Coyote, Night and Day

Al-Jim19

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
2,565
Likes
900
Have a couple questions about using “pistols” to hunt coyote both during the day and at night.

I am considering building an AR15 pistol to be used as my dedicated varmint gun. I am wondering how short you can go with the barrel and maintain enough juice to take down large coyote at 200 yards or less. Also wondering about night hunting with the AR pistol. Is .223 considered smaller than .38 for this? Thinking an AR pistol would be way better than the standard .22 obviously.

Thanks!
 

RDG

Rating - 100%
7   0   0
Joined
Jul 18, 2013
Messages
2,040
Likes
939
Location
Western, MA
There’s a good FAQ from a MA coyote hunting Facebook page.

Massachusetts Coyote Hunting


Q Can I use a rifle for Coyote?
A YES

Q What Caliber rifle is legal to use for coyote in Massachusetts?
A From ½ hour before sunrise till ½ hour after sunset there is NO caliber
restrictions (daylight hours).
** Rifles cannot be used during the 2 week shotgun season for deer

Q: Can I use an air rifle for hunting Coyote.
A: YES, only during daylight hours. During the period from 30 minutes past sunset till midnight only those air rifles that shoot 22 caliber or smaller. *** this will be updated after we receive the official word from the Mass Environmental Police since air rifles do not have a chamber.

Q What are the legal night time hunting hours for coyote?
A From ½ hour after sunset to midnight.
** There is no night hunting allowed during the shotgun deer season
and on State WMA’s where Pheasant and quail are stocked during the
open season for those species.

Q What caliber rifle can I use for nighttime hunting?
A Rifles chambered not larger than a 22 Long Rifle are permissible at
night.
** .17 HMR, 22 Magnum, 223 are Illegal calibers in Massachusetts at
night as the chamber size is greater than that of a 22 long rifle.
(CCI 22LR Stinger ammunition is highly recommended)

Q What is the largest shot I can use in my shotgun for coyote?
A Size FF shot is the largest, No Buckshot or slugs outside the 2 week
shotgun season for deer.

Q Can I use a handgun for hunting Coyote?
A Yes, must meet the same restrictions for a rifle.

Q Can I use a light at night for hunting Coyote?
A NO, the use of artificial light at night is illegal.

Q Can I use bait for coyote?
A YES

Q Can I carry more than 1 gun while Coyote hunting? ie: Shotgun & Rifle.
A It is legal to carry multiple guns that meet the MGL & CMR requirements.
Remember that if you do this to conform to the legal hunting hours ie: don't
be carrying a rifle at night or during the Shotgun season for deer.

Q Can I use an electronic varmint call?
A YES, except during the Shotgun season for Deer.

Q Do I have to tag and check in a coyote?
A Coyote pelts/carcasses must be checked/reported within 4 working days of the end of the season by either 1) checking them at an official check station or 2) reporting them online and writing the harvest confirmation number on a tag of your own making, then attaching the tag to the carcass or pelt. Confirmation numbers must remain attached to all pelts/carcasses, with the specific confirmation number issued for each particular pelt or carcass, until the carcass is prepared for mounting by a taxidermist, or the pelt is sold or tanned.

Q Can I use dogs to hunt Coyote?
A Yes, except during the Shotgun season for Deer.

Q Is there a Bounty on Coyote in Massachusetts?
A No

Q Is there a season for Coyote?
A Yes, check the current Massachusetts abstracts for season dates and
bag limits.

Q Do I have to wear hunter orange while hunting Coyote?
A No, ** during the 2 week shotgun season for Deer it is required.

When using a rifle it is extremely important to remember how far a projectile will travel and that it can ricochet in any direction. Do not take a shot if the area beyond the coyote does not provide a safe range.
 

pupchow

NES Member
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
3,579
Likes
1,072
Location
MA
Also wondering about night hunting with the AR pistol. Is .223 considered smaller than .38 for this? Thinking an AR pistol would be way better than the standard .22 obviously.

Thanks!
That'd be an inquiry best satisfied with an email to MA DFW. However, from my crude comparison of chamber sizes, the .221 Fireball was the largest chamber not larger than a .38.
 

Al-Jim19

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
2,565
Likes
900
That’s a nice summary of coyote laws but doesn’t reflect on the confusion I’m having about a .223 AR pistol. The abstract online says “handguns chambered not larger than .38 caliber”. An AR pistol is chambered for .223 caliber which is much smaller than .38 in diameter.

