Choosing the best coyote caliber can mean the difference between a successful hunt and going home empty-handed. But with so many options, how do you know which one to choose?

Best Coyote Caliber

Coyote hunting presents a unique challenge, requiring precision, skill, and the right equipment. Among the myriad of factors that contribute to a successful hunt, selecting the best caliber is paramount.

Whether you are a seasoned hunter looking to refine your technique or a beginner eager to make your mark, understanding the strengths and nuances of various calibers is essential.

This comprehensive guide delves into the top coyote calibers, examining their performance, versatility, and suitability for different hunting scenarios. From the classic .223 Remington to the cutting-edge 6mm Creedmoor, we cover it all to help you make an informed decision and enhance your hunting experience.

Introduction to Coyote Hunting and Calibers

Coyote hunting is a popular pursuit for both recreational and professional hunters. Coyotes are known for their intelligence, adaptability, and elusive nature, making them challenging quarries. 

Hunters often hunt coyotes to control populations, protect livestock, or enjoy the sport. The methods used can vary widely, from calling and stalking to using decoys and hunting with dogs. 

Regardless of the approach, one constant remains: the right equipment, particularly the right caliber rifle.

Choosing the Best Coyote Caliber

Selecting the appropriate caliber for coyote hunting is crucial for several reasons. First, the right caliber ensures a quick and humane kill, essential for ethical hunting practices. 

Second, different calibers offer varying ranges, accuracies, and levels of pelt damage, allowing hunters to choose one that fits their specific hunting conditions and goals. 

Whether hunting in open fields, dense brush, or at night, the right caliber can significantly affect your success and overall experience.

Top Calibers for Coyote Hunting

The “Lights-Out” .22’s

The .22 rifles are popular for coyote hunting due to their light recoil, affordability, and versatility. These calibers are ideal for hunters who prefer a quieter shot and less recoil, making them suitable for younger or less experienced hunters. 

While the .22 may not offer the longest range or the highest power, it excels in close to mid-range situations where precision and stealth are required.

Best Options and Their Benefits

  • .22 LR (Long Rifle): Known for its affordability and availability, the .22 LR is a great entry-level option for coyote hunting. It offers sufficient power for close-range shots and is incredibly easy to handle.
  • .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire): Offering more power and range than the .22 LR, the .22 WMR is suitable for slightly longer distances and larger games, providing a balance between power and manageability.

.223 Remington

Popularity and Versatility

The .223 Remington is one of the most popular calibers for coyote hunting due to its versatility and effectiveness. It’s widely available and affordable. It’s a good balance of power, accuracy, and recoil. The .223 Remington can take down coyotes at medium to long ranges, making it a versatile choice for various hunting environments.

Performance and Effectiveness

The .223 Remington excels in performance with its flat trajectory and high velocity, ensuring accurate shots even at extended distances. Its moderate recoil allows for quick follow-up shots if necessary. This caliber is also known for its ability to minimize pelt damage, making it a favorite among hunters who value the condition of the fur.

.22-250 Remington

Speed and Accuracy

The .22-250 Remington is renowned for its exceptional speed and accuracy. With a high muzzle velocity, this caliber provides a flat shooting trajectory, which is ideal for long-range shots. It’s particularly effective in open terrain where long-distance accuracy is crucial.

Ideal Hunting Scenarios

The .22-250 Remington shines in scenarios where speed and precision are paramount. Its ability to deliver quick, accurate shots at long distances makes it perfect for hunting coyotes in wide-open spaces, such as prairies and farmlands. Additionally, its powerful impact ensures a humane kill, even at extended ranges.

.220 Swift

Historical Significance

The .220 Swift holds a special place in the history of hunting calibers. Introduced in the 1930s, it was the first commercially available cartridge to break the 4,000 feet per second (fps) velocity barrier, making it a groundbreaking choice for long-range shooting and predator control.

Modern Applications and Benefits

Today, the .220 Swift remains a favorite among seasoned hunters for its incredible speed and flat trajectory. It’s particularly effective for long-rangIt’srmint hunting, including coyotes. 

The modern .220 Swift cartridges have benefited from powder and bullet technology advancements, offering improved accuracy and performance. This caliber is ideal for hunters looking for a high-velocity option that delivers swift, clean kills at long distances.

Big-Game Crossovers for Coyote Hunting

.25/06 Remington

Dual-Purpose Usage

The .25/06 Remington is a versatile caliber that bridges the gap between big-game and predator hunting. Originally designed for deer and antelope, this caliber has also proven itself an effective option for coyote hunting. 

Its ability to deliver powerful shots at long distances makes it a reliable choice for hunters who pursue multiple types of games with the same rifle.

Advantages of Coyote Hunting

The .25/06 Remington offers a flat trajectory and high velocity, making it ideal for long-range shots. Its stopping power ensures quick, humane kills, even at extended distances. 

This caliber is also known for its accuracy, allowing hunters to make precise shots crucial for coyote hunting. Additionally, the .25/06’s versatility means that hunters can use it for larger game without switching rifles, providing added convenience and value.

