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.22 for coyote hunting?

Old 01-07-2014, 07:41 PM
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Default .22 for coyote hunting?

we have a problem with coyotes and I was planing on just hunting them with my shotgun with some buckshot but I dont want to buy a new choke for it and I want to have somthing a little smaller so I was just going to use a .22 rifle, would that be good and give a quick kill? also were do you shoot a coyote in the head or the lungs?
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:14 AM
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I'd be surprised if you don't have a proper choke for buckshot. 00 buck will run best out of an improved or light modified choke, basically what most guys will upland game hunt with. It'll put dogs down out to 50yrds with confidence. Given the choice between a 12ga with 00buckshot and a 22lr rifle right before a hunt, I'd take the 12ga every day of the week (00buck is like 8-15 shots of 22 MAG at THE SAME TIME).

Beyond that, yes, .22lr will kill a coyote, but so will a pointy stick. I've killed dozens of coyotes over the last 20yrs+ with .22lr, and will say that you will not be happy with the results. Even well hit, the dogs will run. Depending on your terrain, that might mean you don't recover ANY of them, or can't confirm that you even killed them straight off.

I've shot a lot of coyotes with both headshots and heart/lung shots with the .22, and I'll be honest, I'm not sure which is really the best recommendation. Headshots are hard because the target is so small and surrounded by structured bone, and heart shots rely on good penetration then bleeding out to kill.

A lot of hunters might be surprised by this, but hollow points are NOT the proper bullet. Penetration is pathetic, they'll mushroom flat on anything hard, and it doesn't take much muscle to drag them to a stop. CCI Mini-mags have been my go to coon and coyote load for at least 15yrs that I can recall.

The brainbox on a coyote is somewhere in the 1-1.5" diameter and the margin for error is small (a miss by a half inch might as well be a mile). Unless you can guarantee you WILL hit them in the brain, not just in the head, you shouldn't take a head shot. I typically only place headshots when I'm shooting from a rest with a very accurate rifle, under 50yrds. Usually only under 30yrds. I have recovered LOTS of slugs from the brow bone of coyotes and coons that failed to penetrate the skull. A successful headshot puts them down where shot, a half inch miss just punches a hole in their ear or jacks up their jaw, leaving them to starve. I've killed quite a few coyote over the years with "pierced ears", usually assuming it was from a missed shot.

Heartshots offer a lot bigger target and a bit better margin for error, but you'll still need to be close enough to deliver the energy to penetrate to and through the heart. This won't put them down right there, but they'll often spin themselves into the dirt or run out pretty quickly. Even though the target is bigger, the measly energy of the 22lr means you still can't be very far downrange, 50yrds or so.

I would never intentionally take a lung shot on a coyote with a 22lr. In my experience, that is a guarantee for a run off dog that I don't recover.

Out of all of the coyotes I've killed AND RECOVERED with a .22lr, I'd venture that 95% of them were within 50yrds. Similarly, I'd venture that I've recovered less than 10% of the 75-125yrd "pot shots" at coyotes in my cattle pastures with a .22lr, even knowing that I connected with the shot.

Moral of the story: if for some reason you really don't own an improved choke for your shotgun, then buy one. It'll be leaps and bounds more productive than a .22lr rifle for coyote hunting.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:18 PM
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ok will a regular mod. work because I have one of them?
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:34 PM
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Yup. You might see a couple flyers (might not) with a modified compared to an improved, but should be fine. Leaps and bounds better than 22lr.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:37 PM
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ok cool I always thought you needed a real tight choke like full or ex full for buckshot, thanks!
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Nomercy448 View Post
I'd be surprised if you don't have a proper choke for buckshot. 00 buck will run best out of an improved or light modified choke, basically what most guys will upland game hunt with. It'll put dogs down out to 50yrds with confidence. Given the choice between a 12ga with 00buckshot and a 22lr rifle right before a hunt, I'd take the 12ga every day of the week (00buck is like 8-15 shots of 22 MAG at THE SAME TIME).