I have been told in the past that in a rifle .22lr is just about the only option. The question of pistols seems much more grey to me though.
 

Al-Jim19

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
2,565
Likes
900
That'd be an inquiry best satisfied with an email to MA DFW. However, from my crude comparison of chamber sizes, the .221 Fireball was the largest chamber not larger than a .38.
Thank you. I’m only into hunting about 1.5 seasons and the more I get into it the more the rules confuse me. I just want to stay on the right side of the law.
 

RDG

Rating - 100%
7   0   0
Joined
Jul 18, 2013
Messages
2,040
Likes
939
Location
Western, MA
Most guys use shotguns at night. There’s a couple here or there that use 22lr with proper shot placement.

I would ask a EPO about your pistol question.... my gut tells me most will tell you a 223 chamber is bigger than a 38.
If one tells you your good to go... I’d get it in writing and carry it while hunting.

And let’s not get into the absolute PITA and expenisve it would take to legally built a AR pistol with our current crap shot of AR hate from the AG in MA..
 

Al-Jim19

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
2,565
Likes
900
And let’s not get into the absolute PITA and expenisve it would take to legally built a AR pistol with our current crap shot of AR hate from the AG in MA..
It’s relativel easy with a fixed magazine lower. I’m thinking about a 9-10” barrel with a brace and some sort of 3-9 scope.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RDG

pupchow

NES Member
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
3,579
Likes
1,072
Location
MA
It’s relativel easy with a fixed magazine lower. I’m thinking about a 9-10” barrel with a brace and some sort of 3-9 scope.
Maybe a 9mm then? Maybe not the longest effect range, but a lot more energy than a .22LR that I've been restricted to for night use. The .22LR I'm comfortable with using for shots inside 50 yards. I'm unsure of the potential precision of a 9mm setup, but it'd be dumping a LOT more energy. The .223 is most likely a no go.
 

white feather

NES Member
Rating - 100%
12   0   0
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
3,479
Likes
2,035
This gets rehashed every year. If you can't use an artificial light, what difference does it make what caliber you can use. [rolleyes]
 

Al-Jim19

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
2,565
Likes
900
This gets rehashed every year. If you can't use an artificial light, what difference does it make what caliber you can use. [rolleyes]
I’m just thinking that I’d be able to use the AR pistol to hunt both day and night. I just wouldn’t have to worry about whatever time sunset was. I’d just keep going until I couldn’t see anymore.

Also, if it’s been hashed out before, what is the consensus?
 

whacko

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
10,922
Likes
7,457
I’m just thinking that I’d be able to use the AR pistol to hunt both day and night. I just wouldn’t have to worry about whatever time sunset was. I’d just keep going until I couldn’t see anymore.

Also, if it’s been hashed out before, what is the consensus?
If your looking for a "reason" to build an AR pistol and "hunting after sunset till I can't see anymore" is the reason.....your looking to spend a ton of money and headaches to add 30 minutes to your legal shooting hours. I'm not judging......just pointing out the facts.
 

pupchow

NES Member
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
3,579
Likes
1,072
Location
MA
I’m just thinking that I’d be able to use the AR pistol to hunt both day and night. I just wouldn’t have to worry about whatever time sunset was. I’d just keep going until I couldn’t see anymore.

Also, if it’s been hashed out before, what is the consensus?
The DFW regulations are first bound by MGL, which is where the restrictions for night use are imposed:

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIX/Chapter131/Section67

"Section 67. A person shall not use or possess, where birds or mammals may be found, any rifle chambered to take larger than twenty-two long rifle ammunition, or any revolver or pistol chambered to take larger than thirty-eight caliber ammunition between the hours of one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise of any day throughout the year."

Chambered for .38 caliber ammunition, is generally accepted as the determining factor. Mind you, that doesn't mention .38 Special, which is most typical these days, rather than .38

With regard to the use of NV while employing the use of IR, that's a whole other discussion.

----------------------------

ETA

For night hunts, I'm using a thermal sight on a .22LR. If said thermal sight could withstand the recoil of a 12ga, and it employed a mount that wouldn't tear up the shotgun's receiver, the 12ga would be my choice. Again, keeping shots within 50 yards.

