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2201 SW 152nd Street, Suite #3
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Pred - Coyote hunting

One of the many appealing aspects of coyote hunting, in addition to matching wits with one of the most cunning hunters in its natural habitat, is that it takes such little special equipment to get started. Seriously. Buy or borrow a predator call – ten or twenty bucks will get you a good one at gofoxpro.com or primos.com – grab your deer-hunting gear and you’re set.

Yep, your deer rifle will work fine. Your duck or pheasant shotgun will work too. Camouflage you wear for waterfowl, deer or other hunting will be effective. Camo or not, just remember to sit still.

There’s a lot of information out there about how to call for coyotes, information that addresses where to hunt them, what to look for, how to set up. And with a little practice on a mouth call you can be making realistic prey-in-distress sounds that sound like a dinner bell to coyotes.

Predator hunting 101

One of the many appealing aspects of coyote hunting, in addition to matching wits with one of the most cunning hunters in its natural habitat, is that it takes such little special equipment to get started. Seriously. Buy or borrow a predator call – ten or twenty bucks will get you a good one at gofoxpro.com or primos.com – grab your deer-hunting gear and you’re set.

Yep, your deer rifle will work fine. Your duck or pheasant shotgun will work too. Camouflage you wear for waterfowl, deer or other hunting will be effective. Camo or not, just remember to sit still.

There’s a lot of information out there about how to call for coyotes, information that addresses where to hunt them, what to look for, how to set up. And with a little practice on a mouth call you can be making realistic prey-in-distress sounds that sound like a dinner bell to coyotes.

But back to firearms. In wooded, brushy or otherwise close territory, think about using a shotgun because coyotes may come to the call fast and close, too close to get them in the scope of your rifle. Seriously, it happens and it’s seriously exciting. A shotgun with heavy loads (Good choices at hornady.com and federalpremium.com) And if you want more concentrated reach, look at getting a specialized choke, like Carlson’s Coyote Choke Tube (choketube.com). They make them for most popular brands, turning your bird gun into a powerful predator firearm. Most predator hunters use 12-gauge, for the power, but that’s not to say you can’t roll a coyote with a 20-gauge, if your hunt comes together.

Rifles, like I said, your deer rifle will work. Search calibers for coyote hunting on the Internet and you could spend weeks reading all the information out there. Don’t worry about it. Your 243-caliber rifle will work fine, so will 25-06, 270, 30-06. Sure, that’s more power than you need to down a coyote, but they’ll do the job.

Once you get into coyote hunting, you can look at picking up a 223 or 22-250 rifle, if you don’t already have one or know someone who does. Most major manufacturers have excellent models from bolt-actions to AR-style rifles. It’s a personal choice, but good places to start are browning.com; savagearms.com, sigsauer.com ruger.com, tcarms.com, taurususa.com, weatherby.com. Like I said, there’s lots of choices out there.

Ammunition, same thing. Use your deer-hunting ammo or look into the varmint rounds offered by Federal (federalpremium.com) or Hornady (hornady.com).

A good riflescope can help you pick up and stay on incoming coyotes, and make the payoff shot when the time comes. Don’t worry about extremely high power because, after all, the idea is to call the coyotes into comfortable shooting range. Again, there are a lot of good riflescopes out there, but you can’t go wrong picking up a nice variable power, say 3 to 9 magnification. Keep it dialed down so you can pick them up in the scope if they come in close. If they stop out a distance, you’ll have time to dial to a higher magnification, if you want. Choice of brand is up to personal preference, just like shotgun or rifle make or ammunition choice.

My only advice is to invest in a quality scope. I’ve never hunted with a scope where I’ve said that scope is too good of quality but I have hunted with scopes that didn’t deliver crisp, clear performance consistently. That is noticeable, and annoying. Stick with top brands like Leupold or Redfield (both at leupold.com), Sig Sauer (sigsauer.com), Sun Optics (sunopticsusa.com) and Zeiss (zeiss.com).

It’s that easy to get started. Grab your gear and give coyote hunting a try. Just a final word of warning: When that first coyote comes charging in to your call, you’re likely to be hooked.

by Joe Arterburn