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Old November 2, 2019, 10:28 AM   #1
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Coyote hide hunters

This winter seems like as good a time as any to take up the challenge. But I'm most interested in gaining some hides without big holes. My questions, then, are what are you shooting, and how is it working for you?

I do have a very accurate AR with a heavy 1:8 White Oak 20" barrel. My uninformed choice would be a 55 Sierra (#1390) or a 50 Nosler BT. But I would like to hear from the voice of experience.
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Old November 2, 2019, 12:36 PM   #2
T. O'Heir
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First, check your local hunting regs to ensure FMJ's are legal(commercial FMJ's are not the same thing as a military FMJ.) and use them. Varmint bullets are designed to expand rapidly and will leave a great big hole. No$ler uses terms like "violent expansion" for their BT.
The old Speer .243 90 grain FMJ(they quit making em. sniff.) makes a puncture wound and blows a wee bit of hair about the size of a nickle, off a ground hog. Don't have a .223. Your rifling twist will prefer heavy bullets too.
Oh and if you don't have a place far away from anybody else, don't even think about tanning yourself. It's a very smelly thing to do.
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Old November 2, 2019, 04:44 PM   #3
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I have not hunted hides for a living in years, but in the years I did I had very good luck with the 52 Grain Speer HP, and also with the 50 grain Winchester soft points. I used a 222 Remington with a 22" barrel and made many thousands of dollars as a hide hunter back then. In my 16" AR15 I use the 69 grain Sierra target bullet (not the plastic tipped one) and found it killed coyotes well and didn't tear up hides. Some of the 45 grain bullets at about 3100 FPS M.V. will work well because many of them don't exit.

Many new hide hunters make the mistake of trying to get flatter trajectories and load as hot as they can with 50-65 grain bullets. That's not the best way to make money. Keep your velocities on the lower end. 2800 to 2900 seems to get the best results for most bullets A faster load of 3200+ works just fine for shots at 300 and farther, but you'll kill 10 at 300 and less for every one you kill at over 300.
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Old November 2, 2019, 07:42 PM   #4
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Head shots always work well to keep the hides in top shape
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Old November 3, 2019, 12:23 AM   #5
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I hunted hides when I was in college back in the 1980s. Prime hides would bring $100-$120, and I was shooting a 22-250, so I learned to make head shots. But if I were to hunt hides today, I would opt for the 223 with 45 or 50 grainers and still take head shots.
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Old November 3, 2019, 09:41 PM   #6
Schlitz 45
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When I was actively trapping I bought a 5mm Remington rimfire bolt action rifle that shot a 30 grain jacketed HP bullet at 2400 FPS. Bullet would disintegrate on impact and just leave a pinhole entry wound that you could put a stitch in and it would be unnoticeable. $75 was the most I ever got for a nice silvery prime coyote hide. Expensive bullets but they worked very well for fur bearin’ varmits.
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Old November 5, 2019, 10:44 AM   #7
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Being from the Mid-West, where most 'yotes hides are worth less than the trouble to bring them outta the woods, I've found that most any bullet, other than those designed for explosive expansion, leave a entry and exit hole the size of the original bullet diameter, due to the light skin and small bone structure of song-dogs. Doesn't seem to matter if it's a .22LR or a 30-06. While in the past I used to hunt them more on purpose, most of the ones lately have been by opportunity while turkey hunting. Seems around here, calling turkeys is a very efficient way to call 'yotes. A 12 ga. with turkey loads kills them quite easily out to the ranges where one would expect them to kill a Tom. Nowadays, when purposely calling them, I like the little 17HMR. As I said, Mid-West 'yote hides ain't worth much so damage to the pelt is off little concern. What is more of a concern of mine is collateral damage downrange of the target due to ricochets on flat and frozen ground. Once that little bullet hits most anything, it is dust.
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Old November 5, 2019, 11:51 AM   #8
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I've found that most any bullet, other than those designed for explosive expansion, leave a entry and exit hole the size of the original bullet diameter, due to the light skin and small bone structure of song-dogs.
That's pretty much what I've found as well. Any soft point usually leaves a small hole and doesn't affect your tanned pelt. I shot them with a 243 and 100gr Hornady interlocks for a few years and all the pelts were serviceable for a tanned hide. 223 and 55gr soft points have been good so far. I think you'll have a wide variety of good options with the 223. If you aren't making clothing with it and you just want a wall-hanger, you can get away with a lot. I shot a big hole in a fox and tanned it anyway, it looks fine on the wall.

Shotguns are very good for minimizing pelt damage as well. I like #4 buck
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Old November 6, 2019, 03:01 PM   #9
Paul B.
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Back in the late 70's when I hunted coyotes in Nevada I used the .243 and 100 gr. Hornadys. Worked just fine. Down here in Southern Arizona though, coyotes are usually in bad shape as most of the time winters don't get that cold and many "yotes" have mange.
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