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Old February 20, 2010, 07:14 PM   #1
waterfowler
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.17 on coyote

What is your opinion on this caliber for predators. I feel that it is all about shot placement. thanks
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Old February 20, 2010, 08:38 PM   #2
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.17....what?

.17 centerfires work great.

.17 rimfires? Not so much.

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Old February 20, 2010, 09:00 PM   #3
JohnKSa
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I have read that the 20 gr bullet loadings of the .17HMR are effective on coyotes if you make a good shot and don't stretch the distance. The 17 gr bullets seem to be generally considered to be a bad choice for anything other than head shots.
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Old February 20, 2010, 09:07 PM   #4
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I shoot lots of Coyotes with a .17 Remington...drops them in their tracks !

17HMR works OK on Coyotes to 200 yards.

17Mach2 works OK to 100 yards.

17Remington or 17/223 drops them out to 500 yards.

Beyond 500 yards I use 308 Winchester loaded with 130 grain Speer JHP.
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Old February 20, 2010, 11:13 PM   #5
ENC
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17 Rem Fireball shoots like a laser beam and the coyotes don't live long enough to give a dissenting opinion.

Rimfire?? you better be close and a good shot. Many consider the .22 mag with about twice the energy to me marginal. I use the 22 mag on them. I don't own a 17 rimfire.
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Old February 20, 2010, 11:34 PM   #6
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I've used a 17HMR on yotes quite a few times. While a head shot is preferred, a clean broadside works also. Stay within the 200 yd. limit though, and preferably within 100 for broadside. Never had one take even a step on me yet, but I'm also picky about the shot.
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Old February 20, 2010, 11:37 PM   #7
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If we're talking 17 HMR, I don't think I'd stretch it far on coyotes. (It wouldn't be my personal choice at all.) I love my 17 HMR, but two quick stories...

I shot a feral cat at a very reasonable range but ended up having to run it down for a follow up. And that's just a feral cat.

About two months ago, I shot a crow on my range inside the 200 yard mark. I saw a few feathers fly but assumed I had grazed him since he hopped up and flew off with his mob. He climbed and flew nearly a hundred yards when his auto pilot suddenly failed and he abruptly crashed to the ground. I retrieved him and he had an entry just off center of the chest and an exit out the back. Other crows I've hit at lesser ranges were demolished, but at roughly the 175 yard mark, I think the 17 grain round had shed enough velocity that while it punched through, it didn't expand much and it certainly didn't explode. And that's just a crow.

If I were to take a 17 HMR out for coyotes, I think I'd be fairly conservative and limit myself to 75... 80 yards tops(?) and be very particular about placement for sure.
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Old February 21, 2010, 09:10 AM   #8
Daryl
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Why don't you take this over to either of the two major predator hunting boards and see what they think?

They'll be more'n happy to "enlighten" you on the subject.

Trust me, moral support doesn't kill coyotes.

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Old February 21, 2010, 10:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Why don't you take this over to either of the two major predator hunting boards and see what they think?
Or just leave it where it is and those of us who hunt AND frequent this corner can keep explaining what we know.

The last yote I took with a .17hmr was at a solid 175 yards. With a clean head shot looking at me, the bullet entered as close to right between the eyes as you can get and took the back of the skull completely out. He wouldn't have dropped any harder if I'd have used my 6mm. Same story I keep saying over and over---if you know your limits, the limits of your rifle, and stay within them both, you would be surprised what works well. Would a .223 be a better choice? Sure it would. It would give you more range, more shot options, and drastically increase your window for a clean kill--in which case I would say use the .223 or similar--unless you are very patient, extremely picky about your shot, and are an extremely good shot. Because that's what it takes to make successful, clean kills with a 17HMR on yotes. All things considered, that shouldn't change with a higher caliber though. Bigger should not make it ok to become sloppy or take risky shots.

