Best AR-15 Scopes For Coyote Hunting -2020 Ultimate Review

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Finding the best AR-15 scope for coyote hunting can be a challenge. Especially when you are looking for a scope that will make sure that every kill shot lands with excellent accuracy. A coyote might be causing trouble on your property. If you own livestock or animals that tend to reside outdoors on your property, they are vulnerable targets to predators like a coyote. It’s important to keep them protected from any danger or they could end up seriously injured or killed.

In order to help you find the right kind of AR-15 scope for the purpose of coyote hunting, we’ve hand-picked five of what we know to be the best scopes that are best fit for this specific application.

Before we get to the list itself, we are going to talk about why scopes are important for coyote hunting and how you can choose a scope for such an application. 

Comparison of the Best AR-15 Scopes for Coyote Hunting 

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • 40mm objective
  • Magnification levels range from 3 to 9 times
  • Best overall AR-15 scope for coyote hunting
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  • Objective measured at 24mm
  • Made from high-quality aluminum
  • Runner-up for best overall AR-15 scopes for coyote hunting
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  • Eye relief of up to 4 inches
  • Features a 36mm objective
  • Best AR-15 coyote hunting scope for the money
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  • Thermal imaging for night hunting
  • Best thermal scope for coyote hunting
  • Built-in rangefinder to help you determine the distance of your targets
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  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Best night vision scope for coyote hunting
  • Battery-powered for the purpose of giving you the best in night vision
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Are Scopes Important While Coyote Hunting?

Absolutely. In fact, you’d be smart to use a scope and utilize it to your advantage. That’s because coyotes may attack humans if they are at a close enough distance. Not only will a scope be useful in knocking down a target from a good distance, but you are doing it from what might be safe enough for you to be out of the coyote’s field of vision. To be on the safe side, you should be at least 100 yards away so you are not risking getting attacked. 

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40

How to Choose a Scope That’s Great For Coyote Hunting

It would be wise to learn how to distinguish a coyote hunting scope that is great overall compared to scopes that are not the best in terms of quality and performance. You want a scope that will last longer and deliver consistent performance. Here are some things to look for while looking for a coyote hunting scope for your AR-15 rifle:

Price

Of course, we always keep the budget shopper in mind. So that means finding a scope that is the best quality and performance that you can afford. Don’t confuse this with being limited to any scopes that you know are cheap and flimsy in quality. If you see a scope that might be on the low side of the price tag, you are wise to be cautious or move on to a different scope. 

Easy Adjustments

One of the major issues that you may run into even when shooting your rifle. This could include your shots being a little off. So you want to make sure you have a scope that will make on the fly adjustments easier than pie. This means finding adjustment knobs that are easy to use for windage, elevation, and even parallax. 

Simple Installation

A scope for your AR-15 will need to be easy to install. Which means you won’t have to rely on a gunsmith for anything. Most of these scopes will take no less than five minutes to install. If you are new to installing scopes, you will be able to find easy to understand instructions in the owner’s manual (assuming there is one).

Quick Take | Best AR-15 Scopes For Coyote Hunting

Review of the Best AR-15 Scopes for Coyote Hunting

The following is a list of five of the best AR-15 scopes for coyote hunting. While going through the list, you might want to make a note of any characteristics and features that will make each scope stand out. If you have a good idea of what your ideal scope looks like (and how it functions), you can fall back on those notes to find the one that is close enough to fit your description.

Now, let’s start off with the “best overall” choice on our list:

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40 Rifle Scope, V-Brite Reticle

Pros

  • Easy to install, takes a few minutes
  • Eye relief is comfortable for most shooters
  • Provides excellent accuracy at 100 yards or more
  • Makes low-light hunting a lot easier with illuminated reticle settings
  • Really durable construction, protects the scope from shock, bad weather, and other types of damage

Cons

  • No parallax adjustments
  • A few suggested the illuminated reticle could be better
  • Some had it come shipped with a slight crack in the glass - check yours!

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the new users say that the scope was easy to install. But they were also quite happy with the overall durability. They said that it stood up to even the worst weather conditions and not once did the lens fog up or get inundated with water. One user said that it has fast become his favorite coyote hunting scope after consistently being able to bag a couple of them from a good 100 yards out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you are familiar with scope brand names, then you know that Vortex is one of the most popular names on the list. One of the main reasons why they are great, the durability. In fact, the fine folks of Vortex put their money where their mouth is and place a lifetime warranty behind every product they manufacture. At that point, you know that it’s a product worth investing in based on durability alone. But it provides clear image quality, plus it makes every accurate shot count. All in all, it’s the way a hunting scope ought to function.

Who Will Use This Most

If you want something that is well-built, accurate, and can really stand the chance of knocking down a coyote in low-light or broad daylight conditions you’re going to love this scope. Once this sucker is attached to your AR-15 you’re going to enjoy using it to your advantage when tracking down any coyote that might be a threat to your property or just for the purpose of preserving a certain population (i.e.--deer). 

