6 Shotgunning Tips for Coyote-hunting

In a recent post, we told you some important things to know before hunting coyotes and gave you an inside look at the hunt that taught us these lessons. Now we bring you some extra shotgunning tips to help you in hunting coyotes!

Coyote Ammunition

Federal’s new Heavyshot® Coyote Ammunition is the absolute perfect ammo for this sport.

Les Johnson told me that he sometimes uses four-shot for his first shot out the barrel, and then follows that load with BBs for the remainder of his shots. Coyotes can be extremely tough critters to kill, so if you choose to only shoot a single size of shot, I don’t think you could go wrong with BBs. In my opinion, Federal’s new 3-inch Heavyshot® Coyote Loads, producing a muzzle velocity of 1,350 fps, is the absolute perfect medicine. The patterns are typically very tight out of most shotguns and, as demonstrated on my hunt, the effective range can sometimes surprise you.


A 12-gauge shotgun with at least a 3-inch chamber is probably the best medicine, but I wouldn’t consider a 3 ½-inch chamber to be excessive. What shotgun action you choose is strictly a personal choice, but quick follow-up shots are sometimes a major advantage in shotgun hunting of coyotes.


Good camouflage is imperative for all parties involved. Coyotes have exceptionally keen eyesight and hearing, an acute sense of smell, and an uncanny knack for detecting potential danger. Blending into the background is crucial, and you must stay cognizant of the wind direction at all times. Nothing will spook one of these critters faster than a whiff of your sweaty armpits. A hesitant coyote may try to circle the call in an effort to get down wind, so this trait should have a bearing on where and how you make your setup.


Shotgunning Tips

The author (left) discusses shotgunning strategies with Predator Quest’s Les Johnson at the Varmint Hunters Association Jamboree in Pierre, South Dakota.

Advance Strategy, Combined Calls

If you decide to hunt with a shotgun, it’s always a good idea to discuss strategies beforehand with all parties in your group. The rifle shooters must be willing to hold off their shots in order to allow the shotgun to see some action. The type of calls used will frequently vary between mouth and electronic, or a combination of both.


Les Johnson (as well as CODA Depredation Services) frequently uses a combination of both mouth calls and electronic calls. I personally do the same, and rely on a Minaska Ultimate One for my electronic calling. This particular call comes with 100 pre-recorded sounds already loaded and the ability to download many more off the company’s website. It can be controlled remotely and even comes with a remote controlled built-in decoy.


Story & Pictures by Tom Tabor

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