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Thread: Shotgun or Rifle for Predator Hunting

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Question Shotgun or Rifle for Predator Hunting

    What is your primary firearm when calling predators? I'm not very experienced in calling, but up to this point I've always carried a .223 afield. After reading about MNViking's lynx, though, I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better off with a 12 gauge at times. My guess is that it is dictated by location - if hunting an open area, go with the rifle, while a shotgun would be ideal for thick woods - but I'm curious as to what folks on here normally do. On that note, when you are successful in calling in a critter, at what distance do you normally first spot your target?

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    I have always used my 22-250 but have hunted with guys that used a 12ga with dead coyote hevishot. The last fox I shot was about 30yds well within shotgun range. I guess its personal preferance and I like a rifle for those longer shots

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I think it depends on weather you plan to sell the hides or not

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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    So far I've been going with a friend to try and learn a bit. With two of us, we usually have one shotgun and one rifle. If I was alone, I think I'd consider carrying both.

    If you do use a shotgun, 00 buck does a lot of damage. My taxidermy buddy is going to survey the damage when it thaws tonight and I'll let you know how bad it is.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Not planning to sell the hides, and am asking the question with the assumption that I will do most of my calling solo. While it would be nice to carry both, I'll be walking in to my calling locales 95% of the time and thus would be reluctant to carry both firearms.

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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    I'm thinking about getting a TC Encore to make it easier to carry both if I'm alone. Otherwise, I'd just stick with the rifle. I'd hate to not have enough range.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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    BOTH.... I use depending on my mood...either of the following. MY .243, 30-06, 22-250, 25-06 and I always take a 12 gauge with.

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    Member goaty's Avatar
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    Default savage over/under

    Brian, I have a savage over under. it's a .222 on top with a 20 ga. on bottom. I havn't had it too long but I got it for just this reason. I would say the down fall is, is that it's a single shot. Better make your 1st one count. I see there is a .223/20 ga. for sale right now. check this out
    http://eielson.baseforsale.com/?cont...origin=eielson
    it's in North pole or Fbks, I know it's far from you, but if it's something that you want, I could see what I could do to look at it or pick it up for you. I live in Delta but am up there every couple of weeks. I know people going down your way often and they could deliver it.
    Scott

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info and the offer, Scott. I'd take you up on it, but I just can't justify buying another firearm right now. I'll stick with my either/or setup for a while, but once I miss out on a couple of critters I'll be able to justify the purchase. Thanks again, though.

  10. #10

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    I called in a lynx to 20 feet yesterday and got it with my .204. I have killed predators with a .22, .17/.223, .204, and a shotgun. You know Brian, you could always break down the shotgun (if its a single shot or pump) and get it in a pack. The problem I have found, is that whatever gun I take to the field, I wish I'd had a different one. I overcome this by just being greatful to be out in it. I hope to take out my son and daughter this weekend when I get back in to town.
    PC gag in place.

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    Member Stickeen's Avatar
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    When I lived down south and hunted the tournaments you always had a rifle and a shotgun loaded with #4 buck and an extra full turkey choke. That way you were ready for whatever shot they presented you with. I prefer the shotgun and probably killed more animals with it in the high desert/ juniper/pine. I've killed several coyotes and bobcat out to 40 yards with the shotgun. For tournaments you wanted to "kill them dead" and didn't care about hide damage, so bigger calibers were used. When out hide hunting I used my .17 Remington and the shotgun.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    OK this is just one mans perspective so take it for what it's worth, if you don't plan on using whatever you can from an animal don't kill it. I may not be selling hides but you can bet I'd be using whatever hides I did get, predator control or not. Heck I save marmot and squirrel hides. We are talking about a living thing that deserves more respect than a paper target. A .223 or similar round works great in almost any situation.



