Choosing The Best Scope for AR-15 Coyote Hunting

Best Scope for AR-15 Coyote Hunting

Embarking on a coyote hunting expedition with your trusty AR-15 requires precision, skill, and the right equipment. One important piece of gear that can make or break your hunting experience is the scope. As the market is flooded with options, finding the best scope for AR-15 coyote hunting can be a daunting task. Fear not, fellow hunters, as we delve into the world of scopes to help you make an knowledgeable decision that will improve your hunting prowess.

Your Needs for AR-15 Coyote Hunting

Before delving into the nitty-gritty details of various scopes, it’s essential to identify your specific needs as a coyote hunter. Consider factors such as your preferred hunting range, environmental conditions, and the type of ammunition you use. With these factors in mind, let’s explore some of the best scopes tailored for AR-15 coyote hunting.

Best Scopes for Coyote Hunting: An Overview

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40mm

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40mm

Kicking off our list is the Vortex Optics Crossfire II, a versatile scope that caters to a broad range of hunting scenarios. With a 3-9x embellishment and a 40mm objective lens, this scope strikes a balance between clarity and field of view. Whether you’re hunting in dense woodlands or open fields, the Vortex Crossfire II adapts seamlessly.

Transitioning between magnification levels is smooth, allowing for quick adjustments when a coyote appears unexpectedly. The anti-reflective coatings on the lenses ensure optimal light transmission, best scope for marlin 45-70, even during low-light conditions at dawn or dusk.

Nikon P-223 3-9x40mm BDC 600

For those seeking precision in long-range shots, the Nikon P-223 is a top contender. Specifically designed for the .223 Remington cartridge, this scope offers a 3-9x magnification and a generous 40mm objective lens. The Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) 600 reticle allows for accurate shots at varying distances, making it an excellent choice for hunters who like to cover a wide hunting range.

The Nikon P-223’s tactical-style turrets provide precise adjustments, ensuring that your zero stays true. This scope is not only well-suited for AR-15 coyote hunting but also for other rifles chambered in .223.

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

Leupold is a trusted name in the optics industry, and the VX-Freedom continues the brand’s legacy. With a 3-9x magnification and a 40mm objective lens, this scope is designed to deliver clarity and brightness in a lightweight package. The Twilight Light Management System enhances low-light performance, which is crucial for early morning or late evening hunts when coyotes are most active.

The Leupold VX-Freedom’s durability is evident in its construction, featuring a scratch-resistant lens coating and a rugged design that can withstand the challenges of hunting terrain. If you prioritize reliability and optical excellence, this scope should be on your shortlist.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight

For hunters who prefer the agility of a red dot sight, the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 is an outstanding choice. While not a traditional magnified scope, this sight excels in quick target acquisition and close-quarters engagements. With a 3 MOA (Minute of Angle) red dot, the TRS-25 provides a clear aiming point without obstructing your view of the target.

The compact and lightweight design of this sight makes it ideal for fast-paced coyote hunting scenarios. The Amber-Bright high-contrast lens coating ensures a crisp sight picture, and the unlimited eye relief allows for rapid target acquisition, making it a top pick for AR-15 300 Blackout users as well.

Choosing the Right Magnification

ar-15 300 blackout scope

Selecting the appropriate Magnification for your best scope for ar-15 300 blackout scope is a critical decision that directly influences your hunting success. Different magnification ranges cater to specific hunting scenarios, and understanding these scenarios will guide you in making an informed choice.

Low Magnification (1-4x): This type of scope is ideal for close-quarters hunting, such as in dense woods or when hunting on the move. It offers a wide field of view, allowing you to acquire targets quickly.

Medium Magnification (3-9x): This range strikes a balance between close-quarters and long-range hunting. It is versatile enough to handle various scenarios, making it a popular choice among coyote hunters.

High Magnification (10x and above): These scopes are best suited for long-range precision shots. They are also excellent for open fields and situations where you need to identify and engage targets at a distance.

Consider the Terrain

The terrain you hunt in plays a crucial role in determining the type of scope that will best suit your needs. Coyotes are known for their adaptability, and they can be found in a variety of environments. Let’s explore how different scopes align with specific terrains.

Wooded Areas

If your hunting grounds consist of dense woodlands or areas with thick vegetation, a low-magnification scope, such as a 1-4x, is recommended. This allows for quick target acquisition in close-quarters scenarios where visibility may be limited. The Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4x24mm is an excellent choice for navigating through wooded areas, offering a wide field of view and quick transition between magnification levels.

Open Fields

In contrast, if you find yourself in open fields with long sightlines, a medium to high-magnification scope is preferable. The Nikon P-223 3-9x40mm BDC 600 or the Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12x40mm are suitable options for engaging coyotes at a distance. The BDC reticle in the Nikon scope aids in precise shot placement, while Leupold’s Twilight Light Management System enhances visibility during low-light conditions.

Versatile Terrain

For hunters who frequent areas with a mix of open fields and wooded sections, a scope with versatile Magnification, such as the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40mm, provides the flexibility needed to adapt to changing environments. Transitioning from low to medium Magnification allows you to tackle various hunting scenarios with ease.

Consider the Caliber

Another crucial factor to contemplate when choosing a scope is the caliber of your AR-15. Different calibers perform optimally at varying distances, and your scope should complement the ballistic characteristics of your chosen ammunition. Let’s explore the compatibility of scopes with popular AR-15 calibers.

