The 5 Best Scopes for Coyote Hunting – Rifle Optic Reviews 2023

best scope for coyote hunting

Photo by Leequa_art / CC BY

Coyote hunting is an old sport in the United States, as farmers, ranchers, land owners and even urban residents fight back against the constant spread of coyote population. These wily coyotes seem to manage to thrive anywhere there are humans and so pose a constant threat to our livestock and pets. To that end, most states have generous coyote hunting seasons that can sometimes run year round with no bag limit. Coyote hunting is a thrilling sport, and they can be taken with everything from .22 rimfire to any modern centerfire rifle. Because of the diversity of calibers, finding the right scope can be difficult, but we sat down, put our heads to it, and have dug up what we think are the best scopes for coyote hunting, and then even lumped them together between rimfire and centerfire uses.

Simmons .22 Mag Truplex Scope

This is a rather solid rimfire scope, despite the name, it is suitable for any rimfire round on the market right now. With its generous three to nine power magnification, 32mm objective lens, waterproof construction, hydrostatic lens coatings to repel moisture, and even an included set of rings, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better rimfire scope for the money. Because the famous .17 HMR and .22 magnum rounds are commonly used for coyote hunting (I’ve taken plenty of ‘yotes with .22 LR), this is the best scope for coyote hunting if you are running a rimfire on a budget.

Simmons 3-9x32mm 22 Mag TruPlex Reticle Rimfire Riflescope Review - Episode 2

Nikon P Tactical 2-7x32mm Scope

Hunting with a rimfire? This is the best scope for coyote hunting short of spending serious big bucks. Nikon makes fantastic rifle scopes, and this one is no exception. Designed for rugged outdoor use, it is a two to seven power scope with a 32mm objective lens, built in range finding reticle, and calibrated to the .22 rimfire round. Featuring high end, multi coated glass lenses, as well as waterproof and shockproof construction, this is the scope I’d use if I was going to sit down with a box of .22 Mini Mags and hunt coyotes.

Nikon P-22 2-7x32mm Scope Review

NightForce SHV

The NightForce SHV screams “Best scope for coyote hunting.” After all, it is an illuminated reticle high power scope (see full specs) of excellent construction, which are all must haves for predator hunting. Featuring 5-20 power magnification, an oversized 56mm objective lens for maximum sight picture and light transmission, a 30mm tube, fully coated optics, and NightForce’s legendary dedication to quality, I was hard pressed to find a better choice for a coyote hunting scope. Granted the large objective lens will require high profile rings in order to fit your rifle, but that is a trivial matter when you are looking at mounting such a fantastic scope. Get one; the coyotes will be terrified.

Korrey Eskelson 6th shot, 1000 yrd Buffalo Challenge

Leupold Mark AR

I had to get a Leupold in here because Leupold makes awesome scopes, which pretty much means anything with their name is the best scope for coyote hunting. This model is designed around the .223/5.56 round and is “targeted” towards AR 15 owners, although of course it will work well with any rifle in that caliber. The AR15 and other rifles in .223/5.56 are extremely popular for hunting coyotes, and there is a good chance if you are out hunting them, you’ve brought along your favorite AR. This particular scope is rather nice, with a modest three to nine magnification and a hefty 40mm objective lens, and the usual rugged construction you expect from Leupold, it is well suited for a coyote hunt.

Leupold Mark AR MOD 1 3-9x40mm MIL Dot Scope Review

CVLife Illuminated Reticle Scope

The best scope for coyote hunting is the one that actually lets you see the crosshairs on your target. Because predator hunting often takes place in the low light of dawn or sunset, you’ll want a scope that has an illuminated reticle. And if that scope also happens to have an illuminated range finding reticle, and can switch between red and green lighting? So much the better! CVLife offers a six to twenty four power illuminated scope with a massive 50mm objective lens that packs all the quality features of a good rifle scope like water and shock proof construction, fully coated optics, and of course the illuminated reticle all for a song. Getting the best scope for coyote hunting doesn’t have to an expensive endeavor.

CV LIFE 6-24X50 AO SCOPE REVIEW ON Hatsan at-44 QE long .22

Coyote Hunting and Optics

As a general rule I dislike hunting animals I am not going to eat; however, I tend to make an exception for predator control. Recently I had an opportunity to go coyote hunting with a friend, and had the annoying problem of no scope on my new AR. My friend, however, was well equipped with a scope on his long barreled AK-47 (yes, the guy hunts coyotes with an AK-47), and so he got to enjoy more shots than I did. Lesson learned: coyote hunting on irons may be more technically rewarding and skillful, but it isn’t very fun sometimes either.

You want a scope for several reasons, the most obvious is being able to better see your target. Coyotes are nocturnal animals and are most likely to come out in low light conditions. And, of course, they blend in with their environment very well. To that end you need the best scope you can get in order to actually see the little buggers and get a good, clean and humane shot.

At this point, the best scope for coyote hunting is one that is built around hunting. Because they are small animals, you won’t see folks out there with their deer rifles blasting away. Instead coyotes are typically hunted with either high powered rimfire rounds or intermediate sized rifle rounds. Small caliber, fast moving rounds are the order of the day, and that often means an AR type rifle. Regardless of the rifle you choose, you will still need a scope with a few of the same basic features.

Obviously an illuminated reticle is nice, but not required. It will help you better see your crosshairs over your target, but certainly isn’t a requirement. More importantly, you need a well built scope. In this day and age, you can reasonably expect any decent scope to be waterproof, and purged with an inert gas to render the interior fog proof. So we wind up looking for scopes that offer suitable magnification of at least three to nine power, and have a decent sized objective lens. The larger the objective lens, the bigger your sight picture, and the more light you get transmitted through the scope, which renders a clearer picture. Of course there are limits on how big you can go there, and most folks settle anywhere between 30-50mm, as anything much larger require special mounts and may not fit on most rifles.

Ultimately, the best scope for coyote hunting will incorporate all those features and will let you more fully enjoy the sport and sometimes needful task of coyote hunting.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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