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So over the past week we have lost ALL of our chickens to coyotes. They have destroyed our coop and entire flock. We are looking into purchasing a rifle or shotgun and would like some advice. We plan to restock our flock and are planning to add sheep and pigs, so we definitely need it.

So, rifle or shotgun? We only live on about 4.3 acres but it is flat and we are surrounded by other farms. (Most of the farmhouses are up front near the road then the land goes farther back and away from the road) Therefore, in my opinion a rifle is not best as it can travel rather far. I could be completely incorrect. Any advice of suggestions? We are just starting out, so we cannot really afford anything super expensive. The coyotes are a HUGE issue, we have talked to others and they are very active in the area.

Thank you in advance!
 

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In your situation, I would definately recommend a 12 ga shotgun. Get some heavy load shells such as #2's. That will stop a coyote. This will allow you to not be a hazard to the neighbors. In open country such as I live in with the nearest neighbor over 1 mile away and about 3 miles in other directions, I like my ol .30-.30 rifle, but would be dangerous in your neighborhood.
 
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You don't always get the opportunity for a close accurate shot
with a shotgun against coyotes. I had a rogue coyote once
hanging around trying to breed my dog. It was brave, but
sneaky. The closest I could get was a hundred yard. Too
far for shotgun, but just right for the lever .30-30when I
finally did shoot it .
Usually, they'll run away fast but stop and look back when
they feel far enough away. Thus, your opportunity with a
fast loading longer range rifle .
 

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What works for us is 2 good, pampered with love, outdoor farm dogs - a Blue Heeler that will charge half a mile to get her point across, and a half Heeler, 1/4 Black Lab, 1/4 Aussie Shepherd, that has a mean bark.

They tag team the night shift.
 

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rather than answer the question for you since I am not there to look your place over I think I will give you the info you need to know to make the decision

your options being shotgun or rifle

shotgun you have some ammo choices shot is lots of small projectiles the larger shot is called buck shot buck shots most common form is 00 called double ought and is typically comprised of nine 30 caliber balls loaded in a shot shell these balls spread out based on the choke / restriction at the end of the barrel full being the greatest restriction commonly approved for use with normal factory chokes , there are specalty chokes that allow for more

when we shoot multiple projectiles IE shot we talk about pattern this is most often discussed in terms of a 30 inch circle and the number of shot that fall inside the 30 inch circle when you shoot at the center the other thing to consider is the size of your target will the spread of your shot be wide ebought at your target could slip between the pattern.

if you look at my post about suprema buck shot I tested with a modified choke I didn't have a full at the time I expect that I could extend my effective range from 30 yards to 40-45 yards with a full choke

do not confuse effective working range with distance that it could go and do great bodily harm the load runs out of effective usefulness long before it stops being dangerous

round balls have the worst ballistic coefficient of all projectile shapes , this is they push air with as much surface area as is possible for their weight an easy example of this is give from round cannon balls vs cylindrical cannon projectiles , looking back at history Fort Polaski Tybee Island Gorgia was shelled round cannon balls traveled the mile and a half and bounced off the thick brick walls , canonical "bullet shaped" cannon fire however could extend range to 4-5 miles and the energy carried when it got there was 4 to 5 times greater and would cause much damage to the brick walls of the fort and the fort was surrendered by the confederacy rather than loose it and all the men there were many forts built in the day or round ball cannon fire that were crushed by the new cylindrical projectiles at never before heard of ranges

so now we know why a round ball might be desired if the range your willing for it to be dangerous at is shorter

so how does one calculate round ball ballistics

weight in grains \ (10640 x diamiter in inches )= balistic coeficent

to simplify a .315 round ball weighs 47gr or 47/7000 of a pound as there are 7000gr in a pound

47gr \ (10640 x .315)= .014

you can then plug the balistic coeficient into the calculator http://www.hornady.com/ballistics-resource/ballistics-calculator
the weight of 47gr and the sight in range of 25 yards set the calculator to extrapolate every 25 yards and you can see that given an average muzzle velocity of 1200fps at 125 yards the round ball even if fired from 50 inches high and level should be in the dirt you want to probably double that distance to anything you might hit for safety and even more if that is a person

shooting down and at targets no farther than 35 yards will put your round int he dirt sooner , smaller shot will also put your round in the dirt sooner , but you get less energy to the target

rifles go a lot further competition distances for high power rifles are 1000 yards and the round can fo even further , slugs also go further than shot ussualy they would be in the dirt in 400 yards even if fired level but they run out of effective accuracy around 150 yards depending on the slug ,modern saboted slugs with much greater ballistic coefficient really just need to be treated as rifles

a shotgun is a very effective tool for close targets inside 40 yards , inside 100 or so with slugs but keep in mind the range they can go

another option may be to trap them , some will use a 22lr rifle as they have less range , the way they are use is important anything shot down into the dirt will be safe at much shorter range behind the target

so ask yourself how close have i seen the coyotes , have you seen the coyotes ?

