Where To Shoot A Coyote (Shot Placement Tips)

The best place to shoot a coyote is behind the shoulder (heart & lungs). By hitting the coyote in its vital organs you have a much better chance for a fast, ethical, and humane kill.

Factors such as weather, your gun scope, and movement of the coyote can impact your shot placement. Be sure to take these different factors into account before taking the shot.

Most hunters choose to hunt coyotes during the nighttime as that is when they are most active. Be sure to optimize your firearm setup with a night vision or thermal scope to take your coyote hunting game to the next level.

Coyote hunting shot placement

What Is The Ideal Shot Placement On A Coyote?

The ideal shot placement on a coyote is in the lungs and heart, located directly behind the front legs. Hitting the the coyote directly in these vital organs is the key to achieving a humane kill without causing the animal to suffer unnecessarily.

Placing your scope reticle & hitting the lungs or heart will cause the coyote to quickly lose blood, consciousness and eventual lead to a swift death. Shooting a coyote in other parts of its body could lead to an injury and suffering for the animal. Aiming for the vitals is also important for getting kill shots on a deer as well.

Coyotes themselves are native to North America and are most commonly found in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. They are highly adaptable and can survive in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, deserts, and urban areas.

Aiming for the vital organs is always the best option when hunting coyotes. However, there are also factors that impact accuracy and shot placement.

What Factors Impact Shot Location?

There are several factors that can impact shot placement when hunting coyotes including weather conditions, your gun optic or scope, and the movement of the coyote.

The specific weather conditions you are hunting in can have a significant impact on shot placement when hunting hogs, coyotes, or any other animal. The wind speed and direction during the time of your shot will cause the bullet’s trajectory to change.

The gun scope you choose to use with your firearm can also affect your shot. A high-quality optic with proper magnification will make it much easier to hit your intended target.

Also, a stationary coyote will obviously be much easier to hit than a moving coyote. We recommend waiting for the coyote to stand still so that you can increase the chance of a clean kill shot.

How Far Should You Shoot A Coyote From?

You should hunt coyotes from within 50 yards. From 50 yards & in hunters can better ensure shot accuracy and a provide higher chance of hitting the vital organs (heart & lungs). However, like we saw in our post about where to shoot a turkey, range depends on the animal.

However, it’s important to note that the specific firearm and scope combination you are using can impact your maximum shooting range. Using a proper long range scope can help increase your max hunting distance.

coyote hunting

How Does Your Intended Use Case For The Pelt Impact Shot Placement?

The quality and value of a coyote pelt can be influenced by shot placement because certain areas of the animal’s body are more desirable for preserving the fur.

A coyote pelt refers to the skin and fur of the coyote & it is most commonly used for accessories or decorative items. Excessive damage to a pelt can significantly reduce its value.

People that want to preserve their coyote pelt need to consider their shot placement and ammo used when hunting. An excessively large round will cause unnecessary damage to the pelt & should be avoided. So take the proper rifle shooting stance & aim for the vitals!

What Is The Best Firearm For Coyote Hunting?

A bolt action rifle are the best guns for coyote hunting. They are a popular choice among coyote hunters for their accuracy and reliability. Most bolt-action & AR-15 rifles offer sufficient range to hunt coyotes in a variety of different environments. However, you gun optic also has a significant impact on accuracy.

Can You Hunt Coyotes At Night?

Yes, you can hunt coyotes at night. In fact, coyotes are nocturnal animals and are most active during the nighttime hours. This allows hunters to capitalize on their coyote hunts after the sun has gone down.

Night vision scopes & thermal monocular are commonly used by hunters for nocturnal coyote hunting. The best thermal monocular make it easier to spot and track their prey in very dark conditions.

Which Scope Is Best For Hunting Coyotes At Night?

Night vision scopes are the best optic for coyote hunting at night. The best coyote hunter night vision scopes provide great visibility in low lighting. Regardless of the environment, these scopes let hunters track and accurately shoot coyotes long after the sun has set.

Is There A Nighttime Bow Hunting Scope For Hunting Coyotes?

Yes, there are night vision scopes that are specifically designed to bow hunt coyotes after dark. Many hunters prefer to use crossbows & compound bows to hunt coyotes from close range. The different crossbow night vision scopes make things much easier for night time hunts.

Which Red Dot Sight Is Best For Your Coyote Hunting Gun?

Red dot sights are another great option for hunting coyotes. Although they do not provide the same magnification capabilities of a hunting scope, they are great options for close range shots. The Trijicon MRO is a very popular option and is one of the best AR red dot sights for hunting you will find.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best time of year for coyote hunting?

The best time of year for coyote hunting is typically during winter months. This is when their fur is thick and most desirable.

Is it legal to shoot coyotes?

The legality of shooting coyotes depends on local hunting regulations. Be sure to check your local and state laws before hunting coyotes.

Does hunting coyotes help with population control?

Hunting coyotes can help with population control by managing their numbers and minimizing potential conflicts with humans and livestock. Certain areas of the US encourage killing coyotes to keep coyote populations in check.

The Bottom Line

By now you should be an expert on the optimal shot placement when going out to hunt coyotes. Aiming for the heart & lungs (behind the shoulder joint) gives hunters the best chance for a fast & humane kill. Wait for the coyote to come to a stop & place your scope reticle on the vitals. Use these hunting & aiming tips to have more success on your next coyote hunt!

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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