Bottom Line

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II is undeniably the odds on favorite for coyote hunters out there. It’s got the durability, the sharpshooting ability, and the overall awesomeness that makes it worthy of the “best overall” title. Don’t be shocked if this winds up being the only scope you end up using for a long time.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Excellent for coyote hunting both day and night
  • Perfect for short-range shooting (100 to 150 yards)
  • Quick target acquisition, despite the size of the objective
  • Glass quality is superb, makes for excellent image quality

Cons

  • Reticle bleed has been reported
  • Some say the reticle should be larger in size
  • Illumination feature doesn’t light up the reticle entirely on some

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers say that the scope was excellent for its intended use. They were able to land a coyote from distances ranging from a good 100 yards and beyond. Furthermore, they were seriously impressed with the image quality that makes it really high in definition. One user said the quality was crystal clear and very crisp. It was as if he was watching everything unfold on an HDTV. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This scope might be one of the more affordable scopes on the market that delivers an excellent image quality definition compared to some others. It may give a brand name like Nikon a run for its money in this regard. With an objective of 24mm, it can still allow you to find your targets fairly quickly so you can lock on and take your shot. Once you land your kill shot with such precision, only then you can call it a day.

Who Will Use This Most

This will probably be the best scope you can find for anyone that might be new to coyote hunting or a seasoned hunter that is looking for something that can provide a bit of an upgrade in the image quality department (without dropping an arm and a leg in cash). It can cover a good amount of ground while being able to land the kill shot exactly where you want it. 

Bottom Line

If you want fantastic image quality, solid durability, and kill shots that are guaranteed to go where you want them to go then the Primary Arms SLX Rifle Scope will be exactly what you are looking for in terms of finding the right kind of coyote hunting scope for an AR-15. The image quality and the overall performance will likely leave you impressed and make it good enough for you to use on a regular basis.

Best for the Money:
Bushnell Engage Riflescope

Pros

  • Excellent durability
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Installation is simple and quick
  • Easy to zero in, also easy to keep the zero retained
  • Accurate, precise shooting from distances up to 400 yards

Cons

  • Turrets can be a bit slippery
  • The objective could be bigger to allow more light in
  • Some say they cannot see the cross-hairs beyond 75 yards

What Recent Buyers Report

Of course, a lot of the new users were budget shoppers looking for the best deal possible in getting a coyote hunting scope. And they certainly got what they paid for. They were able to install this in minutes, zero it in in less than a minute, and were able to put the bullet to their targets fairly quickly with the help of some fast target acquisition. One user said for a scope that is quite affordable, it’s quality was solid and the performance was at a higher level than expected.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What makes this scope great is that it has the ability to go beyond the normal distances of coyote hunting and can go slightly farther. So if you want to hit something at 200 or even 300 yards, you may do so with this scope. And you know what kind of AR-15 rifles can go the distance (or at least the kinds of cartridges). If you own something like a .308 or a Creedmoor 6.5, you can probably get away with using either or to make sure that coyote is stopped in its tracks before it gets any closer to you.

Who Will Use This Most

While it might be one of the handfuls of scopes that you might use as a beginner or a seasoned hunter, it will definitely save you a ton of money as opposed to purchasing a scope that might be on the high-end (and therefore expensive). It’s got a solid quality and clear image quality that will be hard to match. Not only that, you can make every shot count from either 100 or 400 yards. No matter how far the target is, you’ll be able to land your shots exactly where you want it. 

Bottom Line

The Bushnell Engage Riflescope in all likelihood will be a popular scope with the newbie hunters. Yet, it can outperform many scopes that are either on the high end or considered average by hunter’s standards. Best of all, it’s affordable for most budgets. If you want excellent quality and superior accuracy (among some of the best benefits you can get in a scope), the Bushnell Engage Riflescope might just be what the doctor ordered.

Best Thermal Scope for Coyote Hunting:
ATN ThOR HD 384

Pros

  • Simple to install
  • Perfect for night hunting
  • The rangefinder is really accurate at determining distances
  • Shooting is very accurate, shooting groups are consistently tight
  • Does a good job picking up heat signatures from an impressive distance

Cons

  • The zooming ability could be better
  • Some say enough recoil can make it blurry
  • A few have complained about the scope needing it to be zeroed in over and over again

What Recent Buyers Report

As expected, a lot of new users were night hunters that were often looking to thin the coyote packs due to the latter causing various amounts of trouble on the hunter’s property or with livestock. They were able to see through the scope with ease while being able to lock on their targets fast from various distances. One user said that he was able to pick up heat signatures from about 200 to 400 yards depending on the environment around him. Accuracy wise, he said that his shots were tight from about the same distance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Now we get into some pretty cool looking scopes. This time, we take a look at a thermal scope that will be ideal for not just daytime hunting, but also for nighttime hunting. If you intend on taking out the coyotes that are on the prowl and have their sights set on your livestock, then you’re really going to want to use a scope that will easily pick up their heat signatures so you can take them out before they get any closer. If you can nail them from a good distance (up to 400 yards), then you’ll definitely be able to call yourself a night time sharpshooter. These coyotes won’t stand a chance between someone who is armed with an AR-15 and a thermal scope that is reliable and packed with a good amount of technological goodies that keeps the scope sharp and high performing. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is a scope that isn’t exclusive to nighttime hunting (although it will excel perfectly in such a setting). But it can be perfect for hunting coyotes any day or any time of the week. After all, coyote season is always open in most parts of the United States. So if you need to take care of a problem that involves these predators, you can do so with a scope like this.