For longer distances, you're going to need some purty nice night vision/thermal gear to make a positive ID of any target. There's another $3k+
 
Last edited:
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Aug 11, 2015
Messages
424
Likes
77
Been down this road... when you beat them on the chamber size requirement they come back with case volume and which holds more powder. You're better off just banging your head against a brick wall.
 

Al-Jim19

NES Member
Rating - 100%
17   0   0
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
2,565
Likes
900
If your looking for a "reason" to build an AR pistol and "hunting after sunset till I can't see anymore" is the reason.....your looking to spend a ton of money and headaches to add 30 minutes to your legal shooting hours. I'm not judging......just pointing out the facts.
Well, I like ARs, so there’s that. I don’t have an AR pistol and I’d like one. If it serves a utilitarian purpose all the better.
 

Mark from MA

NES Member
Rating - 100%
47   0   0
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
5,523
Likes
2,356
I’m just thinking that I’d be able to use the AR pistol to hunt both day and night. I just wouldn’t have to worry about whatever time sunset was. I’d just keep going until I couldn’t see anymore.

Also, if it’s been hashed out before, what is the consensus?
Use a 45-70 in daylight if you want....

Concensus is at night it must be .22LR only. Trying to pick off headshots in the pitch black darkness. Because body shots are pretty much useless with a .22LR.

The real concensus is the Coyote Night regulations are retarded. As has already been said, this has been hashed out already.
 

pupchow

NES Member
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
3,579
Likes
1,072
Location
MA
Well, I like ARs, so there’s that. I don’t have an AR pistol and I’d like one. If it serves a utilitarian purpose all the better.
Thinking, there are various calibers that can work in the AR platform. There's a .22WMR upper, which is certainly smaller than a .38spl. It's likely a blow-back setup, so getting a pistol length barrel working with it might take quite a bit of buffer tuning. I believe the barrel must be less than 16" in MA to be considered a "firearm."

Brandes Magnum Rimfire Upper Kits

BMR Notes
 
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
8,301
Likes
3,575
Location
A Fair Haven in an unfair state.
That’s a nice summary of coyote laws but doesn’t reflect on the confusion I’m having about a .223 AR pistol. The abstract online says “handguns chambered not larger than .38 caliber”. An AR pistol is chambered for .223 caliber which is much smaller than .38 in diameter.

I have been told in the past that in a rifle .22lr is just about the only option. The question of pistols seems much more grey to me though.
You can NOT use an AR pistol at night.. The info is there:

Q What caliber rifle can I use for nighttime hunting?
A Rifles chambered not larger than a 22 Long Rifle are permissible at
night.
** .17 HMR, 22 Magnum, 223 are Illegal calibers in Massachusetts at
night as the chamber size is greater than that of a 22 long rifle.

(CCI 22LR Stinger ammunition is highly recommended)

Q Can I use a handgun for hunting Coyote?
A Yes, must meet the same restrictions for a rifle.

So there you go. It's .22 LR or shotgun only at night.

 

pupchow

NES Member
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
3,579
Likes
1,072
Location
MA
You can NOT use an AR pistol at night.. The info is there:

Q What caliber rifle can I use for nighttime hunting?
A Rifles chambered not larger than a 22 Long Rifle are permissible at
night.
** .17 HMR, 22 Magnum, 223 are Illegal calibers in Massachusetts at
night as the chamber size is greater than that of a 22 long rifle.

(CCI 22LR Stinger ammunition is highly recommended)

Q Can I use a handgun for hunting Coyote?
A Yes, must meet the same restrictions for a rifle.

So there you go. It's .22 LR or shotgun only at night.
That FAQ from some [email protected] group is erroneous.

As posted on MA DFW:

Coyote hunting regulations

-Nighttime hunting: During the period from ½ hour after sunset to midnight rifles are restricted to those chambered not larger than .22 long rifle and handguns are restricted to those chambered not larger than .38 caliber.
 
Last edited:

Dan-o

NES Member
Rating - 100%
75   0   0
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
1,010
Likes
314
Use a 45-70 in daylight if you want....

Concensus is at night it must be .22LR only. Trying to pick off headshots in the pitch black darkness. Because body shots are pretty much useless with a .22LR.

