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Not quite ready to hang up the camo once you've tagged your trophy bull? Who says you have to? Pull out your highly capable AR-15 and load up for some coyote hunting or varmint hunting.
Few coyotes are able to make a wily escape with the long-ranging 400-600 yard .223 Rem cartridge, especially when it's paired up with a variable scope to track those sly creatures.
Here are the AR 15 scopes that can do it best on your MSR (Modern Sporting Rifle) year round!*
Top Coyote Hunting AR-15 Scopes In 2023
|Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40 V-Brite||CHECK PRICE|
|Trijicon TR24R AccuPoint 1-4x24||CHECK PRICE|
|Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x50 Firedot Twilight Hunter||CHECK PRICE|
|Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24||CHECK PRICE|
|ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x||CHECK PRICE|
|Crimson Trace Brushline Pro 4-12x40 BDC Predator||CHECK PRICE|
Coyotes - they're predators, pests, and extremely intelligent. They're highly adaptable creatures which makes them a welcome challenge to hunt. They use the cover of night to slink into chicken coops and kidnap livestock. In some states, population control is a must, and regulations may be forgiving and generous. But, are you equipped with the best coyote hunting scope to join in on the hunt?
Can an AR-15 (ArmaLite 15) be used for predator & coyote hunting? Why not? The MSR offers fast follow-up shots, easy loading/unloading, and accuracy to realistic distances that keep you in stealth mode.
If you want to take your night hunting to the next level you might want to read our article about the best thermal scopes for coyote hunting or night vision scopes for hunting coyotes.
Predator hunters have been doing it for some time, long before it became a fad, and with the increasing expansion of cartridge and ammo options, it'll still be done for quite some time. The popular .223 can be modified with loads and barrel lengths to achieve even faster and more accurate, instantaneous kill shots - exactly what you need for coyote hunting.
So, what's the best scope to mount to your coyote hunting rifle? It's definitely going to be a variable scope that can make use of some close-range work but can still allow you to dial out or holdover as necessary. That isn't to say we're against fixed power scopes either. We have a scope just for that in our lineup.
Coyotes have a keen sense of smell and sight, and they're fast. You're going to need decent magnification, field of view, and maybe an illuminated crosshair if you're going to play the part of the predator!
6 Best Scopes For AR 15 Coyote Hunting in 2023
1. Vortex Crossfire II 3-9X40 Review
Vortex takes top position as the best AR-15 scope in this category and it's not a $1000 scope that takes first place in the lineup, it's a $200 one that gets it done. The Vortex Crossfire II series of scopes is very well-known with the hunting and target shooting masses. Who hasn't heard of the Crossfires? If you sheepishly raised your hand, here's what you've been missing out on.
- Illuminated reticle
- Fully multi-coated optics
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Build quality issues
The Crossfire II scope is an affordable option that gets by rather well without the bells and whistles of higher end models. This particular one has 3-9x power to keep an eye on those coyotes whether they're 75 or 400 yards from you.
The reticle on this model is the V-Brite. It uses Vortex's V-Plex reticle with an illuminated center dot for rapid target acquisition. The illumination is powered with a CR2032 battery, and it's purposely intended for low-light use in the field, you know, the time of day coyotes are out and about.
Turrets have 60 MOA of elevation and windage adjustment travel with 1/4 MOA clicks and 15 MOA revolutions. Turrets are re-settable to zero and they come capped for external protection from the elements and from accidentally being nudged out of place without knowing it - you know what we're talking about.
The fully multi-coated optics add to the clarity and brightness that Vortex optics are known for, but unfortunately, even the best sight picture won't do anything for you if the reticle comes canted. Some defective models have reticle issues and build quality problems. Yes, it's made in China, but it's Vortex that covers the unlimited lifetime warranty on it.
This scope has the right specs and features to be hunting coyotes tonight, and it tops our list because it also sports the right kinda price!
2. Trijicon TR24R AccuPoint 1-4X24 Review
It's not the best price-friendly option in our lineup - okay, it's the most expensive one, but it should come as no surprise that it's a Trijicon that raises its flag and sports a price tag worth some serious consideration. What does the AccuPoint have to offer the fanatic AR coyote hunter? Here's what!
