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 Post subject: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:39 pm 
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Location: Central Kentucky
I searched this subforum and only found a three page discussion on whether they should be hunted.

A friend has a bandit problem and asked if I would come help. Plan to setup near denning tree and call them. One rifle, one shotgun most likely.

What shot size and shell size should I be looking at? The more specific the better.




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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:49 pm 
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How far will you be shooting them at? I'd prefer a .22 but if using a shotgun modified choke with 7.5 is pretty lethal

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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:54 pm 
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I know a guy that hunts them for fur and he uses 22 shorts at knight with red head lamps. He shoots between the eyes while their up in the trees looking at him

For getting rid of the dumpster diving varmints we have around here a good pheasant load takes care of them


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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:58 pm 
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What gauge shotgun?

A field load of #6 or #7.5 should do the trick.

Here we cannot use any shotgun larger than a .410, or a .22, at least legally.


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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:12 pm 
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10-30 yards I would think. I haven't been out to his land yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:46 pm 
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I've shot coons out of trees with .22 rifles quite a few times. Don't recall ever shooting one with a shotgun. However, if I were to use a shotgun, I'd choose #4 lead shot at distances up to about 45 yards. If you're going to use #6 shot on squirrels which might weigh 1.5 to 2 pounds, why wouldn't you use something considerably heavier on a coon which might weigh 15 pounds? I sure wouldn't use #7.5 unless the coon was close enough to spit on.

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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:04 pm 
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I have seen suggested 7.5 like above, all the way to 4 buck. I was considering at least high brass pheasant, and most likely #4 or #2 Remington Long Range or Nitro mags.


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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:14 pm 
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You have been asked the range but what about a backstop? The bigger the shot the farther it will be lethal and round ball buckshot will bounce off the ground and carry a lot of residual inertia. Bird shot will bounce too but with considerably less inertia. I hope you don't launch heavy lead across a property line or into a herd of cows..

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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:25 pm 
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wellshooter wrote:
You have been asked the range but what about a backstop? The bigger the shot the farther it will be lethal and round ball buckshot will bounce off the ground and carry a lot of residual inertia. Bird shot will bounce too but with considerably less inertia. I hope you don't launch heavy lead across a property line or into a herd of cows..



Kentucky hollers. Most likely trees, and the side of a hill as a backstop. I don't think I want to step up to 4 buck.


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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:25 am 
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ocshaman wrote:
10-30 yards I would think. I haven't been out to his land yet.
well in that case #6 and I'd do a Mod choke or even IM to get good shot stream on them

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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:16 am 
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alex124485 wrote:
ocshaman wrote:
10-30 yards I would think. I haven't been out to his land yet.
well in that case #6 and I'd do a Mod choke or even IM to get good shot stream on them


#6 high brass I assume?


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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:13 pm 
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Sure! Why not!

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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:05 pm 
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Coons are tough. I have killed many while pheasant hunting. #4 lead is a good start. Bigger might be better. Choke it tight and head shoot em. I have killed a number in the 20# range.

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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:37 pm 
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noweil wrote:
Coons are tough. I have killed many while pheasant hunting. #4 lead is a good start. Bigger might be better. Choke it tight and head shoot em. I have killed a number in the 20# range.


Yep. I've seen big old boar coons that had been shot several times with .22's hit the ground and still whip a pack of coon dogs....... for awhile anyway. :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:58 pm 
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Last question. I am looking at #4, and looking at
1220 fps with 1.25 oz of shot for $9
1330 fps with 1.25 oz for $13
1485 fps with 1 3/8 for $17
1420 fps with 1.5 oz for $15

As I am a light dove shooter, which is best, and which is necessary?


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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:12 pm 
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ocshaman wrote:
Last question. I am looking at #4, and looking at
1220 fps with 1.25 oz of shot for $9
1330 fps with 1.25 oz for $13
1485 fps with 1 3/8 for $17
1420 fps with 1.5 oz for $15

As I am a light dove shooter, which is best, and which is necessary?


If you are looking for dove loads, size #4 shot is NOT appropriate.

If you're looking at the above loads for coon hunting, then I would suggest either of the first two, preferably the first one.

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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:27 pm 
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Ulysses wrote:
ocshaman wrote:
Last question. I am looking at #4, and looking at
1220 fps with 1.25 oz of shot for $9
1330 fps with 1.25 oz for $13
1485 fps with 1 3/8 for $17
1420 fps with 1.5 oz for $15

As I am a light dove shooter, which is best, and which is necessary?


If you are looking for dove loads, size #4 shot is NOT appropriate.

If you're looking at the above loads for coon hunting, then I would suggest either of the first two, preferably the first one.



For raccoons. Why the first two, because they are the cheapest?


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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:35 pm 
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noweil wrote:
Coons are tough.


They sure are. 20 - 25 lbs. is common, heavier up North. A .22 WinMag is ideal. At very close range I've used .22 LR but although raccoons can be a pest, you still need to do a clean job.

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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:52 pm 
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Shot a few coons as varmits through the years. Cannot imagine using the small bird shot and would go at least 4's and a full choke up close to head shoot them. As I also live in rifle country I would use one of my centerfires on a varmit coon. 22 mag with HPs is not all bad as Randy suggested. When you shoot mammals you have to look at shot placement. A gut shot rabbit with a 22LR can go a ways as can a squirrel. You head and lung shoot them and basically head shoot them. I was brought up to aim at the eyeballs.
I also have a habit of finding something to rest the rifle on. Rarely shoot deer off hand but off a rest in a stand. I shot muzzle loading competition for many years and have seem how poorly most can actually shoot a rifle. Of course you hear the old BS about how "I can't hit paper but let a deer run by and I will get it". After 50+ years of huntign with others I still call that BS. Set up, find a rest for the rifle and use a rifle and head shoot them. 22LR HPs will work fine.

DP


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 Post subject: Re: Shot size for raccoons?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:37 am 
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I've shot raccoons with birdshot ranging from #8 on up to #2 steel. The 8s worked inside 10 yards if it was looking at me but not quite so well if the coon had its back to me. Maybe if I would have had a Full choke rather than Cylinder or Imp Cylinder as I was hunting grouse at the time.

Larger shot with a tighter choke was much more effective, no matter the range. I've shot a few raccoons around the house with a shotgun as they are attracted to our poultry, garden, and outbuildings. I use a handgun more often but the wife still relies on the shotgun. Full choke would be my choice with #4 lead shot as a minimum as this seems to reach the vitals on even a coon facing away from you n the tree. 6s and even 5s are Ok for close range but quickly lack penetration if not at an ideal angle. The 4s also penetrate leaves better if that is a concern.

I would second Ulysses' load suggestion, the lower velocity loads will have minimally lesser energy levels than the faster ones. This will mean less recoil and the lesser cost is icing on the cake.




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