The real concensus is the Coyote Night regulations are retarded. As has already been said, this has been hashed out already.
Body shots pretty much useless? How many yotes have you body shot and lost with a .22lr?
I have shot several and not lost one. Never went more than 75-100yds when hit in the chest.
It is not my top choice, but will do the trick.
Also agree on the night regs.
 

Mountain

NES Member
Rating - 100%
20   0   0
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
11,701
Likes
9,133
The night regs are confusing. .221 Fireball is smaller than .38 caliber, so why not take 'yotes with my XP-100 pistol at night?

They show up on my property all the time, so if I really wanted one I could get one with my bow from the back porch. IR night vision on a crossbow? LOL that would be my apocalypse go-to.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Aug 11, 2015
Messages
424
Likes
77
The night regs are confusing. .221 Fireball is smaller than .38 caliber, so why not take 'yotes with my XP-100 pistol at night?
Smaller how, bullet diameter?

They (the state) always refer back to case volume. You can't use 17hmr becuase it's a necked down 22mag and has more case volume than a 22LR.

You can come up with whatever reasoning you want to say X caliber is smaller than Y caliber but they fact of the matter is only 22LR, shotgun and 38cal pistol are legal at night. I shouldn't say only but those are the logical ones, no ones using 22 shorts or 17hm2 (22lr stinger necked down to 17cal).

A bigger problem is their isn't a general consensus between EPO's, some have one opinion some have another and some are completely uneducated on the subject. Email boston and they will tell you what I said above, anything else you better have in writing because if you get caught have fun explaining your position to the EPO.

The night hunting regs suck.
 

Mark from MA

NES Member
Rating - 100%
47   0   0
Joined
Jun 4, 2008
Messages
5,523
Likes
2,356
Body shots pretty much useless? How many yotes have you body shot and lost with a .22lr?
I have shot several and not lost one. Never went more than 75-100yds when hit in the chest.
It is not my top choice, but will do the trick.
Also agree on the night regs.
Ok. I made an assumption. If you have made body shots with a .22 and had good success ill yield to that advice.


I however wont shoot at something in the dark I cant fully identify. Which leaves night hunting with a .22 without a light out of the question for me.

I also assume a .22 to the lungs would leave a very small tracking hole. 75-100 yards at night with no light and very little blood would be a tough trail. Remember, you cant use a light, even for tracking. Right? Cant have gun on you while tracking or you are still in the act of hunting.

Guess you could go in with the light and without a gun but now your tracking a possibly wounded coyote in the dark without a weapon. Not good IMHO

If we are talking Daylight..im using a real rifle like .243 or 6.5 creed and dropping them on sight with a head or shoulder shot.
 
Last edited:

Dan-o

NES Member
Rating - 100%
75   0   0
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
1,010
Likes
314
Ok. I made an assumption. If you have made body shots with a .22 and had good success ill yield to that advice.

I am pretty patient and don’t take a less than ideal shot with the 22.


I however wont shoot at something in the dark I cant fully identify. Which leaves night hunting with a .22 without a light out of the question for me.

Me neither, I do try to hunt with snow and around a full moon. Amazing what you can see w/a good scope and a full moon. Usually hunt edges of fields, power lines, neighbors yards, haha. I don’t have too much brush to worry about. Also use thermal handheld.

I also assume a .22 to the lungs would leave a very small tracking hole. 75-100 yards at night with no light and very little blood would be a tough trail. Remember, you cant use a light, even for tracking. Right? Cant have gun on you while tracking or you are still in the act of hunting.

Snow helps with this too! I don’t worry too much about flashlight thing. Just use very sparingly.

Guess you could go in with the light and without a gun but now your tracking a possibly wounded coyote in the dark without a weapon. Not good IMHO

If we are talking Daylight..im using a real rifle like .243 or 6.5 creed and dropping them on sight with a head or shoulder shot.
Agree!


I use shotgun when hunting brush and thicker stuff.
Good luck!
 

KMM696

NES Member
Rating - 100%
23   0   0
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
3,428
Likes
990
Location
Western PRofMA
The possible solution I came up with for night coyote pistol is a T/C Contender in 22 TCM. Not a complicated wildcat, it's 223 shortened to 9mm OAL with velocities similar to 22 Hornet in some bullet weights. Dimensionally smaller than 38 Spl, which seems to be the EPO yardstick.
 
Top Bottom