Where to Start?
Predator hunting is very different from the more conventional hunts that we are used to practicing in Quebec. When it comes to equipment, this is much more true. Of course, you probably already have everything you need in the cupboard to start this hunt. Try your first experiences! If you’re planning on getting serious, a few essential pieces of gear that are a little less used on the big game will be essential. So let’s see what the coyote hunter equipment is made of!
The first thing to remember is your weapon. What caliber? This question keeps coming back. The answers that emerge are all vague since it is often a very personal decision. However, it is inevitable that the expression “ speed kill ” takes on its whole meaning for predators! The maximum speed feasible is what you should be looking for. Why? Because you are going to shoot at a target that offers a vital area of just a few inches at distances varying from 100 to 350 yards.
The fastest calibers will give you a massive advantage on the side of the ball’s ‘ drop. ‘ ‘ You’ll see it when the time comes to pull the trigger on a target at long range! However, if you don’t want to injure your game needlessly, you must find a balance between speed and strike force.
A topic that often comes up on social media is rimfire-type caliber for this type of hunting. Although it is allowed, the “rimfires ” are mainly lacking in power. This is particularly true when we exceed 50 yards; see 100 yards for the 17HMR. Trappers generally use them for still alive coyotes trapped. I suggest you go and consult the terminal ballistics of these calibers. Having tested many calibers on predators over the last decade, I would rank the standard calibers in that order.
- Retention of skins and shots from 200 yards or less: 17 Fireballs
- Less than 300
- yards: 223, 204 Ruger, 22-250
- Up to 450 yards: 204 Ruger, 22-250, 243 Win
- 450 yards and more: 243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor
Any rifle in your cabinet will do the trick for a start, but over time, buying a real ‘ ‘ Varminter ” caliber will be a significant advantage.
In terms of accuracy, in my opinion, your weapon must be able to produce clusters of less than an inch at 100 yards and ideally less than half an inch.
Regarding the optics, a magnification of 4-12x or 3-15x is, in my opinion, a minimum. A 300-yard coyote is not a big target, so high magnification is a big advantage when firing. A reticle graduated in MILS or MOA will also be a precious tool for those who want to use the maximum efficiency of their weapon!
Now a piece of equipment that is often overlooked and yet, in my opinion, the most important part: the range finder! Long-range shots at predators are commonplace, and to have any success with these shots every time, Before firing, it’s critical to know the exact distance. This is when the rangefinder comes into play.
An old unwritten rule is that you pay $ 1 per yard for a range finder to be effective. I tend to subscribe to this old belief, although a few relatively affordable models offer outstanding performance. Of the ones I have had the chance to try, the Leica 2700 and the Sig Sauer kilo 2200 are two rangefinders that are very hard to beat for the price and will give you good performance such small targets as coyotes at a perfect distance.
The most exciting part of hunting predators is the fact that we call the animal to us. To do this, two options are available to us: electronic calls and mouth calls. For my part, mouth calls, although more challenging to master, offer greater versatility and, above all, a more significant challenge.
The marked advantage of the electronic call will be that you can position it a good distance away from you, thus looking the coyote away from your position as it approaches. As for the mouth call will allow you to put more emotions in your calls and especially to react more quickly to changing situations since it is close at hand and quickly accessible without having to play with remote control. Plus, it won’t let you down for lack of batteries!
For electronic call models, the company par excellence is undoubtedly Foxpro. No matter which models your budget will allow you to buy, Foxpro has a habit of delivering a great product.
When it comes to mouth calls, I recommend Recall design custom calls. It is a long-established Quebec company. It offers excellent service in addition to providing the best predator calls on the market. The model par excellence, to begin with, will be Snack time. It will allow you to perform a ton of different distress calls in addition to allowing you to produce vocalizations if you manage to master it.
Bipods or Tripods
Finally, one last piece of equipment not to be overlooked: the rifle holder! To make shots from 200-300, see 400 yards, you will undoubtedly need stable support. There are several options available to you, and each of them will do the job very well if you practice correctly with your weapon in the hunting position. For my part, I use a bipod, the Vanguard Equalizer model.
What I like about bipods over tripods is their low weight and that they are easy to move around quietly if you have to change positions to complete your shot. On the other hand, for those on a higher budget and who want incredibly stable equipment, a tripod is without a doubt the best option! The Hog Saddle Company offers perfect tripod models with several types of attachment to adjust to your weapon.
While a white camouflage hunting set can give you some advantage when the ground is snowy, any outfit in your drawer will do the job just fine for a start. The important thing is to stay as still as possible, of course!
You now have everything you need to get started!