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Shotgun Ammo for Coyote

Old 02-17-2013, 10:11 AM
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Default Shotgun Ammo for Coyote

So I am saving to purchase a Savage .17 HMR for coyote hunting and plan on using my 835 Ultimag for the real close range shots which is 25 yards or less...
My 835 is set up for turkey hunting so I do not plan on changing how the gun is set up. I know that it puts a killer pattern of Federal Premium no. 5 in 3 inch mags at 55 yards or less.
Is the no. 5 shot to small for coyote at distances up to 25 yards? If it is to small what size shot should I use? Do they make a coyote specific load for shotguns?
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by kpatte26 View Post
So I am saving to purchase a Savage .17 HMR for coyote hunting and plan on using my 835 Ultimag for the real close range shots which is 25 yards or less...
My 835 is set up for turkey hunting so I do not plan on changing how the gun is set up. I know that it puts a killer pattern of Federal Premium no. 5 in 3 inch mags at 55 yards or less.
Is the no. 5 shot to small for coyote at distances up to 25 yards? If it is to small what size shot should I use? Do they make a coyote specific load for shotguns?
You will be fine inside 30yds with those loads. I would rather have 4's but if all you have is 5's, keep it that close and they will drop. I would rather have 4 buck, but would not shoot it through a turkey tube. Are you planning on hunting 'yotes with that 17 HRM?

Last edited by SecondChance; 02-17-2013 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:45 PM
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00 or 0 buck is recommended.

Last edited by Sheridan; 02-18-2013 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:13 PM
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Get close enough and you can kill a coyote with a baseball bat, but that doesn't make it a good choice for hunting them.

No 5 Turkey shot just doesn't penetrate like heavier shot will. Think about what it does on turkey: very limited penetration on feathers and breast meat (if any), and only kills if it hits exposed skin of the neck and head.

I have been using Winchester Super-X 00 Buckshot for about 20yrs, very hard to beat this load for coyotes.

In the last few years, I've been experimenting with new loads, Hevi-Shot Dead Coyote T shot does very well. The Federal Flight Control No.4 Buck and No.1 buck are also doing very well for me this winter. I'm excited to try the new Winchester Supreme hi-density X-tended Range Coyote B loads, but I'm a bit nervous about the small pellet size.

In general, your rule of thumb can be "use buckshot". There's a big gap between even No4 or 5 turkey loads and Buckshot. The Dead Coyote Hevi-shot gets away with being a smaller shot (T buckshot) because it's heavier than lead.

Copperplated turkey shot will have even less penetration than all lead.

Tried and true 00buckshot with a modified or improved choke is cheap enough that it's hard to reason why anyone would use a sub-par load.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:08 AM
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I like #1 buckshot. Good enough penetration and nearly double the number of pellets of the same shell with 00 buck.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:24 PM
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For called in coyotes i like #4 buckshot.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:31 PM
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Ok I need to clarify a little here... I will be using the 835 Ultimag for the close range shots on coyotes. I do not want to change it from a turkey set up to coyote set up... I asked about shot size because I know that at 55 yards or less the pattern density from my #5 turkey shot is awesome... So is there a shot size like a #1 or #2 shot that I can put out of my super full choked 835?
I will be using the .17 HMR for yote hunting because most of my shots will be 150 yards or less... Mostly less since I will be hunting wooded areas and a few open fields here and there. I found a .17 HMR for around $275 and ammo is plentiful at the store where as .223 or .22-250 ammo is like trying to find a lost $50 bill in the middle of the ghetto if you know what I mean!
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Sheridan View Post
00 or 0 buck is recommended.
Now just need to change your choke.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:11 PM
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The Dead Coyote shells from HeviShot are awesome
when you use the shotgun
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:16 AM
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I'll start with this:

Originally Posted by kpatte26 View Post
I do not want to change it from a turkey set up to coyote set up...
Changing chokes to suit a different shot size isn't really changing your "set up"? I use the same barrel, sight, shotgun for coyotes and turkeys, I just change out the chokes, takes about 2minutes.

Originally Posted by kpatte26 View Post
If [No5 shot] is to small what size shot should I use? Do they make a coyote specific load for shotguns?
Yes, they do make coyote specific loads: buckshot... Currently there are two marketed/branded "coyote" loads that are great on coyotes, both are heavier than lead, and both are larger shot than what you're using on turkey: "Hevi-shot Dead Coyote" T shot, and "Winchester X-tended Range High Density Coyote" B shot. Federal 4 buck and 1buck are also marketed as "predator" or "coyote" loads, and if you search for "coyotes" under Winchesters shotgun ammunition page, it will come up with ONLY buckshot and slugs.

The ONLY good choices for coyotes are heavier than lead shot in "lettered" shot sizes, like B, BB, T, or F, OR buckshot in lead or heavier than lead shot in 4buck up through 000buck. Anything bigger than 4 buck (maybe including 4 buck) will require a bigger choke than a "super full" turkey choke.

Waterfowl and turkey loads are too small.