Bottom Line

To make your nighttime hunting a success, it takes the right kind of scope. The ATN Thor is perhaps the closest you can get to a thermal scope that will give you a bit of an edge against all of your coyote targets. They might not see better than you, but you can make sure that your unfair advantage will give you the success you deserve. But you’re doing this for a purpose like property management or making sure there is plenty of deer to go after when it comes time to hunt them.

Best Night Vision Scope for Coyote Hunting:
Sightmark Photon XT 6.5x50L

Pros

  • Simple to set up
  • Perfect for night hunting
  • Zero in is quick and easy
  • Really durable construction
  • Allows you to see targets up to 200 yards at best

Cons

  • Battery life could be longer
  • May be a challenge to properly mount
  • Some felt there should be some cleaning cloths included

What Recent Buyers Report

New users say that this scope was perfect for all night time hunting applications. While most of them were coyote hunters, others were relying on this for varmint hunting. Either way, they said that the night vision setting was quite bright and clear. And they were able to see a good 150 to 200 yards out (and sometimes beyond depending on the moonlight). One user said that it was pretty accurate and shooting groups were ridiculously tight and consistent. He added that it was perfect for coyote and varmint hunting.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If thermal imaging really isn’t your thing, then you are more apt to find a scope that might allow you better image quality. You can see a lot better through this kind of scope and have a night vision setting that is bright enough for you to see better in the dark. If you want a hunting scope that will go the distance and make it easy for you to recognize your target, you’d be hard-pressed to find a scope like this for all of your nighttime hunting needs. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is another great option for nighttime hunters that want nothing but the best performance out of their scopes. But if you prefer night vision to thermal vision, then this might be right up your alley. It’s also a great scope for those who are new to the whole night hunting thing. After all, it doesn’t have all the complicated technical setups you’ll find with most night hunting scopes.

Bottom Line

The Sightmark Photon XT Night Vision Scope is yet another scope that will set you apart from the other hunters. When they pack it up for the day, you’ll emerge at night giving yourself the advantage over coyotes who might not see you from a good distance. But you can see them perfectly. This scope will put you ahead of the curve and make sure that your property management tasks against these predators are a success. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

There are some additional aspects you need to look over before making a purchase on a coyote hunting scope. It would be better to be well-informed about what you need in a scope so you can make the right choice. Here are some things to mull over:

Daytime, Nighttime or Both?

You can hunt coyotes at any given time around the clock. If you choose a specific time, then that would mean getting a scope that will be effective during that part of the day. For example, if you intend to do some night hunting then ideally you should go with a night vision or thermal scope.

Can I Still Hunt Other Game With These Scopes?

These scopes are not specifically designed for coyote hunting. You can hunt just about any other game as you please. But these scopes are proven to be effective if and when you need to take care of the coyote problem at any point in time throughout the year. Coyote season is year-round in almost every jurisdiction. 

Is Illumination Necessary?

Finding a scope with an illuminated reticle can be completely optional if you choose to hunt coyotes during the day. However, since they are nocturnal creatures, they can still roam around during the dawn or dusk hours. Illumination is a big plus if you are looking for a scope that will benefit you during your coyote hunt. 

Conclusion

These coyote hunting scopes will be compatible with just about any AR-15 rifle that is suitable for hunting. Once you install your scope of choice, you can quickly zero it in and search for coyotes at any given time day or night. Be sure that it’s reliable, accurate, and will allow you to see better even when the sun has yet to rise or has already set. 

People Also Ask

The following is a list of frequently asked questions that will make you well-aware of how these scopes work. Use the questions and answers below so you are more informed about these kinds of scopes when the time comes to buy one. Here are the following questions:

What Time is Best to Hunt Coyotes?

Coyotes are nocturnal creatures. Which means they can be out and about between the hours of dusk to dawn. However, the best possible times to catch them are either during dawn or while dusk transitions into night time. 

Will a .22 Kill a Coyote?

Specifically, a .22LR can kill a coyote. While it may not provide a good amount of penetrating power, it will be just enough to kill them if they are hit in the head or neck area. 

What is the Best Magnification for a Hunting Scope?

It will depend on the distance your scope can go. If you want a scope that will go at a close distance, then go for a magnification of 1 to 2x. If you want something that can reach long-range, consider a scope that is more powerful (like a 4x magnification range or beyond that).