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    I guess I am missing the point on why carry a shotgun. Are the rifles not a good choice at closer range for pelt damage reasons?? Seems to me the animal will just as dead with my 22-250 if shot at 30 yrds or 300 yrds. I always leave my scope on the lowest setting unless setting up for a long range shot. We'll see how it goes here after Thanksgiving I plan on getting out and trying to call in some predators. Have a spot picked out that I've seen lynx, fox, and wolf at different times within the last 6 months. Hopefully some of them will cruise back thru there again while I am set up for it.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Rick - When I said I'm not going to sell the hide, I didn't mean I wasn't going to use it in any way. It'll be kept and used.

    Luke - I'm thinking the reason for the shotgun would be for an animal that comes from the side or behind which you don't see until they're really close and thus don't present a good target for a rifle. It would be hard to draw a bead on a fox at 10 yards through a high-powered scope, so I could see wanting a shotgun then.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Rick - When I said I'm not going to sell the hide, I didn't mean I wasn't going to use it in any way. It'll be kept and used.

    Luke - I'm thinking the reason for the shotgun would be for an animal that comes from the side or behind which you don't see until they're really close and thus don't present a good target for a rifle. It would be hard to draw a bead on a fox at 10 yards through a high-powered scope, so I could see wanting a shotgun then.
    Gotcha Brian. I wonder how my TC Contender 410 barrel with some buckshot would work....probably a little light, but maybe enough for a fox a 10 yrds I guess??? Any buddy have an opinion on that. As I usually carry my Contender with my all the time anyways could be a easy way to solve that problem for me. I'd appreciate any thoughts on it.

  16. #16

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    Brian, throw both in the car and let the individual stand location dictate which one you pack in. Can't imagine packing in 2 long guns in all the time as I strive to simplify and lighten stands as much as possible. Also, the movement of selecting a gun as a critter is coming in could ruin it. We all like those crosshair shots that are out across the open. However, as often as not the predators are in tight cover where the prey is or because they are suspicious. I've been on calling trips down south where nothing scored except shotguns because all of the coyotes were in thick cover and sight distances were very short. Good luck.

  17. #17

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    Brian,
    It's also been my experience that lynx will stick pretty tight to thick cover and take their tim coming in. They stalk rather than try to beat out the other predators 9like fox and coyotes do). Now, the exception is, if you are hunting at night under full moon or artificial light (yes, that is legal in some GMU's guys), then lynx are a bit bolder and will venture out into the open. Shotguns are best for brush or tall weeds like in CRP fields or marshes. My buddy has his shotgun on his lap in case the coyote or fox is in close then bugs out. That pattern has a better chance of making contact than a single bullet.
    PC gag in place.

  18. #18
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Well, I guess I'll have to carry both until I figure out what I prefer best, eh? I'm such a rookie at this calling gig that I don't expect to see much anyhow, but I've got some time over Thanksgiving to try, so I'll give it my best shot. Mouth call, rifle, and shotgun - check. Bright moon - check. Now I've just got to hope for clear skies...

  19. #19

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    Brian, do you belong to the: Nordic Ski Club.......? Guess what they have in Hope, Alaska.......? (My vote is for something like: .22 Win. Mag. Rim-fire in a Remington 597 Heavy Barrel, Laminated Stock w/ 1.5 to 5X Leupold German #4 Reticle).

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Brian I thinks its more to do with the area you are in.

    If there good signs of small critters, then you will have a better chance of calling something in. That being said take your time and see how close you can get him to you. If he comes out a 100 yards from you, don't fire on him, see if you can get him closer.

    Most critters that I have shot were with a plain old 22.

    If he is in shotgun range, 1 well placed shot with a reg, 22 will do the trick.

    All the rest of you??????????????????????????

    I don't know the need, never had a 223-25-06-or any of the other rifles that were mentioned.

    The point is to see how close you can call him to you, and you just might use a camera when taking the shot.

    I use the furs that I get, and if I don't need them then I don't shoot them.

    I don't kill anmials just to tell my buddy that I called this guy in to within 50 yards, and my 25-06 did a number on him, or man look at what the 12 gague did on this one.

    Some people want to use the stuff they get, and then there's others that if it walks on 4 legs it's fair game, and in the end do nothing with it.( you all can put yourselfs in which cat. you want.)

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