Coyotes are incredibly efficient predators with a unique sense of situational awareness, so to hunt coyotes you must always be thinking at least one step ahead of them. One critical consideration is coyote hunting guns. Will a ‘yote pop up at close range, or might you need to take a poke at a long-range dog? Consider the landscape in your ground scouting and e-scouting to envision likely shot scenarios. A well-rounded coyote hunter knows it’s important to have versatile firepower, so here we’ll reveal “the triple threat” of coyote hunting guns.
Common Coyote Guns
There are many different gun options available to coyote hunters. Each viable gun offering has a set list of pros and cons that go with it. There’s give and take, regardless of the choice. It’s all about choosing what best fits the conditions and situation. That said, there are three primary categories of coyote hunting guns to consider.
The first and likely most popular is the bolt-action rifle. This is a great selection for most coyote hunters. In fact, most leisure or passive coyote hunters choose to use their deer guns while hunting song dogs, which is fine, and most of these are bolt-action boom sticks.
The AR platform is the next option. This tactical approach gives hunters a higher magazine capacity, along with the ability to fire more rounds and stay in an optic easier with the semi-automatic action. For those hunting in areas with higher coyote densities, and larger packs of coyotes, this is a solid option.
Finally, we arrive at the shotgun. While this is the least common gun used by coyote hunters, it certainly has its place. The scatter gun, as it’s commonly called, certainly carves out a unique niche when hunting coyotes in close corridors. It’s also a great secondary and recovery weapon.
Bolt-Action Rifle for Coyote Hunting
The bolt-action rifle is a staple in the world of coyote hunting. Its prevalence is unparalleled, and hunters nationwide rely on it to harvest song dogs each year. It offers numerous advantages over both ARs and shotguns. Oftentimes, it offers more distance and downrange accuracy than both other guns.
It does have downsides, though. In most cases, these hold fewer rounds (but is not an issue with our selection below). Also, reloading tends to be slower. That’s a significant negative trait for those who need to take numerous shots in a short amount of time.
That said, for the bolt-action rifle selection, it’s a no-brainer to go with the Savage Impulse Predator. Predator hunting oftentimes involves follow-up shots, or shots at multiple targets (especially with coyotes). This is a speed-oriented bolt gun. Its round knob bolt handle and straight-pull action is built for predator hunting and quick reloading. The 10-round AICS magazine with ambidextrous release also quickens its pace.
Furthermore, the Impulse Predator holds incredible downrange accuracy. While the overall length is 41.5 inches, it has a 20-inch barrel and a 1:12 twist rate. The gun also includes a 20-MOA rail that’s machined into the receiver. The Impulse Predator weighs 8.7 pounds, and it’s available in four calibers, including .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., .308 Win., and 6.5 Creedmoor.
As for aesthetics, it comes with a matte black aluminum receiver and carbon-steel barrel. The AccuStock with AccuFit has an adjustable length-of-pull and comes cloaked in camo.
Shotgun for Coyote Hunting
Many hunters love a good shotgun for coyote hunting. And in some instances, the coyote hunting regulations call for it. Some seasons allow only shotguns. This is especially true for night hunting in certain locations.
A shotgun offers other benefits for coyote hunting, too. Durability is key. The scattergun effect is also great for fast shooting in short-range scenarios, such as thicker cover. And of course, fast cycling with a semi-auto is a great benefit for quick follow-ups. The one downside, of course, is the shortened range.
In the shotgun category, the top pick is the Savage Renegauge Field shotgun. It’s won numerous awards, and for good reasons. At the pinnacle of these is it performs well and is very reliable. This semi-auto delivers the payload proficiently.
The Renegauge is a 12-gauge shotgun with a 3-inch chamber, and the barrel is fluted and has a melonite finish. The barrel length is 28 inches, and overall length is 49.5 inches. Its carbon-steel ventilated rib features a red fiber-optic sight. It also has a loading magazine port optimized for safety and speed. Its oversized controls aid in this effort, too.
Furthermore, the patented Dual Regulating Inline Valve (DRIV) gas system vents excess gas before driving the bolt. This delivers a fast cycle, consistent shell ejection, and minimizes felt recoil. It’s also very adjustable, as comb height and length-of-pull are customizable.
This model includes a chrome-plated action bar assembly and chrome-plated reciprocating components. A stock rod buffer reduces felt recoil. The package includes full, improved cylinder, and modified choke tubes, and even a hard-sided carrying case.
Aside from the Renegauge Field, another solid bet is the Renegauge Security. It too works very well for coyotes, and other predators, and doubles as a home-defense gun. It’s available in 12 gauge.
AR-15 for Coyote Hunting
Bear Creek Arsenal BC-15 6.5 Grendel
A lot of coyote hunters, and predator hunters in general, prefer an AR platform. These guns offer numerous advantages, including faster semi-automatic cycling, medium- to long-range capabilities (make, model, and barrel depending), the ability to add key accessories (such as lights), and more.
Therefore, our pick for the AR category is the Bear Creek Arsenal BC-15 6.5 Grendel. It comes with a 20-inch heavy barrel with a 416R stainless finish. It also has a 1:8 twist rate. It’s a very accurate AR with stout durability and dependability.
This gun has the BCA bolt carrier group, M4 flat-top billet upper receiver, BCA mil-spec AR-15 lower, rifle length gas system, 0.750 gas block system, right-side charging handle (gen 2), and 15-inch MLOK rail. It weighs 8.75 pounds. It’s largely manufactured in Sanford, North Carolina, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
For those who aren’t fans of the 6.5 Grendel caliber, another great AR option is the Bear Creek Arsenal BC-10 chambered in .22-250 with a 1:14 twist rate. It offers many of the same advantages and is equally affordable.
The Best of All Worlds
Regardless of the firearm choice for a coyote hunt, it can be extremely beneficial to mix up gun types if you’re hunting with buddies. This is especially good for hunting terrain that isn’t monotonous and consists of short-, medium-, and long-range opportunities. For example, someone with a shotgun is better equipped for shorter ranges in thicker cover, while those with a rifle are better suited for more open settings. Then, the spectrum is covered with each of the great coyote hunting gun categories.
Bonus: Predator Gear Grab Bag
In addition to your selected coyote hunting guns, there are other items to include in the gear bag. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, these are great additions to the arsenal.
Coyote Light Pro: For those hunting where regulations allow, the Coyote Light Pro is an excellent addition to your rail. It’s more compact and less weight than most options on the market. Plus, the LED bulb has a 65,000-hour lifespan. It sports up to 48 hours of continuous run time. Light up eyes at 1,000 yards and full bodies at 500 yards. Get it in red, green, or infrared. It weighs 1.2 pounds.
Halo XR700 laser rangefinder: The XR700 by Halo is an excellent rangefinder for coyote hunters. Per the name, it offers 700 yards of range. It also sports auto acquisition, angle intelligence, scan mode, 6X magnification, water resistance, and more. A lanyard, lens cloth, and CR2 lithium-ion battery are included. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
Hunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Max Home Kit: Coyotes have great noses and knocking back the volume of scent is important. The Max Home Kit includes laundry detergent and dryer sheets for camo, body soap, shampoo, and anti-perspirant.
HuntStand Pro: We can’t forget a HuntStand Pro subscription. This offers numerous benefits over the free version of our app, including property boundaries, property ownership data, detailed hunting and public maps, 3D mapping layer, stand reservations, and unlimited offline maps.
While it doesn’t take a lot of money to be a successful coyote hunter, choosing the best available options within your budget can oftentimes make noticeable differences. This especially holds true when searching for the best options in great coyote hunting guns.