Using buckshot of appropriate size for coyotes will require you to change your choke, as you'll need a 0.680" or larger choke to really pattern well with buckshot sizes. "Lettered" shot sizes like B, BB, T, or F are marginal for lead shot, or a good option for "heavier than lead shot", and can usually use a 0.650-0.660" turkey choke, 4 Buck will sometimes pattern well with 0.660", but in my experience, it does better with a 0.680".

Now, if you're dead set on not changing out your choke, then your ONLY options are heavier than lead, "lettered" shot sizes, which will cost you an arm and a leg, and have limited availability.

The ONLY good choices for coyotes that will pattern well out of a turkey choke are heavier than lead shot in "lettered" shot sizes, like B, BB, T, or F. Again, anything bigger will require a bigger choke.

Originally Posted by kpatte26 View Post
Is the no. 5 shot to small for coyote at distances up to 25 yards?
Yes, No5 shot is too small for coyotes at distances up to 25yrds.

Originally Posted by kpatte26 View Post
I asked about shot size because I know that at 55 yards or less the pattern density from my #5 turkey shot is awesome...
A fist full of sand has a great pattern density at 5ft, but it's not a good choice for coyotes either.

There's a reason that you don't use a pheasant load on turkeys, and there's a reason you shouldn't use a turkey load on a coyote.

Increased shot count and pattern density don't mean anything if the penetration and killing power isn't there. No5 shot just can't hang with Buckshot in terms of killing power, been there, done that, lost a few coyotes to turkey loads, learned my lesson, stopped using turkey loads for coyotes.

Pellet weight is the important thing here. Since muzzle velocity and pellet shape (ballistic coefficient) will be the same then the only significant difference in penetration and killing power is the pellet weight. There is LITERALLY 8 times more energy on every pellet of 4buck than every pellet of No5. 4Buck even has TWICE the energy per pellet as BB shot.

Speaking from experience, you just won't get the killing power out of small turkey or waterfowl shot. Connect 10x with your turkey loads at 25yrds or less and I'd expect 1 or two DRT's, a few more will flop or spin, maybe need a follow up anchoring shot, and about half of them will still have their legs under them and enough lung to get far enough away that you don't recover them, especially since you're talking about wooded areas.

No5 shot on coyotes = a lot of superficial tissue damage, with a few lucky pellets getting in deep enough to do the job, and a coyote that dies later today or tomorrow, miles away, or worse, next dies next week from infection.

Originally Posted by kpatte26 View Post
So is there a shot size like a #1 or #2 shot that I can put out of my super full choked 835?
Bigger/heavier shot is the direction you need to be going. I personally wouldn't waste my time with #1 or #2 waterfowl loads, even in heavier than lead options (Hevi-shot, Fiocchi "Tundra", Winchester X-tended Range High Density), but at least it's better than #5 shot. I would HIGHLY recommend you look at Hevi-shot Dead Coyote T shot, or Winchester X-tended Range HD Coyote B shot.

I used some lead #1 and #2 shot loads in the 1990's for coyotes, trying to use up some dry-land waterfowl loads, performance was pathetic, just as bad as the Turkey loads are.

I'm guessing your "turkey choke" is in the 0.650-0.660" ballpark, so you'll be able to handle up to about 4buck (ragged edge), and I would expect that choke will do very well with the Winchester X-tended Range Coyote HD B shot or Hevi-shot Dead Coyote T shot. Again, No1 or No2 SHOT in heavier than lead will be marginal at best in my book, I highly recommend heavier/larger shot.

Originally Posted by kpatte26 View Post
I will be using the .17 HMR for yote hunting because most of my shots will be 150 yards or less... Mostly less since I will be hunting wooded areas and a few open fields here and there. I found a .17 HMR for around $275 and ammo is plentiful at the store where as .223 or .22-250 ammo is like trying to find a lost $50 bill in the middle of the ghetto if you know what I mean!
The .17HMR isn't my first choice for coyotes, but it works. 150yrds is asking a lot, and I will say from experience with the .17HMR that at 150yrds, you cannot rely upon vital zone hits. You're going to have to stick it behind their ear or impact on the brain box at that range. I mean this quite literally: if you can't hit an acorn at the range you're hunting at FROM YOUR HUNTING FIELD SHOOTING POSITION, then you're not taking an ethical shot with the .17HMR on a coyote.

A .22WMR is a better choice than a .17HMR, but marginally so. For 150yrd coyote medicine, ESPECIALLY in thick cover where you can lose a dog if it runs very far after the shot, you need to be looking at something that will put them in the dirt.

If you can't find 223 or .22-250 ammo locally, order online. A .22Hornet also makes a fantastic close range coyote killer. After over 20yrs of calling coyotes, and almost a decade doing it with a .17HMR, I would NOT recommend a .17HMR as your primary coyote rifle. If your local shops don't offer .223rem or .22-250 ammo, then I'd find it hard to believe that they would have heavier-than-lead waterfowl ammo on the shelf that would be a good choice for coyotes either, so ultimately, you just need to find a new outlet to be shopping.

.17HMR for coyotes is almost in the same boat as No5 shot. It can work, but it has extreme limitations, and ultimately just isn't a good fit as a primary coyote weapon. Simply upping the ante a little will take away a LOT of those limitations, so it's foolish NOT to do it.
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