traps may be the better answer if you can get them in a trap you can dispatch with a 22 or a shotgun form very close range at a downward angle and while you wouldn't want to stand behind the yote when someone is dispatching at a distance of a few feet I have done it with buildings as little as 10 feet behind and never had a problem but i am shooting down it is dirt and not a hard flat surface like concrete between me and the building and I get close like almost touching them with the barrel keeping a good down angle

should you have a gun , if you feel it is time , then yes

should it be a shotgun , probably

should you shoot buckshot where you live , only you can answer that

smaller shot goes less far but it retains less energy for the power to cleanly dispatch also

my brother lives on 3 acre , there are places where i could feel fine taking a shot and a bunch where a shot should not be taken

so are you going out to find coyotes still in the coop or do you just see them running at the property line or do you not see them at all

a trap can work 24/7 and you probably can't wait and watch 24/7 as there are likely other tasks you must do in a day
 

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If you're like me and all of your predator issues happen overnight, I recommend an AR-15 with a really nice LED attachment on it. I have a Windham Weaponry MPC and it does a great job at putting down coyotes.
 

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If you're like me and all of your predator issues happen overnight, I recommend an AR-15 with a really nice LED attachment on it. I have a Windham Weaponry MPC and it does a great job at putting down coyotes.
:umno: I think if I had a neighbor as close as the OP says his are, and they opened up with a AR-15, night or day, I would come unglued. Sure, you could do it, but would have to be darn careful whats behind the coyote, sure wouldn't want a neighbor or his kids or his livestock to be in the area. A lot less worry with a shotgun.
 

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A shotgun with #4 buck will cleanly kill yotes out to 70 yards with a full choked barrel. It is the best bet considering your situation and the neighbors. I do not recommend any rifle as a dead neighbor kid trumps a zillion dead chickens. Right now all of the big box stores have 12 gauge pumps Mossberg or Remington for about 300 bucks brand new. you should be able to get a used pump for 150 bucks.
 

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I spend more time hunting coyotes than deer it seems like. We get invites from farmers thru word of mouth to clean out coyotes that bother their live stock.
When the property does not lend it's self to a center fire rifle we use 12ga. shot guns. Doesn't seem to matter with Hevi shot coyote buster if we have a full or mod choke. We also use # four shot as the heavy shot is expensive.
If your buying a shot gun don't over look used pumps to save money. Although a single shot works for coyotes as they don't stand still for second shots. I would look for ones with changeable chokes first so you can change from full to a more open pattern choke.
You could use a rifle if you got really good with it, a 223 is the ticket with quality ammo.

Buy a mouth call and ambush the coyotes some distance away from the home stead with a rifle also.

:D Al
 

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for a sold low cost shotgun of your right handed a Mavrick 88 this is just like a mossberg 500 in almost every way but that instead of the safety located on top , the bolt , slide, stock and barrel can all be inter changed with a M500 the Maverick 88 has a cross bolt safety located at the front of the trigger guard and is not drilled or tapped on the receiver for optics the maverick 88 is the budget version of an already budget minded gun.

wlamart here has the 500 for 279 and the Maverick 88 for 225 although i recently saw the maverik on sale at fleet farm for 208 but the thought i keep coming back to is if I want to but a red dot sight on it for turkey or deer I would need to have it drilled and tapped and that is a 50 dollar job at a smith and time without it so pay it now and have the holes available whenever or pay it later

oh and the 500 and maverick 88 are both made in the usa

the Remington 870 is another fine pump gun made in usa they tend to go 325 for a base model express

if you want the Chinese copy of the 870 H&R imports them and calls them the H&R Pardner pump, funny thing H&R and Remington are owned by the same parent company and if you call H&R customer service you get the same people

I had reason to call both in the past few weeks and got the email from Remington both times with my order info

there are a lot of used shotguns available , things to be looking for are removable choke tubes so that you can change them as needed to get the pattern you need

I would stick to the big 2 the 500 or the 870 in pump guns because of the parts and accessories availability

nothing wrong with a single shot , but they can be brutal on the shoulder as they weigh less , also unless you get some incredible deal on one new they just are not that big of a savings compared to a pump as the often do not come with removable choke tubes


It sounds like this will be your first gun , I would suggest you find a way to take your states hunters education to give you some fundamentals in firearms handling they are usually very reasonable cost
 

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In addition to a shotgun you might consider "snares". Coyote hunters and sheep ranchers in our area use them quite a bit. Professionally made snares have "stops" built on them so they don't choke an animal to death. Helpful if your neighbor's dog gets caught in one. Lots of choices and advice available on youtube.
 

