Today I want to discuss shotguns and coyote hunting.
Before I even get started I’m gonna confess that I while I have hunted with them, I have never killed a coyote with a shotgun. The country I hunt for the most part is wide open and I can get a shot long before the coyote gets in shotgun range. But I do understand where they have their place and because of that I have done some research that I’ll pass onto you.
Myself, I would think that the ideal shotgun would be an 12 gauge automatic, 26-28 inch barrel with a full choke. Your basic turkey gun, you know? So I started researching it to find out if I had a grip on it or not and it turns out I was partly right for a change.
According to Mike Schoby in his “The Complete Predator Hunter” what you want is a 10 or 12 gauge with a short barrel (20-24 inch) and a full or specialty choke and a decent set of sights, shooting BB shot or larger. The action seems to be a choice thing. One gun that he recommends is Mossberg 500 Turkey. It comes with everything mentioned and is camouflaged from the factory.
I mentioned a specialty choke. One that Schoby thinks highly of is the Carlson Dead Coyote choke. Never having seen it I can’t vouch for it but I’m thinking that if it was designed specifically for coyote hunting…..
As far as ammo goes, nothing smaller than BB shot and even then you want that copper plated. When I take a shotgun with me I take my beat-up old 870 Wingmaster that I’ve had for 35 years loaded with either 4 buck or 00 buckshot.
And again, there is a specialty load on the market that I haven’t tried yet. It’s called Dead Coyote Hevi-T shot.
Okay, the only thing left about shotguns is that they are not a point and shoot and watch the coyote fall over dead proposition. Take your gun out with several types of ammo and pattern it at different ranges for each brand of ammo. Find out which works best, find out how much they expand and how many flyers you have. Find out what the effective range is by how wide your pattern is. If you’re shooting buckshot with 12 pellets in the shell and half or more of your pellets are outside the kill zone (about 6 inches on a coyote) then you need to adjust your effective range accordingly. I’m thinking maybe 40 yards is the top end. If they’re hanging up beyond that range, leave your shotgun in your lap and use your rifle.