Coyote gear blog
Coyote hunting has surged in popularity in recent years. With the sudden surge, comes a plethora of new gear, and it can be difficult for both newbies and veteran hunters alike. This blog will focus on the essentials needed for coyote hunting. We will focus more on the tactics in an upcoming blog and watch for an upcoming seminar at the shop where I will go over everything from set ups to calling sequences.
We wouldn’t be a gun shop if I didn’t start this gear blog out with firearms. To be fair, you can hunt coyotes with just about anything. Are there calibers that can make the hunt more successful and more enjoyable? ABSOLUTELY! While many people will choose a small, light recoiling caliber like the 22.250, or the .220 Swift or even the .223, others, myself included prefer to jump up to the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 6mm or even the .308. I love the ability to shoot at long range with less wind drift. While I will hunt on occasion with a .223, more so at night where I expect shorter shots in the moonlight, the Creedmoor is hard for anyone to argue against. When coyotes hang up on the call at mid ranges pushing 400 yards or more, the ballistics of the Creedmoor shine. My favorite set up is a Bergara HMR . That said, there is a plethora of great bolt guns, and you would be well served to look at the Ruger American Predator line. Tough, accurate, durable, reliable and reasonably priced, it’s a great choice. Savage has come leaps and bounds in the last 15 years, and they too make a fantastic rifle for the predator hunter. While I typically carry a bolt action, I also on occasion, depending on the area, carry an AR platform. They are easy to shoot, reliable and accurate, and customizable to you. Look really hard at a Minnesota company, Alex Pro Firearms. Not only do they make a great gun, in several calibers and styles, they are great guys with great customer service. Don’t see the exact AR you are picturing in your head? Just ask and we can help you with that! The bottom line, find one that fits YOU, in a caliber that works with what you need and compliments what you have already.
Shotguns can and are widely used for coyote hunting and I rarely leave the house without one. With buckshot, I have personally seen a coyote get piled up at an outstanding 82 yards. While I wouldn’t tell anyone to take that shot, and that is pushing it, it can be done. When a coyote comes streaking in, a shotgun with the right load is hard to beat. Look at virtually any shotgun built for waterfowl…. yes, waterfowl. No shotgun takes more abuse than a duck hunters. I do prefer a semi auto as pumping from a prone position or even sitting with all the cold weather clothing can be tough. Throw a fiber optic sight on it, or better yet, a red dot, or reflex sight, and you have a fantastic set up.
Optics, including binoculars have so many options I won’t get into brands. It seems like everyone these days is making a good optic with reticles that match your needs and variable power that also fits the bill. I over power my rifles with optics. Though I rarely hunt above that 16 power range, my aging eyes like to be able to crank it up to that 18 to 24 range sometimes, and I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Personal choice, so stop and look at some options that work for you, and see the difference in reticles and ask the question, ” why this one?” The days of a simple crosshair, though still available, have moved on. Today’s optics are more advanced and will help you make tougher shots and cleaner kills. While you are at it, pick up a small, lightweight pair of binoculars. Far less fatiguing than scanning with a rifle, and far safer, these will make or break a hunt. While we are on optics….. Thermal imaging is now being allowed in Minnesota for coyote hunters! This is truly the most revolutionary update to firearms in the last 30 years. Today’s Thermal imaging can find a heat signature in the dark at ranges that most of us can’t shoot. Night hunting for coyotes is a game changer. Thermal imaging is game over. Stop in and look over the Pulsar line of thermal imaging scopes at the shop. We are more than happy to answer any questions on the product and its use.
Rangefinders too have come a long way in the last two years. What was once able to range around 300-400 yards on a remotely reflective target is now getting stretched to an astounding 2000 yards even in poor light. The other morning I ranged a single tree at daybreak at 983 yards. Knowing the distance is critical on making shots. The difference in just 50 to 75 yards after you reach that 400 yard mark is significant. Know your range and make those critical shots.
Accessories for your rifle just about have to include a bipod and a good sling. Both can help you steady a shot, and both will help keep your rifle dry and out of the snow or mud. Remember to get a bipod tall enough for a seated position as most shots will come from that position. Slings will keep hands free when dragging coyotes, and a good one will be made of a non-slip backing to keep it in place on your shoulder.
Calls are most often thought of being electronic, and for good reason. Easy to run by simply pushing a button, and they take the focus off the hunter in the stand. A good remote will have a range over 50 yards. Mouth calls are easier to run than people think and really help with volume that an electronic call won’t likely do. At some point you will want both.
Lastly, pick up a backpack while you are at the shop to put all these essentials in. A good backpack is worth its weight in gold. What’s in mine? Calls, electronic calls, facemask, drag ropes on carabiners, ammo, an extra magazine, gloves, rear rifle bag rest, binoculars, a knife, basic first aid kit, a silhouette decoy, and on the outside of the bag also on carabiners I have my GPS and a rangefinder. In some cases, I have used the bag as a shooting rest.
These are the basic needs for gear. In upcoming blogs, I will go over calling sequences, set ups, and watch for an upcoming seminars at the shop where I will go over everything from start to finish as well and be there to answer questions on anything and everything for coyotes!