PREDATOR POUNDERS

A look at the new steel and ammo for dropping crafty coyotes up close and way downrange!

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AR-Style rifles like this DPMS Prairie Panther have become as commonplace in coyote-hunting circles as camouflage and electronic game calls. Sean Utley photo

You won’t find much in the way of research, studies or census numbers on the growing trend, and number of predator hunters. Of course you don’t need those numbers to verify the explosion in the sport. You simply need to browse through any hunting magazine, firearm catalog, sporting goods store or plug the words “predator hunting” into an internet search engine. All affirm the popularity predator hunting has achieved in the modern hunting culture. Magazines devoted solely to predator hunting, social media focused on the sport, and firearm companies producing dozens of predator-specific firearms add to the evidence.

Like many of you that have high school graduation dates prior to the 21st century, your first predator rifle likely pulled double duty on big game. I hoodwinked my grandma out of her Remington model 700 ADL in .243 Winchester as my first dual-purpose rifle. She didn’t require much conning. She realized my fever for the sport of hunting and readily handed over the rifle. After removing the iron sights and having the action bedded, and barrel floated, the little .243 performed like a champ on fur and antlered game.

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Regardless if you want a traditional semi-automatic, an AR-style tactical rifle, or a long-established bolt action, the market is flooded with great options for rifles and calibers that can slam coyotes with ease

Although the notion of an all-purpose firearm holds merit today with the questionable economy, there’s no reason to compromise if you have predators on the mind. Regardless, if you want a traditional semi-automatic, an AR style tactical rifle or a long-established bolt action, the market is flooded with great alternatives. Here are three to consider if you want to cramp a coyote’s style.

Ruger Mini-14

After the close of World War II, Bill Ruger opened the doors to the Sturm Ruger and Company plant and introduced the world to the Standard model .22 Ruger semi-automatic handgun. Two million Standards later and Ruger continues to bring new ideas to market with a tradition embraced by shooters. In 1966 Bill Ruger marketed a personal favorite of his, the No. 1 single-shot rifle. The falling-block design still attracts purists today, but he took a drastic turn in firearm design from single-shot simplicity to semi-automatic speed with the launch of the Mini-14 series of rifles in 1974. Quickly dubbed the “Ranch Rifle,” a name still used today, the Mini-14 now has more than two million units in circulation and has proven itself from ranch to law enforcement duties.