Coyotes are a constant problem for ranchers and other livestock managers, often waiting until nightfall to raid their herds. One way to solve this is with an accurate rifle fitted with a thermal scope, and a video uploaded to Reddit over the weekend shows just how effective this combination can be.
Protecting the Sheep from Coyote
The 40-second video was shared to the r/Hunting channel by user Darth1Football, but it’s unknown who recorded it originally, and the poster has not replied to any of the comments on the post. As more than one Redditer pointed out, the footage demonstrates that hunting to protect livestock is often necessary—especially when it comes to predators like coyotes, which can be legally hunted year-round in many states, and often with the aid of technology that is not permitted for more regulated big-game species.
The video was recorded through a thermal scope, allowing the viewer to see what the shooter is seeing. While it’s unclear where it was filmed, the video’s metadata shows that it was recorded around 9:30 p.m.
When the clip begins, the coyote is chasing the sheep on a hillside away from the rest of the flock. The coyote catches it within seconds, biting the nape of the sheep’s neck. But the fully grown sheep outweighs its attacker and manages to stay upright even as the coyote latches on and tries to pull it to the ground.
Meanwhile the shooter who’s recording the video stays focused on his target, which is roughly 100 yards away, according to the read-out on the scope’s screen. His breathing is audible as he cranks the power and holds his crosshairs steady on the coyote, adjusting his point of aim as the two animals tussle. Still keeping his breath under control, the shooter waits patiently for his opportunity as the coyote spins around the sheep and keeps trying to bring it down. He briefly aims at the coyote’s spine but doesn’t risk shooting over the sheep’s back.
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After holding patiently for about 15 seconds, the shooter finally gets a safe shot opportunity. The coyote is now standing downhill of the sheep rather than behind or in front of it, though still biting its neck. The coyote stands broadside just long enough for the shooter to squeeze the trigger and make a well-placed shot, dropping the coyote in its tracks.
It’s unknown what cartridge the man was using; as for the scope, one commenter noted that it was likely either a Pulsar Thermion 2 XP50 or another model of Pulsar thermal scope. More important than the gear he was using is his technique and his judgement. The shooter demonstrated how important it is for hunters to control their breath and their nerves, and to capitalize on an opportunity when it appears—because you might not get another chance.
“Let’s go baby,” says the shooter. “Protect this house, save the sheep. Coyote down.”