Good ole small game season continues through Feb. 28; that’s rabbit, quail, grouse, Wilson snipe, crow, and squirrel. Varmint hunting is great this time of year, especially for furbearers like coyotes, which have become a major concern for Tennessee deer hunters and stockmen large and small.
The wily coyote is a real challenge to hunt. Mainly a dusk and dawn endeavor, many hunters will use a long-range varmint rifle for shots of 200 yards or better. On the other extreme, some will use shotguns with buckshot at close range and running shots. As a bonus coyote pelts bring good money at fur auctions. In this area the pelts are prime from late November until mid-February.
For some good information on varmint hunting, check out www.thepredatorpage.com, a site dedicated to coyote and hog hunting. It is part of www.TheHuntingPage.com , which has many good outdoor writers and an open platform allowing for guest bloggers and industry contributors.
A good choice for a good varmint gun is the modern sporting rifle, called MSR and often called an AR-15, AR, M-4, or military rifle (and incorrectly called an assault rifle, which is fully automatic). It is usually chambered for the 5.56x45mm (U.S. military ammo) and also shoots the .223 Remington (civilian version). Both cartridges are accurate beyond 300 yards, if the shooter measures up.
Both styles of coyote hunting are aided by game calling, often imitating a wounded rabbit squeal. Electronic calls are legal in Tennessee for coyotes (but not for fox, turkey and waterfowl); mouth calls work well, are more versatile, and are not hard to master.