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.
The 40-second video was shared to the r/Hunting channel by user Darth1Football. Ethan Boone is the shooter protecting his sheep, and he recorded the footage through his thermal riflescope, a Pulsar Thermion 2 LRF XP50.
As more than one Redditer pointed out, the video 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.
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, Boone keeps recording while he 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, Boone 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.
After holding patiently for about 15 seconds, he 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 Boone to squeeze the trigger and make a well-placed shot, dropping the coyote in its tracks.
More important than the gear Boone 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,” Boone says at the end of the video. “Protect this house, save the sheep. Coyote down.”