With some exception, what I see most in threads like this is a few posts with actual experience vs. a whole lot of speculation.
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Old February 21, 2010, 01:29 PM   #10
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Rangefinder,

While what you say may be true, the folks who generally ask these questions obviously are NOT experienced at such things. The ones that can make "perfect head shots" on a coyote at 175 yards are few, and anything less IS going to result in an animal wounded that runs away...sooner or later.

I've no doubt I can go out and kill coyotes with a .22 short, but I'm going to have to let a lot of them walk away in order to get that "perfect" shot that I'll need.

I've shot enough coyotes, and "shown the ropes" to enough new hunters to know how disciplined most of them aren't.

And I've nothing at all against new hunters. We all started there, but there's a big difference between someone who's killed a few thousand coyotes, and the guy who's out to kill his first one...or even his tenth.

A guy who goes out there and makes his first 20 stands without seeing a coyote is going to "try his luck" when one shows up, no matter what firearm he happens to have. Thoughts of letting it walk disappear like a puff of smoke in a strong wind, so they toss some lead at the coyote as it flies by.

And IF they hit it, they're far better off with a .223 than a .17 HMR.

I know some very experienced callers who shot quite a few coyotes with the .17 HMR, and I'll take their word for their results. Some drop cleanly, and others run away and are never recovered. Seems to be about 6 one way, and a half dozen the other.

So go out and shoot a hundred or so, and then see if you opinion doesn't change.

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Old February 21, 2010, 01:38 PM   #11
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Daryl:

Which is exactly why I said this>>>
Quote:
Would a .223 be a better choice? Sure it would. It would give you more range, more shot options, and drastically increase your window for a clean kill--in which case I would say use the .223 or similar
Can a 17HMR be used effectively? You-betcha. Should it be attempted by just anyone? NOPE! Same thing I say when discussing using a ,243 for elk. I've taken many with a 6mm Remington, and never had one take more than a few steps before dropping dead. I've had to help track several hit not-so-cleanly with a much larger caliber. Does that mean everyone should use a .243/6mm? Never. But in the right hands, it works very--VERY well. Same goes here. I simply get irritated by the mythical hype that X-animal is "bullet-proof" to Y-Caliber, and such. They aren't. It just requires a level of patience and skill that most aren't willing to grasp.
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Last edited by Rangefinder; February 21, 2010 at 01:43 PM.
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Old February 21, 2010, 06:36 PM   #12
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Even if you had a .223 and shot a coyote it could still get away. Ive shot little red squirrels with a twelve gauge from fifteen yards, fell out of the tree and still ran away. I wanted an all around gun and i cant shoot small game with a .223. Im not talking about shooting coyotes over 150 yards and like I said it is all about SHOT PLACEMENT. Plus a coyote pelt with a smaller hole sells for more.
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Old February 21, 2010, 09:26 PM   #13
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Daryl and Rangefinder both bring up some very good points, however the lightest gun I use on coyotes is a 223.

I actually have three guns I use for coyote hunting.
I use the 223 with 55gr hollow points when calling and the shots will be close in 200 yards or less. I have a 22-250 using 55 gr BT bullets out to 325 yards. My long range shooter is a bull barrel 243 launching 95 gr BT bullets at a little over 3200 fps, I've killed a lot of coyotes at a 1/4 a mile plus with the 243. I killed one this morning at 300 yards plus in a 20 mph blowing snow with the 243.

The 223 and the 22-250 are 1/2 inch MOA guns and the 243 is a 3/8 inch MOA gun. I tell you this because knowing the MOA of your rifle is very important if you want to place head shots at longer distance, especially when you factor in the elements.

I can tell you all kinds of stories from first hand experience about coyotes that have been shot with light bullets that went down from the first hit like they ran staight into a mack truck moving 100 mph only to get up and require another shot to keep them down.

Keep in mind that I'm only speaking from my experience and the type of country and conditions we have to shoot in.

Taking Rangefinder's shot at 175 yards, I would hate to have to rely on a head shot around here with the wind conditions we have, add to the fact that the coyotes around here have enough hunting pressure that they will not stand still long.