Beyond that, yes, .22lr will kill a coyote, but so will a pointy stick. I've killed dozens of coyotes over the last 20yrs+ with .22lr, and will say that you will not be happy with the results. Even well hit, the dogs will run. Depending on your terrain, that might mean you don't recover ANY of them, or can't confirm that you even killed them straight off.

I've shot a lot of coyotes with both headshots and heart/lung shots with the .22, and I'll be honest, I'm not sure which is really the best recommendation. Headshots are hard because the target is so small and surrounded by structured bone, and heart shots rely on good penetration then bleeding out to kill.

A lot of hunters might be surprised by this, but hollow points are NOT the proper bullet. Penetration is pathetic, they'll mushroom flat on anything hard, and it doesn't take much muscle to drag them to a stop. CCI Mini-mags have been my go to coon and coyote load for at least 15yrs that I can recall.

The brainbox on a coyote is somewhere in the 1-1.5" diameter and the margin for error is small (a miss by a half inch might as well be a mile). Unless you can guarantee you WILL hit them in the brain, not just in the head, you shouldn't take a head shot. I typically only place headshots when I'm shooting from a rest with a very accurate rifle, under 50yrds. Usually only under 30yrds. I have recovered LOTS of slugs from the brow bone of coyotes and coons that failed to penetrate the skull. A successful headshot puts them down where shot, a half inch miss just punches a hole in their ear or jacks up their jaw, leaving them to starve. I've killed quite a few coyote over the years with "pierced ears", usually assuming it was from a missed shot.

Heartshots offer a lot bigger target and a bit better margin for error, but you'll still need to be close enough to deliver the energy to penetrate to and through the heart. This won't put them down right there, but they'll often spin themselves into the dirt or run out pretty quickly. Even though the target is bigger, the measly energy of the 22lr means you still can't be very far downrange, 50yrds or so.

I would never intentionally take a lung shot on a coyote with a 22lr. In my experience, that is a guarantee for a run off dog that I don't recover.

Out of all of the coyotes I've killed AND RECOVERED with a .22lr, I'd venture that 95% of them were within 50yrds. Similarly, I'd venture that I've recovered less than 10% of the 75-125yrd "pot shots" at coyotes in my cattle pastures with a .22lr, even knowing that I connected with the shot.

Moral of the story: if for some reason you really don't own an improved choke for your shotgun, then buy one. It'll be leaps and bounds more productive than a .22lr rifle for coyote hunting.
Normally I would comment on a thread like this, but I can't think of a single thing to add to what NoMercy said; except +1
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:09 PM
  #7  
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Thanks Sheridan!

Originally Posted by blaZer_2 View Post
ok cool I always thought you needed a real tight choke like full or ex full for buckshot, thanks!
Not for 00 Buckshot. Full and X-full are too tight for big ol' buckshot to get out of the tube cleanly. Smaller buckshot like #4, BB, T, etc can fit out of smaller chokes, but the big 00 buckshot needs room to breathe, otherwise the pellets get "squished", causing some of the pellets to go sailing, leaving "flyers" outside of the pattern and big gaps INSIDE the pattern.

Check this thread out for more info about shotgun buckshot choke and load combinations.

HNI Predator Reference Section - Shotgun Loads and Chokes for Coyotes
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:32 PM
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+1 on what NoMercy448 said also.

If you have the time, you might want to shoot a few shots at coyote size paper targets different distances so you can pattern your shots and know where your buckshot hits.

When we had the old 870 riot shotguns in police cars with IC chokes, most of the patterns with 00 Buck got too wide after 25 yards (i.e. weren't in the black) on the FBI B27 silhouette target which was an obvious liability issue. When we switched to tighter customized barrels with lengthened forcing cones, we were able to shoot groups with all of the buckshot on the same target at 35-40 yards and most of the buckshot on the target at 50 yards. Here's a link if you're curious about the gunsmithing used on those barrels.

https://vangcomp.com/
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:50 PM
  #9  
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ok I will thanks for all the help!
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:32 PM
  #10  
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I have heard of a whole lot of folks wounding them with rimfires. Just stick to centerfires. If you don't have a 223 or something similar just use a deer rifle.
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