21 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/07/2010
Posts: 2
Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

I am from South Dakota. I just recently bought a 7mm rem mag and love the gun. It is flat shooting and hard hitting perhaps a little hard for the whitetails in my area. I am looking for a smaller gun for deer, antelope, and coyote and saving the 7 mag for larger game like elk. I am curious to see what caliber I should look for. I am interested in the 22-250, 220 swift, and the 25-06. For coyotes I generally call in and sell the dog to the local fur trader. I want a gun that won't tear a dog up to bad but still has the velocity and power to take out a deer or goat in the open country at 250+ yards.

Thank You for your time,


P.S. Look forward to your insight!!

SoCoKHntr's picture
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1801
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

From what I've read of the 25-06 it'd be deadly on antelope and deer and of course deadly on coyotes. The problem would be destructiveness on fur. A good compromise would be a 243 with a rifling twist rate that stabilized the lighter 55 to 90 grain bullets. This way you could find a fur friendly load on the lighter bullet side and still use an 85 to 90 grain bullet for antelope and deer. If legal in your state a 22-250 or 220 Swift would be good for yotes and antelope maybe a little light for deer some would argue but with the right bullet could get the job done. Something like a 60 gr Nosler partition or other premium bullet. Even with a 22-250 if you don't find the right bullet or hit em in bone it can be mighty destructive. Fur saving guys do well with the 204 I've read, but that'd be a big negative for anything bigger then yotes.

Good luck on your selection.

Location: Neveda
Joined: 07/22/2008
Posts: 190
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

take a good look at the 260 rem.

it would fit all your requiremnts

ecubackpacker's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NC
Joined: 09/11/2009
Posts: 1639
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

cniemann, I have a 25WSSM I use to hunt deer. Yotes are more of a bonus if I get to tag one. Currently not targeting yotes on regular basis as there are not many around where I hunt. For deer, I have reloaded Berger 115 VLD bullets but not too happy with the results. The bullets tend to zip right through the deer and yotes. Not opening up much, not creating a lot of damage. Entrance/exit holes aren't much different in size. Not good for deer hunting but may work for yotes. One coyote was facing me when I put a round thru his chest @ 225 yds, it didn't exit. I split the hide down the center of the hole when skinning it out and couldn't tell where it was shot. Most of the other coyotes were shot broadside with very little damage. Whether or not it's too much damage to sell, I don't know as I just tan the hides and hang them in the cabin @ the hunting club.

For deer I'm going back to the 117/120 gr Sierra GameKings. They open up good, do a lot of damage and leave a good blood trail. Always been happy with the Gamekings.

If/when I start hunting coyotes on a regular basis, I'm going to try a lighter bullet designed for predators. Maybe 75 gr V-max, 85 gr BT, 87 gr TNT HP or 87 gr SPT Varminter.

Just my 2 cents.

Location: Melvina, Wi.
Joined: 02/18/2007
Posts: 262
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

I use 22-50 & 223 for yotes--243 for goats and 30-06 for deer- Thsat said if i only had 21 gun for all three I'd go with the 243-- 65 gr bullets for yotes- and 100 for goats and deer- the 25-06 is grat for deer and goats but a bit much from yotes although it would certainly work.

Location: Missouri
Joined: 03/10/2010
Posts: 21
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

I use a 243 and pick 58 gr. Hornadays for coyote and 100 gr for deer size animals and have great luck now for years.

Joined: 02/24/2010
Posts: 2
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

The 25 06 can be loaded to effectively harvest coyotes without damage to the fur, but there is some expense involved. The Barnes X bullet in 100 grain is my choice for an all around performance round if you load your own. Damage to the fur is minimal.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

.25-06 is a great cartridge for pronghorn and deer. But for coyotes I'd use something smaller, any of the high velocity .22 cals will work great for coyotes - .220 Swift, .223 Rem, .22-250, etc. But if that .25-06 is all you have, then by all means use it for yotes. Thumbs up

Joined: 03/23/2010
Posts: 6
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

I would take a 243 hands down. I load 80 grain ballistic tips in mine with 45 grains of imr 4350 and it hammers antelope and coyotes with out shredding fur. On southern whitetails I wouldnt bother to go with any heavier bullet. And if you your hunting mulies or big northern whitetails then you still have the 7 mag. I like staying with 1 load for each gun.

Location: Montana
Joined: 10/24/2006
Posts: 449
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

One can do alot of things with alot of different calibers, it comes down to bullet choice first caliber second. If it were me id use the 7mm as dedicated large game and something smaller for dedicated yotes. Especially that your calling, that your wanting to save hides for fur buyer (I havent seen a sellable market in 3 years). Fur salvage with rifle limits you to ALOT smaller caliber then youd want to use on lopes or deer.

possum's picture
Location: SK Canada
Joined: 03/31/2009
Posts: 219
Re: Rifle Caliber for Coyote, Deer, Antelope

I would try the 6mm Rem with FMJ for coyotes and go to a nosler partition or barnes bullet for deer and antelope. Or possibly a 7-08 or 7x57 , there are lots of choices for sure

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