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In addition to a shotgun you might consider "snares". Coyote hunters and sheep ranchers in our area use them quite a bit. Professionally made snares have "stops" built on them so they don't choke an animal to death. Helpful if your neighbor's dog gets caught in one. Lots of choices and advice available on youtube.
good point but what you are talking about are cable restraints , the Wisconsin and Pennsylvania ones specifically are relaxing type so as soon as the animal quits fighting it can breath again , snares do not relax and do dispatch indiscriminately, a dozen cable restraints is about 20 dollars , and you need stakes and a stake base plate swivel so you have about 30 dollars into a dozen cable restraints , generally the restraint gets kinked bad when a yote fights it and you cut it loose from your stake swivel and use another at 2 dollars each they are not much more expensive than a good shot gun shell http://www.snareshop.com/prodinfo.asp?number=SNARE518

now that i think about it i think Colorado is a box trap state , all the pot heads in Denver sat around token a bowl and banned the use or real traps with little understanding of ranching or wildlife ecology
 

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:umno: I think if I had a neighbor as close as the OP says his are, and they opened up with a AR-15, night or day, I would come unglued. Sure, you could do it, but would have to be darn careful whats behind the coyote, sure wouldn't want a neighbor or his kids or his livestock to be in the area. A lot less worry with a shotgun.
I guess I am biased because of the geography of my land. I only have one acre, but most of my yard is a very steep hill that levels out at the bottom. Inevitably, if I take a shot at a coyote down the hill and miss the bullet is going into the ground not continuing on. A shotgun may be better :)
 

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I guess I am biased because of the geography of my land. I only have one acre, but most of my yard is a very steep hill that levels out at the bottom. Inevitably, if I take a shot at a coyote down the hill and miss the bullet is going into the ground not continuing on. A shotgun may be better :)
That's the way my property is too so I prefer a rifle. But with open areas and other close houses/farms you're better off using a shotgun. My grandpa lived in a flat area and everyone around there used shotguns on coyotes.

Question though, if this is mostly at night and 'yotes tore up the coop; have you considered using an electric fence for predator prevention? And definitely look into trapping and shooting them yourself or hire a trapper.
 

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I use a Ruger 10/22 and just pop them in the head.. Its cheap ammo, doesn't make a lot of noise or draw a lot of attention, and it eliminates any unnecessary suffering. Don't buy any 22lr round that isn't at least 1200fps..
 

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Maybe those Denver pot heads have more common sense than some villager that is squeaky clean.
People let there dogs out at night to do their thing as well as the day time and dogs that haven't been boundary trained can get in those snare set in urban areas. Good law way I see it even coming from POT HEADS, maybe others should get a bit of pot to clear thinking.

Check with the farmers and ranchers in your area. We get word of mouth calls to take care of coyote problem all winter till the end of the season from farmers here. We use calls, rifles and shot guns, most farmers are very happy with what we do in their area.

:D Al
 

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CABLE RESTRAINTS are NOT snares ,, FOOT HOLD traps are NOT snares there are methods besides box traps that are both safe and effective , offset , laminated jaw or rubber jaw traps are all used by wild life biologists to study and relocate animals live as are cable restraints



I have a dog and she has gotten out particularly when we tried adopting a dog that was a habitual runner he only stayed a few months and he was turned back over to the humane society for relocation to a family without women or children.

any way whenever one of my dogs gets out I fully accept the consequences that they may very well get hit by a car , that if they are chasing or harassing live stock they will be shot , if it were to cause someone fear of injury or bodily harm that it would be shot , and that if they find a trap they will be caught

I work to make sure my dogs never get out and that they are well marked to be returned to me if they do , and I start looking and keep looking and call the local police department and self report if they have been gone more than 20 minutes. I have not had a problem in over a year but that is because I took the responsibility for my pets and did what needed to be done.
I like dogs but I hate the variety of excuses that lazy irresponsible dog owners use just like a few trappers don't use good judgment in the placement of traps a massive amount of dog owners do not understand or accept their responsibilities

don' even get me started on cat owners

there is a middle ground in trapping the WISCONSIN /Pennsylvania /Missouri CABLE RESTRAINT uses a revers bent washer type relaxing lock , it must be set so that it will not reach a fence , or rooted vegetation 1/2 inch or larger all to protect the catch
 

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I have killed several coyotes with 3" magnum 12 gauge #2 shot, #4 buckshot or BB's, I have some #2 heavi shot that I am looking forward to trying this year, I expect great results from it. Based on the situation you describe, I would be very reluctant to use a rifle and the rifle is my preferred tool for varmint control. At night, and at chicken coop ranges the shotgun will be easier for you to use because it sounds as if you are not real experienced with firearms so there is a greater margin for error in shot placement. Plus your dangerous range is greatly reduced with a shotgun so safety is improved, but you still must plan out your fields of fire during the day to avoid a mistake in the dark.

As far as traps go, that is the best way of dealing with coyotes as it works 24 hours a day/7 days a week. If you use proper foothold traps or cable restraints non-target catches can be released unharmed. Be sure to check the regulations in your particular area when it comes to depredation trapping. Here in KY you just give them a call and the biologists or conservation officer will come out and take a look to make sure the situation is as described (the standard is very low for coyotes, raccoon, opossum and beaver, they are more particular about deer but obviously deer aren't killing your chickens) and then they will give you a permit. Obviously if it is during the legal season this is not required.

Also be sure your problem is being caused by coyotes, in my area a lot of things get blamed on coyotes that are actually the result of free ranging dogs.
 
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