I understand you just wanting one rifle to do several things and the 17HMR being your choice. It may work well for you in the type of country you are hunting in, but if it's not shooting 1/2 inch MOA or less and the conditions are not perfect I sure would not feel confident in trying head shots out to 175 yards.
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Old February 24, 2010, 01:37 AM   #14
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Daryl & Range are both very valid in their points. Where I hunt for the "dogs", the wind is always an issue. I have the .17HMR, but I use it only for trigger time to promote/enhance myself, rounds are cheaper. I used it once for a dog at +50 yards and hit him square in behind the shoulder, he ran, ran, ran. Ruined it for me that day, simply because I, and not speaking to anyone on this part, cannot stand to injure an animal, predator or game species and lose it. So I shelved it for range time alone, although I can hit very well with it, I will not use it for a dog stand again.

My own true dog gun is 220 Swift, and I have never had one of them walk away from that round. Keep in mind though, the Swift is expensive to shoot, so go with a 250 or 223.

As was said, but I will say again, know your limits, the limits of your gun and be patient. I too have helped track a white tail shot with a 7MM Rem Mag this past season, deer was shot around 09:15, we gave it 4 hours and went looking. We jumped it and had to shoot it twice more to put the animal down. The reason....poor shot placement. Which goes back to the initial question you posed, "all about shot placement", I give the 17HMR a no, but that is just me, because I had a good shot a did not retrieve the animal. If you go with the 17, that is where the patience is going to come in, you will invariably have an educated dog hang up on you out past 200yds and you're going to have to live with just staring at him, or increase his education.

Good luck and good hunting.
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Old February 25, 2010, 09:35 AM   #15
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I don't grab the 17 HMR if I'm "going after coyotes", but if I have it in the pickup when one presents it's self it proven to work within its limits. I'm not going to pass on any static shot at a coyote out to 200yds. This cal. is best for P-dogs and smaller, but it is accurate and if you know how to place the shot you can kill anything with it. Threre is after all "only one kind of dead".
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Old March 9, 2010, 02:10 PM   #16
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I have killed 3 yotes with my .17 all were standing "static" and they caught the 17 grain v-max bullets in their pump stations and ALL of them ran from 50 to 200 yards before collapsing......I use my AR-15 in .223 for the most part and its very effective but the .17HMR in my opinion is just to light for the job.
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Old March 9, 2010, 04:22 PM   #17
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I love the examples you see on the internet. I saw this done......I did this.......I heard about a freind of my friend who's friend did this.........

Just like anything else with guns, sometimes too small works and sometimes big enough doesn't. But I'll put my money on big enough everytime. Will the .17hmr kill a coyote? Duh. Does that make it good? Heck no. The .17 at extended range doesn't have much poop left. At close ranges it doesn't have the proper bullet construction. Compare it to the .223 for deer. The .223 will kill deer but you'd have to be a moron to use a varmint bullet. Same thing can be said for using gopher bullets for coyotes.

Anyone who brains a coyote at 175 yards with a .17hmr is either a great shot AND had zero wind OR was plain and simple lucky. I wouldn't recommend it to any shooter that isn't an expert like all of us are .

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Old March 9, 2010, 04:26 PM   #18
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I love my savage 17HMR. That being said I probably wouldn't use it on a coyote.
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Old March 9, 2010, 04:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
What is your opinion on this caliber for predators. I feel that it is all about shot placement. thanks
By far, not a prefered choice and shot placement is always the priority. A friend of mine once related that he had killed a deer with a .22LR. Shot it right in the ear, so he said. Claims he dropped it like a sack of potaoes. I would have never taken that shot and if I did, would never brag about it.



