Shooting elusive targets like coyotes at long-range requires an excellent combination of rifle and optics. If you have an AR-15, congratulations: you have a rifle that is up to the challenge.
However, you will not be able to put your AR-15 to good use without the proper optics. Coyote shots less than a few hundred yards away may come up from time to time, but in general, you are not getting close enough to these animals to hunt them effectively without a great scope.
In this article, we will review our favorite 5 scopes for coyote hunting with your AR-15.
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In general, the scope you choose for coyote hunting with your AR-15 is a universal product. The scopes that we review below are all suitable for small, fast targets at ranges over 500 yards, but they can also be used for other animals and are effective at shorter ranges.
Versatility is critical in choosing a rifle and scope combination for coyote hunting. You want something lightweight, durable, and able to be used for prone-position sniper shots as well as quick shots from the shoulder while on foot.
Since the ideal coyote scope must provide this versatility level, these scopes are universal in their application.
A suitable scope for AR-15 coyote hunting must allow you, the shooter, the ability to react to targets at a variety of ranges with limited opportunity to shoot.
While any of the scopes we review below would suit hunting animals like deer and other ungulates, a good deer scope is not necessarily suitable for coyotes. Coyotes are quick, sensitive to your presence, and far less predictable than other animals.
Accuracy is key for an effective kill shot, and if you have plans for the coyotes’ pelts, you will want to make sure you do not cause the animal unnecessary stress. The scope you choose must allow you to make these shots in many different scenarios.
Now that we have explained the challenges you face when hunting coyotes and the importance of versatility in your scope of choice, here are some important features you will want in an AR-15 coyote hunting scope.
Coyote hunting can take place in various settings, so the scope you choose must be durable. We suggest looking for scopes that are rated as waterproof, fog-resistant, and made from durable materials. Shock-resistance is another important feature of a coyote scope.
Look for materials like aluminum and lightweight composites. These materials will provide you with durability without adding much weight to your AR-15, which is important when you are packing the rifle around on foot.
The scope you choose must allow you to get your target in your sight quickly. Since many opportunities to bag a coyote are quick, a scope with a limited field of vision will be difficult to use.
Search for adjustment knobs that allow for fast ranging and wind adjustment, and consider the location of these knobs on your rifle once you have adjusted the scope’s position for eye relief.
If you have to take the rifle out of your shoulder to adjust the range, you will not be bagging many coyotes.
With the background reading behind you, it is time to get on with the product reviews. No matter which scope you choose, you will not be disappointed with any of our selections.
With 10 different brightness settings and an effective red dot system, this scope is our top pick for coyote hunting.
Buyers of the Venom applaud the manufacturer’s ease of installation and zeroing and appreciate a sight system that can be used on a wide variety of firearms. The package the sight arrives in contains everything needed for installation.
Many buyers report buying a Venom for one of their guns and then buying more because they find themselves switching the sight between different weapons out of preference.
The Venom stands out because of how versatile it is. While there are definitely better sights for dedicated long-range shooting, a high-quality red dot sight like this is hard to beat for fast targets.
Vortex has put a lot of thought into the sight’s design, and it is rugged and built for the field. While it does rely on batteries for maximum effectiveness, it is easy to add a few spare batteries to your kit bag and use this sight on extended excursions.
It is easy to mount the Vortex on an AR-15 so that the brightness controls are close to your working area. For fast-moving camouflaged targets like coyotes, this red dot sight does not disappoint.
If you are looking for a versatile, affordable red dot sight that you can use on any of your guns for various targets besides coyotes, the Vortex is worth your attention. You will want one for your pistol, too.
This scope not only looks tough, but its heavy-duty construction makes it an excellent choice for plenty of field conditions.
Recent buyers of the OPMOD are happy with the sight’s performance, and it stands up to the scrutiny of ex-military users. The long battery life and reg or green light settings are positively received, especially for hunting in low-light settings with lots of foliage providing target cover.
We are impressed with the OPMOD’s ability to bring tactical utility to the average AR-15 owner without breaking the bank. This sight allows for decent long-range accuracy and excels at close-range shooting in less-than-ideal conditions.
There is unlimited eye relief with the OPMOD, so it is easy to set up, and you will find it easy to aim at the target. If you are hunting in wooded areas, this sight is a great tool.
