Coyote Hunting: Ultimate Guide and Gear

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There is more activity as coyote hunting continues to gain more popularity. The sheer number of rising tournament communities, coyote calls, and emerging new caliber rifles have made more hunters pursue coyotes. 

The reason coyote hunting is becoming widespread is that it is the kind of hunting that allows the hunter to gain control of the predator population.  Coyotes are a menace to most people as they dwell around farms, private properties, and extending to urban areas. The good thing about coyote hunting for new hunters is that you get to use a wide range of weapons for population control. 

The nature of coyote hunting and the season to hunt them also makes it popular. When deer season closes, you do not have to keep away your hunting gear for the next deer season. It is the time of year when you can pick up coyote hunting as many do. I mean you can still hunt during winter as you wait for other hunting seasons to open up. 

Similar to all kinds of hunting, coyote hunting requires the best gears to become successful at the hunt. The debate that strikes conversation every time is what are the best optics, caliber, and rifle when going coyote hunting. In this article, you will uncover everything you need to keep coyotes off. 

Coyote Hunting Gear That You Must Have

As I discovered this form of hunting, I could not help but notice how it varies from one hunter to another. There are many forms of hunting coyotes successfully, and this is evident in the various setups each hunter uses. 

When hunting coyotes, it is essential to understand their characteristics and habitat so that you can have the right gear with you. Whereas the same components for hunting deer can still excel at coyote hunting, you need to find the best combination of weaponry. 

Best Calibers for Coyote Hunting

When you are looking for a caliber to hunt any game, you need to be consistent with its knockdown power, range, and accuracy. There are so many opinions from different coyote hunters when it comes to the right caliber. However, I discovered that the .223/5.56 does the work well for me as it hands a devastating blow with the proper shot placement. 

There is recently a new caliber fever for the best rounds when going coyote hunting. The new calibers include the .224 Valkyrie and the 6.5 Creedmoor. 

Best Ammunition for Hunting Coyotes

As a code for hunters, the ammunition you select regardless of the caliber you prefer to use must hand your prey a quick and painless death. Most hunters will go for the ammunition that expands immediately upon impact on the coyote. 

As I advance in coyote hunting, I nowadays prefer a caliber that has a tiny entrance but will expand once inside the coyote. Such ammunition has maximum damage and does not lead to a blood trail where you can avoid it. 

When selecting a round, you need one that has enough weight to survive the wind and still be forgiving enough with its trajectory. It should have the power to fall your coyote at significant distances as well. What works for me is the varmint ammunition as it has a polymer that will improve downrange velocity, trajectory, and the bullet ballistics. 

However, there is a downside to hunting coyotes with varmint ammunition, as it often leads to unrecovered prey. It is why it is crucial to have the correct shot placement and read different hunting situations better. 


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When it comes to getting the right optics for your rifle, you must consider a lot of different scenarios before settling for one particular choice. Poor optics and rifle combinations may lead to an unsuccessful hunt, and this can be discouraging to new hunters. 

One way of understanding optics is the habitat you are hunting in. If you are shooting on an expansive and bushy terrain, then optics and caliber should be able to handle shots made between 200- 500 yards comfortably.  

But when hunting in farms and private property, all you may need is a combination that gives you accurate shots within 200 yards. Sometimes is the cost and not terrain that decides what kind of optics and caliber you can use for coyote hunting. 

In my early days of coyote hunting, I discovered that having a tactical AR-style scope or a precision shooting scope was all I needed for a successful coyote hunt. It helps if you already have a Red Dot Sight as all you will need is a magnifier to get accurate shots at long distances. 

Choosing the right optics for your rifle is not an easy task. You need to carry out more hunts to find the one that suits your hunting style, and what mounts suit your weapon. 

What is the Best Rifle for Shooting a Coyote? 

What to Look for in a Coyote Shooting Rifle

As a hunter, these are the attributes I look for in a rifle when I go coyote hunting.  

Flat Trajectory  

In the field, you will realize that most shots you do not plan for them. A coyote just springs up to your way, and you should shoot. Sometimes there is no chance to pick the perfect shot placement. A rifle that has a flat trajectory and a high velocity are all you need. It will be less forgiving. 

Knockdown Power

Most hunters know that shooting at coyotes is not as easy as it sounds. You will have to pick your target at distances over 200 yards. It is the reason I always look for a rifle with enough knockdown power to compensate for the distance.


Coyotes do not offer a large target, and they are especially diminished at greater distances. Shooting and hitting at the vital organs of a coyote is not a child’s play.  A coyote rifle should be accurate and should be able to shoot groups of ½ MOA when in the right conditions. 