Be Safe !!!
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Old March 9, 2010, 05:01 PM   #20
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I have shot many a yote with a .22 my ruger 10/22 works fine on them. Just need to call them in and shoot them. They are not huge or heavy game and if a wounded one gets away he usually gets eaten by the others.
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Old March 9, 2010, 05:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
They are not huge or heavy game and if a wounded one gets away he usually gets eaten by the others.
If he gets away, then you did not do your job of making a clean kill. Just my thoughts, but that is why I gave up the .17HMR. I had one that got away with good shot placement and I cannot continue to use what I think or had experience with being insufficient.

Now for the head shot with that little bullet, I could not and would not ever try it, because I know how little energy it has after 150 yards and how much the wind blows that little sucker around. I shoot it at 200 yards on our range, and from my own personal experience, it had better be a calm day to keep them with in a 4" box on paper, huge difference at the 100 yard berm. Some of them, in the moderate wind, do not even hit paper, just hit the berm. Now, I am not saying it can't be done or didn't happen, just that I know I couldn't do it and would not try it.
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Old March 9, 2010, 10:03 PM   #22
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My coyote shooting is coming to a close for this year. The last one I shot was a week ago today.
The shot was a standing broadside shot with a slight angle, the distance was just short of 300 yards.
The gun I used was my bull barrel 243, the one shooting the 95 grain BT bullets at a little over 3200 fps.
I placed a good hit in the kill zone and with the slight angle the coyote was standing the bullet exited on the far side just behind the last rib.
Exit wound was about 1.5 inches in diameter and there was parts of internal organs along with a good deal of blood spray.
When the coyote was hit she spun around three times and took off over the hill like her butt was on fire. I was totally shocked that she did not drop as I knew my hit was good.
The coyote ran 100 yards before she folded up and with out the exit wound leaving a good blood trail there's a very good chance I would not have found her. My experience with light bullets is that in most cases there's no exit wound, very little if any blood trail and the coyotes will run much farther when hit with them.
I'm a big fan of heavier bullets and I'm even considering going to heavier bullets in my 223 and the 22-250.
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Old March 10, 2010, 09:36 AM   #23
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Hunter>>

Kinda sounds to me like you are using a poor choice of bullet for varminting. A .243 performing correctly on a good shot is gonna fold anything that small. I'd say you're using a deer load or possibly FMJ. You really need something more along the lines of a 65gr. Hornaday V-max. There isn't enough chest cavity depth in a yote for a bullet to perform correctly if it isn't a high velocity/rapid expansion design. Choose better bullets, not necessarily heavier ones.
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Old March 10, 2010, 10:22 AM   #24
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A good 300-yard bullet for the .243 is the Sierra 85-grain HPBT. I get very tight groups with it, and it is very destructive inside a coyote.

Coyote results can be weird, however. Using a Federal Premium High Energy load in my '06 (165-grain HPBT Sierra at 3,150 ft/sec), I blew a chunk of heart and lower ribs completely out of a coyote at a distance of no more than fifty yards. He spun around a time or two and ran nearly fifty feet before dropping. Even after leaving nearly a pound of goop on the ground!

Other times, similar impact points, DRT. Damfino.
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Old March 10, 2010, 11:56 AM   #25
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Critters can do weird things. I've seen fox hit hard with .243's run for 200 yards and I've seen them hardly nicked with the same gun drop over DRT. I chased a heart shot deer (12ga, front of chest) that even after waiting a bit before tracking, would get up and run 100 yards everytime I got close. Did that 3 or 4 times before it gave up the ghost. Sprayed blood everywhere as it moved. We shot a coyote a couple years ago that had 2 missing legs. All healed and healthy.

Like I stated above, sometimes big enough isn't. But take the right tool for the job. This does not mean I won't take a shot of opportunity with a lesser gun if the time arises. But I'll do it with in what I believe are the limits of me and the gun. But to go out hunting a certain animal with a lesser gun just doesn't sit right.

LK

BTW, Art.......Have you ever tried those on deer or antelope? Just curious. I'm looking getting a .25 or 6.5 for general purpose varmint and deer hunting and want to find a bullet for that may work well for both but still be somewhat frangible to limit ricochets. While I realise yours is a 6mm the info may help when I step up a size.
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