.204 caliber bullet is going to be a smaller in diameter than a .300.
There are heaps of options when it comes to choosing a rifle so I will be brief and give you a short list of the different calibres that are commonly chosen by many coyote hunters. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.
Common Rifle Calibers used for Coyote Hunting
- 0.17 Caliber
- 0.204 Caliber
- 0.22 Caliber
- 0.223 Caliber
- 0.243 Caliber
- 0.300 Caliber
- 0.308 Caliber
What Caliber Rifle Should You Buy?
There is no real ‘wrong’ answer to this question. You really just need to keep in mind that the larger caliber rifles will generally drop the coyote in a single shot.
If you go with a smaller caliber rifle you may find it takes either a well placed shot, a couple of rounds, or a short walk to locate your the wounded predator.
What Rifle Loading Style Should you Buy?
There are three options to consider here, and really comes down to preference and your budget:
|Semi-Automatic||This type will reload itself each time it is fired||$$$$|
|Bolt Action||You pull a lever back to load (or ‘cock’) the weapon||$$$|
|Pump-Action||Uses a pumping action to perform the reload||$$$|
Should You Buy a Rifle or a Shotgun for Hunting Coyotes?
Basically there are two main considerations you need to make when thinking about the type of gun to buy for your hunting trip.
- Rifles have a longer range to hit your target (up to 200-300 yards versus a shotgun that has an effective range of around 40 yards).
- Rifles don’t have the spread of BBs in the same way that a shotgun does. This means that the killing radius is smaller and therefore requires more accuracy when shooting.
Quick Tips for Coyote Hunting With a Rifle
- If possible, wait until the coyote stops any movement – Unfortunately, coyotes quite often move continuously, so you need to watch carefully and be patient to pick the right moment.
- Practice your shot placement! – If the coyote you are targeting is reluctant to stand still, then you will need to rely on some accurate shot placement. Practice makes perfect!
How to Hunt Coyotes with a Bow
Licensing, Hunter Safety and Rules
(When to Hunt Coyotes) Hunting Seasons
Identifying Coyotes Versus Wolves
Scouting for Success
Getting Permission to Hunt Private Land
Finding Public Land to Hunt
Baiting to Improve your Odds
Arriving at your Hunting Spot
Wind, Sun and Weather Impact
Call Types and Sounds
The Buddy System
Deadly Shot Placement
Retrieving your Coyote
You Shot a Coyote What Now?
The task of hunting coyotes entails the hunter to study the matter more through devising plans before a hunt. Preparations must be done and there are a number of things to consider before setting out and begin hunting. For instance, understanding the behavior and territory of coyotes would be important factors for your hunting venture to be a success.
So, what does it take for you to become a great coyote hunter? Well, it is important that you learn and develop some techniques that can help you out. For beginners, the task can be a lot more challenging and can get frustrating at times. But don’t easily be disheartened just yet! Here are some notes on how to hunt coyotes:
Coyote Hunting Tips
- Camouflaging is something that can affect your coyote hunting trip. Any coyote hunter should learn the ability to blend in with the season’s terrain through selecting the proper clothing to wear on a hunting trip. Coyotes can easily spot something that seems to be abnormal from their view even from afar. Hence it is important to wear the necessary attire – from gloves to your face covering and other visible clothing that you have on. Blocking your scent also matters as this can affect the outcome of the hunt. Also, if you have eyeglasses or are using binoculars, make sure that the sun’s rays won’t be reflected on them so that approaching coyotes won’t discover your presence.
- Now that you have the wardrobe to go coyote hunting, your next problem would likely be about the location of the hunt. Thus, what is an ideal spot to hunt these cunning animals? In a separate article, we mentioned about how hunters should create a good impression on residents who live nearby a place where you plan to go coyote hunting. Well, one way for you to achieve that good impression is through going to an ideal area before the actual hunt. In this way, you can ask permission beforehand and also inspect the area. Hence, you can make better plans of how you should go about with the trip. Also, be sure that there is a population of coyotes around the area you’re scouting in. If there are none, then it can just cause frustration and hours of waiting once the time for hunting comes.
- Once the day for the hunt comes and you arrive at the location, you’ll have to work on the set-up and select a spot. Most coyote hunters would say that staying downwind is vital. This has something to do with how coyotes typically come in from the downwind. Moreover, most hunters would prefer to settle on an elevated spots overlooking wide open spaces. Standing or sitting back against a bush also helps you become concealed.
- Stay put and keep movement at minimal levels as you begin calling coyotes. Sometimes, you can get lucky and have a coyote appear after several minutes of the call. The secret is to have a distress call that sounds as similar as it gets to a cry of a rabbit in pain.
As you gain more familiarity with craft, it would be a good idea to try several strategies that might work for you. For instance, you can develop your own call sequence or experiment on the scenarios you find yourself in.