If you want tactical performance and looks – which we guess many AR-15 owners do – the OPMOD will deliver while offering the versatility necessary for coyote hunting.
If you don’t mind shooting with both eyes open, this scope is easy to aim at your target and can handle tougher weather conditions.
Buyers are happy with the clear view the StrikeFire offers. Shooters have mentioned how, even under conditions of extremely bright sunlight, they can easily see the red or green dots.
As usual with Vortex products, buyers have also mentioned the speed of shipping and care and attention the manufacturer pays to package the sight. You will receive everything you need in one package.
This sight is meant for the AR-15 flat-top platform, so no compromises are made if that is your rifle of choice. It is also a very tactically-minded design, which is easy to appreciate when hunting coyotes at closer ranges where they are hard to see.
Many coyote hunting trips are characterized by medium- to long-range shots with little time to aim. Many sights are poor at combining accuracy and speed, but the StrikeFire provides you with a sight suitable for quickly picking off a coyote that appeared suddenly in your periphery.
The StrikeFire gives you a sight that is at home on the open prairies just as much as it is in dense, wooded areas.
Perfect for both long and short-range aiming, this lightweight scope is a great addition to your collection.
Buyers report the ease of dealing with Primary Arms, which is important when ordering online. The quality of the finish pleases most buyers, and it is reported to be easy to install and use. Most buyers are satisfied with this scope for mid-range shots.
The variable magnification, illumination, and ease of adjustment make this scope great to use in the field.
Since coyote hunting occurs in various conditions at many different ranges, we like that this more traditional-looking scope provides for easy medium-range shots while retaining the ability to take quick aim at sudden close-range targets.
The sight caps offer peace-of-mind when you are trudging along in the field, and we are confident in this scope’s ability to stand up to whatever conditions your AR-15 will see.
This Primary Arms product is a rugged, no-nonsense traditional rifle scope with features that make it effective at close and medium ranges. This makes this scope great for coyote hunting without restricting you to a single target animal.
While it may not handle short-range targets well, this scope excels at long-range shooting and is more accurate than a lot of other scopes.
Buyers report the FFP’s value and accuracy over long distances. Many people use this scope on larger-caliber rifles, so it holds up well for use on the AR-15.
Many buyers comment on the clarity of the glass and the ease of making adjustments to the scope while out in the field.
We chose this scope for our list because we wanted to showcase an ideal product for open country and long-range coyote hunting.
If you hunt coyotes in the prairies or rolling hills of the badlands, the FFP scope will allow you to take down coyotes and other animals without having to get close. For this reason alone, this scope could be the ideal choice for a rancher.
We also like that this scope offers excellent optics without being overly bulky.
If you hunt coyotes across open country and are not worried about rapid close-range aiming, this is the scope for you.
This article would not be complete without paying some attention to the question of whether or not a scope is necessary for AR-15 coyote hunting at all.
You are less likely nowadays to confront a coyote at close range. In many areas, these predators have become more elusive, and so you may have a hard time getting them within range of your iron sights.
All of the scopes we have reviewed above work well with the AR-15 and can be used for different hunting and tactical shooting types. Simply put, these scopes help you get the most out of your AR-15.
The best part about the scopes we have reviewed is that they allow you to gain accuracy at longer ranges without having to spend the big dollars that you might spend on optics for larger-caliber hunting rifles. They also all offer a decent level of close-range tactical abilities.
The AR-15 is fun and relatively cheap to shoot. If you buy any of the scopes we have reviewed, you will have a versatile product that will leave lots of room in your budget for ammunition, accessories, and the gas needed to get you to your favorite hunting grounds.
We have reviewed 5 excellent scopes that fit this description and also described the types of features to look for when you select your scope.
The best AR-15 scopes for hunting coyotes are ones that balance long-range accuracy with quick and efficient close-range target acquisition. They must, like the AR-15, be versatile.
Before we close this article out, we want to address two common questions people ask after learning about AR-15 coyote hunting scopes.
Of the scope we have reviewed, the best long-range scope for coyote hunting at night would have to be either of the Vortex StrikeFire II scopes. These scopes offer powerful red or green dot illumination in all light conditions.
For night hunting in general, your best bet for close-range targets would be the Vortex Venom simply due to its quick target acquisition.
We recommend one of the illuminated Primary Arms scopes for longer-range night hunting since the larger optics will capture more ambient light when you are in the open country.