Low Recoil

A low recoil means your rifle remains in position after taking your first shot. You can get the second shot away fast if there is a need for it. 


Projectile depends on the kind of hunting you are doing. A pelt hunter may favor a small caliber with a spear tip. The result is that it saves the pelt as it puts a small hole upon impact. As for the pest control hunter, varmint caliber I the best since it expands upon impact, making it lethal. 

The following makes and models of rifles are known for their quality and firepower. They also shoot one or more of the above calibers. 


The AR-15 is the best-selling rifle in America today, and is available in a very wide variety of configurations and barrel lengths, with 16.5, 18, and 20-inch barrels as the most common.

Virtually any AR-15 will work as a coyote gun. When you think of the .223 Remington or 5.56x45mm NATO, the AR-15 is the first rifle that comes to most hunters’ minds.  

Marlin 336

For a .30-30 rifle in general, it’s hard to beat the Marlin 336. It is among the best-selling lever-action rifles of all time. The Marlin 336 is comparable to the competing Winchester 1894, except it features a side ejection port rather than a top one.

It gives you the option of mounting a scope and reduces the chances of being hit in the face with an ejected shell.


The Winchester 1894 is an alternative to the Marlin 336. But it is more popular as the bestselling sporting rifle in history. It is lightweight, a narrow design, portability, and has a smooth action. The Winchester .30-30 is one of the best options for hunting coyotes available in the market. 

If your rifle of choice is not listed, it doesn’t mean that it is not the best for coyote hunting. When it comes to the best rifles, a hunter experience will always carry the day. As a consolation, you do not need an array of rifles for every game you hunt. If you own a deer rifle, then you can always use it for coyote hunting. However, most hunters consider this an overkill as most deer rifles use magnum calibers. 

As a rule of hunting in the woods, I always never take a shot if I am not comfortable with my rifle, especially for the ones that are over 200 yards. To build confidence in my shooting, I place trust in my gun and ammo. Over time, I have become consistent, accurate, and take shots way faster than when I started. 

Necessary Coyote Hunting Equipment

Coyote Calls

It is a controversial topic for most hunters just as the weapon of choice for coyote hunting is. What triggers the debate is the kind of call to use and when to use it. In the market today, there are two kinds of coyote calls available. Both the mouth and electronic coyote calls seem to work for different hunters, and one may prefer one over the other. 

But the most important thing when buying a coyote call is knowing the right sounds and when to use them effectively to your advantage. There are different kinds of coyote calls that work only in different situations, time of the year, and the location you are hunting. 

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 I prefer electronic calls over mouth calls. It is because besides being the most popular, they are also budget-friendly and have plenty of volume and all the basic calls you need when hunting for coyotes. The best electronic coyote calls should have many useful features. You can check out our exclusive article on Coyote Calls for more insights.

Coyote Decoys 

Coyote decoys are not suitable for the hunter who wants a lighter hunting setup. However, it is not to say they are less important. Most coyote hunting sets should revolve around an opening or field as opposed to a tight or cramped space.

If you add a level of realism into your hunt, like a thrashing ball of fur, a coyote can take the risk and come out into the open field if it believes there’s commotion or something is happening. 

When choosing a coyote decoy, you must know how it makes the hunting successful and when to use it. Some decoys are heavy to pack and may compromise your hunting success. 

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Shooting Stick

In most hunting setups I used, I discovered that coyotes are extra sensitive to even the slightest movements I made. They also had this uncanny ability to pop up from directions I did not expect. I realized I had little time to make shots, and it is why I since prefer to use a shooting stick to keep my gun up, shouldered and stable for the killer shot 

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Predator Hunting Backpack

A great predator hunting pack needs to work with you for the hunt, not against you. Coyote hunting requires that you travel lightweight, but with all the functional gear you need. The best packs should come with additional features like a gun holster, sitting pads, and backrests. See a list of the best backpacks to carry for your hunting trips.

Coyote Hunting Lights

You should check with your state if it allows coyote hunting at night. Some states have regulations about hunting coyotes with lights. A night light is simple to set up and also readily affordable than night vision and thermal scopes.

There are only three common predator lights colors suitable for hunting coyotes. A green, white, or red light will work effectively. When choosing lights, the more expensive they are, the brighter they are over long distances. 


Regardless of whether you are a seasoned or beginner hunter, having the right gear will make your hunt successful. You should have a balance and the chance to try out all your gear before heading out for a hunt. Ensure that your optic, caliber, and calls are aligned to your purpose.  

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