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Old 02-26-2005, 11:26   #1
rfb45colt
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.17HMR for coyotes?

Has anybody taken any coyotes using a .17HMR? My newest "toy" is a Savage .17HMR bolt-action. I'm very impressed with the accuracy. From a benchrest, with a 3x9 Bushnell Trophy scope cranked up to 9 and a Harris bi-pod, I can shoot a 5 shot group at 100yds that can be covered by a quarter.

But... is it ballistically sufficient to knock down a yote, with other than a head shot? Head shots aren't always possible... especially on a yote slinking through heavy woods. That 17 gr bullet, even though it's going 2,550 fps, looks pretty anemic. Coyotes in my neck of the woods can be as large as 50+lbs ! Has anybody had any .17 vs yote experience?



Before anybody suggests another caliber (I know there are better ones, and I have them too), I normally use my Armalite AR15A4 HBAR in 5.56mm, with a 6x scope, which knocks them down rather quickly... but with more than 2' of snow on the ground, and most roads in the nearby public forests left unplowed, some of the best hunting areas are accessible only by snowmobile (or a loooong hike on snowshoes). I'd rather carry a $200 rifle, vs a $1,000+ rifle, while bouncing through the woods on a snowmobile. The only method of carry I've come up with is using a case with a sling on it, and slinging it over my back while riding (state law requires any firearm transported in or on any motor vehicle - snowmobiles included - must be unloaded and encased). I put my electronic caller in my saddlebags along with several white bed sheets to "camo" my parked sled. Not only is the .17 lighter and easier to transport this way, but if something were to happen to it, I'd be out $800 less than if it were my AR.

My other option is my NEF Handi-Rifle (.243)... but the .17 is "new" and I'm itching to use it.
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Old 02-26-2005, 11:45   #2
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IMO, no rimfire should be used for yotes. Sure it could kill one with a perfect shot, but I always believe in using the right gun (enough gun) for the game you hunt.
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Old 02-26-2005, 13:31   #3
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One of my hunting buddies tried it out, just to see what would happen. He lost a 1 and without dogs he would have lost more. I think he shot about 6 or 7 total. A small sample, but enough for him to decide it didn't work reliably. Fox and feral cats it does fine on.

Unlike the .17 centerfires, it doesn't have the speed to create enough shock to anchor them. With the sub calibers, speed kills.

A NEF or old Savage 340 would make a good beater gun.
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Old 02-26-2005, 20:12   #4
ILikeFtLbs
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My buddy shoots them with his Marlin .17 HMR. Maybe he's just lucky but so far they've all gone down. He aims for the heart.
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Old 02-26-2005, 22:39   #5
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I wouldn't. I've had off center hits fail to knock down rock chucks. It's like a lightning bolt on prairie dogs, does well overall on rock chucks and porcupines, and I think that's about the limit for the .17 HMR. At least that's been my experience.
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Old 02-27-2005, 04:46   #6
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I'm sure within it's range and if the shot's good it'll kill a coyote. But it wouldn't be my first choice for the task.

I've clipped a few with a .22mag but these were targets of opportunity I ran across while jackrabbit hunting.
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Old 02-27-2005, 11:47   #7
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If you're winter hunting in Wisconsin, then the .17 has to go through a lot more fur than the dogs in Virginia or Arizona. Not bragging, but from what I've seen, Northern coyotes are bigger and much hairrier than the southern stuff. I'll stick with a .22 center fire. Have a couple ARs, but use a little Ruger 77 in .223 when I get the time to go hunting, but have picked of several coyotes over the years right from my deck when I saw them on the lake in front of the house.
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Old 02-27-2005, 20:58   #8
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Besides the 17 gr bullets, which break up and don't penetrate much, there also is a 20 gr load for the .17 HMR. It holds together and expands to .30" looks like a little centerfire round.

Check out http://rimfirecentral.com/forums/

Lots of discussion there about the HMR and Yotes.
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Old 02-28-2005, 10:13   #9
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I've heard that ground hogs and coons are even too much for the .17.
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Old 02-28-2005, 15:46   #10
ILikeFtLbs
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I can tell that is definitely wrong. I smoke those things (ground hogs, foxes, skunks, coons) with my savage out past 100 yards. Never had one move! I've taken 3 turkeys as well. One of them was almost 30 lbs.
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Old 03-01-2005, 00:10   #11
8-Ball
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A buddy of mine uses one and its worked well for him.
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by tjpet
I'm sure within it's range and if the shot's good it'll kill a coyote. But it wouldn't be my first choice for the task.

+1

My brother killed a coyote 2 winters ago w/ his then brand new Savage .17HMR...popped him right in the head @ 40yds. Just wanted to try it to see that he could do it...but after that one time neither of us have used anything smaller than .223. I would hate to wound or cripple one and have it get away. 22.250 is what we would use the most ;c
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Old 03-16-2005, 22:35   #13
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I went out for a day of varmint shooting with my father in law this weekend. We both took our .17 HMR's. We dropped a few prairie dogs, and the little .17 had plenty of authority on them. We then tried our luck on a couple of rock chucks. We found a couple of fat chucks in a ravine. My father in law dropped one with a center mass hit from 135 yards. It kicked a little and that was that. I took a head shot at around 110 yards. Lights out.

These Marlin .17's keep impressing me with their accuracy and potency on varmints. I still don't think I'd shoot a coyote with one, but anything smaller is fair game.
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Old 03-18-2005, 16:20   #14
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Cool thread. My uncle allows me to shoot yotes on his land, the yotes are trying to kill his calves at night. I shoot 'em with a Marlin 22mag out to 100 yards. Havent lost one yet. Shot placement is the key. Heart or head shots do the trick.
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