.223 Remington

223 Remington

The .223 Remington is a popular caliber for AR-15 coyote hunting due to its flat trajectory and versatility. Scopes like the Nikon P-223 3-9x40mm BDC 600 are specifically designed for this caliber, offering a BDC reticle calibrated for .223 ammunition. This ensures accurate shot placement at different distances, making it an excellent choice for coyote hunters using the .223 Remington cartridge.

300 Blackout

If you’ve opted for the AR-15 300 Blackout for your coyote hunting adventures, consider a scope that complements this caliber’s characteristics. The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight is a compact and lightweight option that provides quick target acquisition, making it well-suited for the 300 Blackout’s effective range.

Other Calibers

For hunters using alternative calibers, such as the 15 Coyote hunting or the Marlin 45-70, it’s essential to choose a scope that can handle the recoil and ballistic characteristics of these cartridges. The Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm is a versatile option that can accommodate a variety of calibers, offering clarity and durability in diverse hunting scenarios.

Accounting for Environmental Conditions

Coyote hunting often involves navigating through challenging environmental conditions, from sweltering heat to cold. Your chosen scope should be able to withstand these extremes while maintaining optimal performance. Consider the following factors when evaluating a scope’s suitability for different environments.

Fog and Waterproofing

Hunting in foggy or rainy conditions is not uncommon, and having a fog-proof and waterproof scope is crucial. The Vortex Optics Crossfire II and the Leupold VX-Freedom both feature nitrogen purging, making them fog-proof and ensuring clear vision in adverse weather conditions. Additionally, these scopes have O-ring seals that keep out moisture, adding an extra layer of protection against water infiltration.

Shock Resistance

The recoil generated by an AR-15 can damage optics, so choosing a scope with shock-resistant construction is paramount. The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight is designed to handle the recoil of various calibers, providing durability in the face of repeated shots. Its compact design and shockproof construction make it an excellent choice for hunters who expect to engage in rapid-fire situations.

Low-Light Performance

Coyotes are most engaged during dawn and dusk, presenting low-light conditions that can challenge even the most experienced hunters. Opt for scopes with features that enhance low-light performance, such as coated lenses and advanced light management systems. The Leupold VX-Freedom, with its Twilight Light Management System, excels in providing clarity and brightness during the critical moments of early morning and late evening hunts.

Choosing the Right Reticle

The reticle, or crosshair, is a crucial element of any scope, influencing your aiming accuracy and speed. Different reticle styles cater to specific preferences and scenarios. Let’s explore some common reticle types and their suitability for AR-15 coyote hunting.

Duplex Reticle

The Duplex reticle is a traditional design with thick outer lines that taper towards the center. This design authorizes for quick target acquisition and is well-suited for hunting in various environments. The Vortex Optics Crossfire II features a Dead-Hold BDC reticle, a variation of the Duplex, offering additional holdover points for different distances.

BDC Reticle

Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC) reticles are calibrated to specific ballistic trajectories, providing aiming points for various distances. The Nikon P-223 3-9x40mm BDC 600 is an excellent example, with a BDC reticle tailored for the .223 Remington cartridge. This feature simplifies long-range shots, allowing you to compensate for bullet drops without manual adjustments.

Illuminated Reticle

An illuminated reticle can be a game-changer in low-light conditions. The Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight features a red dot that stands out against the target, facilitating quick and precise aiming. While not a traditional magnified scope, the illuminated reticle in red dot sights is advantageous for rapid target acquisition.

Budget Considerations

While investing in quality optics is essential for successful coyote hunting, your budget will inevitably influence your decision-making. Fortunately, there are scopes available at various price points that offer a balance between performance and affordability.

Budget-Friendly Options

For those on a tighter budget, the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Red Dot Sight provides a cost-effective solution without compromising on performance. Its simplicity and reliability make it a popular choice for hunters who prioritize value for money.

Mid-Range Options

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II and the Nikon P-223 are mid-range scopes that offer a balance of quality and affordability. These scopes provide features such as multi-coated lenses, precise turrets, and durability, making them excellent choices for hunters seeking a balance between performance and cost.

High-End Choices

Hunters with a more generous budget may opt for high-end scopes like the Leupold VX-Freedom. While these scopes come with a higher price tag, they offer advanced features such as superior glass quality, enhanced coatings, and rugged construction. Investing in a premium scope ensures optimal performance and durability for years to come.


In the vast wilderness of AR-15 coyote hunting, choosing the right scope is a decision that requires careful consideration. Each scope mentioned in this guide offers unique features tailored to different hunting scenarios, preferences, and budgets. Whether you prioritize a versatile scope like the Vortex Optics Crossfire II, a caliber-specific option like the Nikon P-223, or the reliability of a trusted brand like Leupold, the key is to align your scope with your specific needs and hunting style.

Remember to factor in considerations such as magnitude, terrain, caliber, environmental conditions, vehicle type, and budget when making your decision. Ultimately, the good scope for AR 15 coyote hunting is the one that enhances your accuracy, adapts to your surroundings, and withstands the challenges of the great outdoors.

So, gear up, hunters, and may your scopes be true as you venture into the wilderness in pursuit of the elusive coyote. Happy hunting!

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