.243 Winchester

Versatility for Different Game

The .243 Winchester is another versatile caliber that excels in predator and big-game hunting. Known for its accuracy and manageable recoil, the .243 is a favorite among hunters for its adaptability and effectiveness. It is commonly used for deer hunting but is equally adept at taking down coyotes, making it a great all-around choice.

Performance in the Field

The .243 Winchester offers a good balance of power, range, and accuracy. Its flat shooting trajectory and high velocity make it suitable for long-range shots, while its moderate recoil allows for better control and follow-up shots if needed. 

This caliber is also effective in minimizing pelt damage, which is important for hunters who value the condition of the fur. The .243’s versatility makes it a reliable .243’s from dense woods to open fields.

6mm Creedmoor

Long-Range Capabilities

The 6mm Creedmoor is a modern caliber known for its long-range accuracy and performance. Originally developed for competitive shooting, it has quickly gained popularity among hunters for its precision and effectiveness at extended distances. The 6mm Creedmoor is well-suited for coyote hunting in open terrains where long-range shots are common.

Comparison with Other Calibers

Compared to other calibers, the 6mm Creedmoor offers several advantages. Its high ballistic coefficient and flat trajectory ensure minimal drop and drift, making it easier to make accurate long-range shots. 

The recoil is manageable, allowing for quick follow-up shots if necessary. The 6mm Creedmoor’s ability to maintain velocity over long distances makes it a superior choice for hunters who must reach out and touch coyotes at significant ranges. 

This caliber combines modern advancements in ammunition technology with practical hunting applications, providing hunters with a powerful and precise tool for coyote hunting.

Best Calibers for Preserving Fur

.204 Ruger

Precision and Minimal Pelt Damage

The .204 Ruger is celebrated for its precision and minimal impact on fur, making it an excellent choice for hunters who want to preserve pelts. Its high velocity and flat trajectory allow for accurate shots, while its smaller diameter reduces the risk of significant damage to the coyote’s pelt.

Best Practices for Usage

With the .204 Ruger, it’s important to aim for vital areas for a quick, humane kill. This caliber is best used in open fields and plains where long-range accuracy can be maximized. Hunters should also be mindful of wind conditions, as the lighter bullets can be more susceptible to drift. Overall, the .204 Ruger offers an excellent balance of speed, accuracy, and pelt preservation.

.17 Hornet

Small Size, Big Impact

The .17 Hornet is another excellent choice for hunters focused on preserving pelts. Despite its small size, the .17 Hornet delivers impressive performance with high velocity and accuracy. It’s particularly effective at close to mid ranges, where its precision can be fully utilized.

Preservation of Fur Quality

The .17 Hornet’s small caliber produces minimal damage, making it ideal for hunters prioritizing fur quality. Its light recoil and quiet report make it a less intimidating option for new hunters. When used correctly, the .17 Hornet provides clean kills with little impact on the valuable pelts, ensuring that hunters can make the most of their harvests.

The Modern .22’s

New Advancements

Modern advancement.22’s.22 caliber rifles have made them more effective and versatile for coyote hunting. Increasing ammunition technology and rifle design have enhanced the performance and reliability of these calibers, making them a viable option for hunters who prefer a lighter, more manageable firearm.

Best Modern .22 Caliber Rifles

Some of the best modern .22 caliber rifles for coyote hunting include the .22 LR and .22 WMR. Compared to older models, these rifles offer improved accuracy, range, and stopping power. 

They are ideal for hunters who value precision and control and those looking for a reliable, cost-effective option for coyote hunting. The modern .22s provide a great combination of affordability, ease of use, and effectiveness, making them a popular choice among coyote hunters today.

Shotguns for Coyote Hunting

When and Why to Use a Shotgun

While rifles are often preferred for coyote hunting due to their range and precision, shotguns have their place, especially in certain hunting scenarios. Shotguns are particularly effective in close-range situations, such as dense brush or at night, where quick, instinctive shooting is necessary. They offer a wider spread, increasing the chances of hitting a fast-moving target.

Best Shotgun Calibers and Loads

12 gauge shotguns are popular for coyote hunting due to their versatility and power. Hunters typically use buckshot or heavy loads designed specifically for predators. Some of the best shotgun loads for coyotes include

  • The #4 Buckshot: Offers a good balance of pellet count and stopping power, making it effective for close to medium-range shots.
  • BB and BBB Loads: These larger pellets provide more penetration and are suitable for longer-range shots with a shotgun.

Honorable Mentions and Other Considerations

  • .243 Winchester: As already discussed, this caliber’s versatility makes it reliable for various hunting scenarios.
  • .17 Winchester Super Magnum: Offers extremely high velocity and is effective for small game and varmint hunting.
  • .22 Magnum: Known for its improved performance over the .22 LR, it’s suitable for small to medium-range hunting.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right caliber for coyote hunting can greatly influence your success and the ethical standards of your hunt. From the versatile .223 Remington to the long-range 6mm Creedmoor, each caliber has its strengths and ideal use cases.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *