The AR-15 for Coyote Hunting: A Comprehensive Guide

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Coyote hunting is a popular activity among hunters, and the AR-15 is a commonly used firearm for this purpose. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to using the AR-15 for coyote hunting, including selecting the right firearm, optics and sights, ammunition and accessories, safety considerations, hunting strategies, ethical considerations, maintenance and care, myths and misconceptions, and a comparison to other hunting rifles.

Understanding Coyotes


Physical Characteristics

Coyotes are medium-sized canids that weigh between 20 to 50 pounds and stand about 2 feet tall. They have a narrow snout, pointed ears, and bushy tails. Coyotes are generally reddish-brown or gray in color.

Behavioral Patterns

Coyotes are opportunistic predators that hunt primarily at night. They are social animals that live in packs and are known for their ability to adapt to different environments. Coyotes are omnivores and will eat a variety of food, including small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, fruits, and vegetables.

Reasons for Controlling Coyote Population

Coyotes can cause damage to livestock and pets, and can also pose a threat to humans. Controlling the coyote population is necessary to reduce conflicts between coyotes and humans.

The AR-15: Key Features

AR 15

Overview of the AR-15 Design

The AR-15 is a lightweight, semi-automatic rifle that is known for its accuracy and reliability. It is designed to be customizable, with a wide range of accessories available to enhance its performance.

Advantages of Using the AR-15 for Coyote Hunting

The AR-15 has several advantages over other hunting rifles for coyote hunting, including its lightweight design, low recoil, and high accuracy. Its customizable nature also allows for the addition of accessories such as scopes and sights.

Comparison to Other Hunting Rifles

Compared to other hunting rifles such as bolt-action rifles and shotguns, the AR-15 offers a higher rate of fire and greater accuracy at longer ranges.

Selecting the Right AR-15 for Coyote Hunting

Factors to Consider When Selecting an AR-15

When selecting an AR-15 for coyote hunting, it is important to consider factors such as barrel length, caliber, and weight. The AR-15’s modular design also allows for customization to suit individual preferences.

Best Calibers for Coyote Hunting

The .223 Remington and .22-250 Remington are popular calibers for coyote hunting with the AR-15, as they offer high velocity and accuracy.

Suggested Modifications for AR-15 for Coyote Hunting

Adding a free-floating handguard, a muzzle brake, and a bipod can improve the AR-15’s performance for coyote hunting.

Optics and Sights

Importance of Optics for Coyote Hunting

Optics are crucial for successful coyote hunting with the AR-15, as they allow for accurate targeting at longer ranges.

Recommended Scopes and Sights

Red dot sights and low-power scopes are popular choices for coyote hunting with the AR-15, as they offer quick target acquisition and are lightweight.

Read more: Coyote Hunting at Night: Choosing the Right Night Vision Scope for Your Needs

How to Zero in Your Scope for Coyote Hunting

Zeroing in your scope is essential for accurate targeting. This involves adjusting the scope’s elevation and windage to align with the bullet’s trajectory.

Types of Ammunition for Coyote Hunting

Choosing the right ammunition is crucial for successful coyote hunting with the AR-15. The type of ammunition you use will depend on factors such as the weight of the bullet, its shape, and velocity. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when selecting ammunition for coyote hunting:

Bullet Weight, Shape, and Velocity Considerations

When it comes to bullet weight, lighter bullets tend to be faster and more accurate at longer ranges, while heavier bullets offer more stopping power. A popular bullet weight for coyote hunting is 55 grains.

The shape of the bullet is also important. Hollow point bullets are a popular choice as they expand on impact, causing more damage to the target. Boat tail bullets are another option that offers better accuracy at longer ranges.

Finally, the velocity of the bullet should also be considered. A higher velocity bullet will typically have a flatter trajectory, which makes it easier to hit the target accurately.

Recommended Accessories for Coyote Hunting

Using the right accessories can improve your accuracy and make coyote hunting with the AR-15 more successful. Here are some recommended accessories for coyote hunting:


A good optic can help you quickly and accurately acquire your target. Popular options for coyote hunting include red dot sights, holographic sights, and scopes.


A sling can help you carry your AR-15 comfortably while also keeping it secure and easily accessible.


A bipod can provide stability and reduce fatigue during long hunting trips.


Suppressors can reduce the noise of the shot, making it less likely to spook other coyotes in the area.

Safety Considerations

Safety should always be a top priority when hunting with the AR-15. Here are some tips for staying safe when using the AR-15 for coyote hunting:

Safety Tips when Using the AR-15 for Coyote Hunting

  • Always point the gun in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and know what is beyond your target.
  • Wear ear and eye protection.
  • Make sure the gun is unloaded when not in use.
  • Never rely solely on the gun’s safety mechanism.

Importance of Proper Handling and Maintenance

Proper handling and maintenance of the AR-15 is essential for safe and effective use. Regular cleaning and inspection of the firearm can help prevent malfunctions and ensure that it is always in good working order.

Legal Considerations when Hunting Coyotes with the AR-15

Before heading out on a coyote hunting trip, it’s important to be aware of any legal considerations. This can include obtaining the necessary permits and adhering to any local hunting regulations.

Hunting Strategies

Coyote hunting requires a different approach than other types of hunting. Here are some best practices for successful coyote hunting with the AR-15:

Best Hunting Practices for Coyotes

  • Use calls or decoys to attract coyotes to your location.
  • Hunt in pairs to improve your chances of success.
  • Be patient and wait for the coyote to come to you.
  • Take shots from a stable shooting position to improve accuracy.

Types of ammunition for coyote hunting

When it comes to ammunition for coyote hunting with the AR-15, there are a few things to keep in mind. The most important factors to consider are bullet weight, shape, and velocity. For coyote hunting, it’s generally recommended to use lighter weight bullets in the 50-60 grain range, as these are less likely to cause unnecessary damage to the animal. Hollow point or soft point bullets are also recommended, as they tend to expand upon impact and transfer more energy to the target.

Bullet weight, shape, and velocity considerations

In addition to choosing the right bullet weight and shape, it’s also important to pay attention to the velocity of the bullet. A velocity of around 3,000 feet per second is ideal for coyote hunting, as this provides enough energy to take down the animal while minimizing the risk of over-penetration or excessive damage.

Recommended accessories for the AR-15 when hunting coyotes

There are a few accessories that can be helpful when hunting coyotes with the AR-15. One essential accessory is a good quality scope, as this can greatly improve your accuracy and make it easier to hit your target. A bipod or shooting rest can also be useful, especially when shooting from a prone position or over longer distances. Additionally, a sling can be helpful for carrying your rifle on long hunts or when hiking through difficult terrain.

Safety Considerations

When hunting with the AR-15, safety should always be a top priority. It’s important to follow basic firearm safety rules, such as keeping your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot and always treating the gun as if it’s loaded. It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and never shoot at anything you’re not 100% sure is a coyote.

Safety tips when using the AR-15 for coyote hunting

In addition to basic firearm safety rules, there are a few additional safety tips to keep in mind when using the AR-15 for coyote hunting. Always make sure you have a clear line of sight before taking a shot, and be sure to wear appropriate hearing and eye protection. It’s also important to keep your rifle unloaded when not in use and to never leave it unattended.

Importance of proper handling and maintenance

Proper handling and maintenance of your AR-15 is essential for ensuring its longevity and safety. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent malfunctions and keep your rifle in good working order. Additionally, it’s important to handle your rifle with care and to always follow manufacturer guidelines for use and maintenance.

Legal considerations when hunting coyotes with the AR-15

Before heading out on a coyote hunt with your AR-15, it’s important to be aware of any legal restrictions or requirements in your area. Some states or localities may have specific rules regarding the use of certain types of ammunition or hunting methods. It’s also important to obtain any necessary licenses or permits before hunting.

Hunting Strategies

When it comes to hunting coyotes with the AR-15, there are a few key strategies that can help improve your chances of success. One of the most effective methods is to use calls or decoys to attract coyotes to your location. Additionally, hunting during early morning or late evening hours when coyotes are most active can also be helpful.

Best hunting practices for coyotes

In addition to using calls or decoys and hunting during optimal times, there are a few other best practices to keep in mind when hunting coyotes with the AR-15. One important tip is to always be patient and wait for the right shot, rather than taking risky or poorly aimed shots. It’s also important to practice good field craft, such as remaining still and quiet and