- Battery-free reticle illumination
- Glass-etched reticle
- Close to mid-range
- Low 1-4x power
- Multi-purpose scope
In some circles, the price for this scope is reasonable and worth it. In this lineup, it's on the expensive end. However, it's a Trijicon and they're revered for their stunning, bright glass clarity, accuracy, and built-like-a-tank build quality. Trijicon's are often worth the high price.
When you see that this scope has a glass-etched reticle, you know straight off the bat there's some top quality craftsmanship here. With a 30 mm tube body, you have a total of 90 MOA adjustment travel. The low power of 1-4x allows rapid use to make quick work of close to mid-range shots.
Afraid batteries may fail on you while dusk approaches and you are out coyote hunting ? The TR24R AccuPoint is a battery-free illuminated scope. The reticle is powered by fiber optics and tritium for a lit-up aiming point to get on target. Speaking of the aiming point, this scope has the Triangle Post reticle that draws your eye quickly to the sneaking coyote that thinks he's alone.
Compact - 10.3" and lightweight - 14.4 oz, it's a great addition to your MSR that won't weigh you down. However, eye relief is pushing it at its listed 3.2", but it hasn't been mentioned as a drawback from the masses.
If you're using this same scope for coyote hunting, predator, big-game, and even some tactical and range shooting, this Trijicon is an all-round champ!
3. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x50 Firedot Twilight Hunter
What can make the all the difference for a ‘yote hunt? An illuminated reticle. Fortunately, Leupold thought of that when they upgraded the VX-Freedom line with Firedot technology. This is what the coyotes will face off with once you mount it to your AR-15.
- Firedot reticle
- Motion sensor
- Close to mid-range
- Lifetime Guarantee
- No lens caps
For a scope at this price point, it’s disappointing to see that it doesn’t come with caps. You better budget that in when you pick a mount for this scope. Fair warning to ya. Moving on…
The VX-Freedom 3-9x50 obviously has a very nice, large aperture. It’s made for low-light hunting conditions and the Firedot Twilight Hunter reticle is a fitting compliment to its specs. Motion Sensor Technology will also help to conserve battery life, but you’re not out of a reticle even if it dies. It’s highly visible although a little thin.
In all of its duplex glory, it’s simple, streamlined, and best suited to short and mid-range shots. The center dot has eight brightness levels and is activated and changed via the push button turret on the left of the scope – nope, it’s not a side focus. The scope has been parallax set for 150 yards.
With a big 30mm tube, submersion waterproofness, optical protection against internal fogging, and a recoilproof erector system made to hold zero, the VX-Freedom scope is a tough, little thing.
While you might gripe about the price for what is supposed to be a budget and entry-level scope, you won’t be griping when you take down prowlers in conditions where your other scopes would fail you. Free yourself from a predator-infested backyard and get a VX-Freedom Firedot Twilight Hunter scope.
4. Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24
The Strike Eagle LPVO is made for close-range engagement. Effective for target shooting, hunting, and perhaps some competition use, the 1-8x24 offers versatility for the jack-of-all-trades shooter.
- FMC optics
- SFP reticle
- Capped turrets
- Vortex tough
- Eyebox at max power
It may come as a surprise, but the Strike Eagle LPVO has been an effective hog and coyote hunting scope for many a hunter on top an AR-15 and AR-10. The low power is extremely effective for fast use inside 100 yards, but it has the extended magnification for close-up headshots on hogs. Though not a long-range scope, it has been taken out beyond 500 yards with ease.
It features the BDC3 MOA reticle with an illuminated 1 MOA dot, illuminated segmented circle, and non-illuminated BDC drop crosshair. It also features posts that looks akin to the German #1 as it draws your eye to the BDC3 reticle. Sitting in the SFP, you must move to max power to use the BDC, and the eyebox at 8x is less forgiving as buyers state they need to get perfectly behind it.
The glass-etched reticle is highly visible in black without illumination and many use it this way during daylight conditions. Come lowlight, the adjustable brightness is engaged, however, it lacks intermittent off positions between settings.
The turrets offer a lot of adjustment travel with 140 MOA as the adjustments sit in a 30mm erector tube. Clicks are in ¼ MOA, turrets are resettable to zero, and they’re capped. A new feature to the redesigned Strike Eagle is the location of the power indicators that can now be seen without coming off the eyepiece. A throw lever is also included to further the speedy and rapid-use concept.
Weighing in at 17.6 oz and being 10” long, it’s one of the lighter LPVOs. It’s IPX7 waterproof and has been nitrogen-purged. Like all of Vortex’s optics, it’s covered under the VIP Warranty.
5. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x Day/Night Scope
In total, without the costs involved of purchasing an IIT night vision scope, the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro offers an inexpensive, digital alternative. With 5-20x, day/night dual-purpose use, and long-lasting battery life, the 4K Pro puts affordable night vision into the hands of predator hunters.
- Day/night use
- 5-20x magnification
- Multiple features
- HD sensor resolution
- Ultra-long battery life
The 4K Pro has ATN’s Obsidian IV Dual Core and 4K M265 sensor with 600 lp/mm resolution. It has an HD 1280x720 display that shows a natural, color image in day mode and monochrome (black/white) image in night vision mode.
Housecleaning specs include a 30mm tube, eye relief of 3.54”, a hefty weight of 2.2 lbs, and a length of 14.9”. It operates in -20 – 120-degrees F climates and has 18+ hours of long-lasting battery life via the internal lithium-ion battery.
One Shot Zero makes for fast sighting-in. A Ballistic Calculator and multiple zero profiles make it easy to switch out the 4K Pro to multiple rifles. A Smart Mil Dot Reticle can be adjusted to feature mil increments to your preference and is ‘dynamic,’ meaning that it behaves like a FFP reticle. Additionally, there are multiple reticles and color options to toggle between.
No predator setup is complete without a rangefinder, so ATN outfitted the 4K to be compatible with their ABL laser rangefinder but at a separate cost. The digital scope has Recoil Activated Video to capture the takedown (if you forget) to start recording. But a feature that ATN went the extra mile to provide is the Dual Stream Video. Given that it’s WiFi compatible, it connects to iOS and Android platforms to capture the hunt on the 4K Pro’s SD card but is also streamed online simultaneously.
With a lot of tools at your disposal, the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro is a hunting scope with the works for those prowling in the late hours of the night to the early hours of the morn.
6. Crimson Trace Brushline Pro 4-12x40 BDC Predator
A new brand to the field in the rifle scope industry, Crimson Trace brings to the table a scope made specifically for predators. A ‘yote extravaganza is what happens when the Brushline Pro meets AR-15.
- BDC Predator reticle
- ELD glass
- New brand
Crimson Trace is a kahuna in the laser world, but when they took on rifle scopes too, there’s a lot yet to be seen. But if they keep pushing out quality products like the Brushline Pro, they won’t have to do much to set themselves up. Their scopes will prove themselves out in the field.
This scope has the BDC Predator reticle. It’s an SFP reticle which is simple and easily visible – traits hunters love. But it takes a different route than the standard BDC dots opting instead to sport see-through diamond aiming points. It’s perfect for the AR-15 since the reticle is pre-calibrated for the .223 Rem.
For the price, it’s great to see that it has ELD glass, also known as extra-low dispersion glass. You can bet you’ll have a maximum clarity and detail from dusk to dawn.
It’s completely waterproof and can handle being submersed and is nitrogen-purged for fogproof protection. It’s also shockproof to vibrations and transportation – bed of truck, bumpy back road, ring a bell?
Whether or not you mount it to an AR, it can handle recoil. Yes – heavy hitters, here it comes if you decide you’re out to knock out wild boars or bigger predators.
Backed by a lifetime warranty that compares with the best warranties in the industry, you have nothing to worry about. Crimson Trace can keep up with scope quality, performance, warranties, and price points. They may make other brands nervous if they keep this up.
What to Look for in a AR-15 Scope for Hunting Coyote
Every AR hunter thinks they have the best setup in the world - maybe. It's certainly true for them, but what they prefer may not be the best setup for you.
What is your hunting terrain like? Are you going to be out in the darkest hours of night? Are you using the same setup for big-game hunting, too?
The factors that go into choosing a hunting scope, regardless if it's for an AR or a traditional hunting rifle, can be just as modifiable as the AR-15 rifle is itself. In that case, you'll have to determine what specs and features are right for your hunting style. But, we can always lend a hand and suggest some ideas to think about.
There are those that say you don't have to spend a lot on a coyote hunting scope, and then there are those who are shelling out over a grand just to get it done for one hunting season. Where do you set the limits? We're sure you know how much you can afford, now spend a little more. You'll notice the difference in glass quality a little extra money can buy you when it's dark out and you need to discern between predators that are out during the night stalk. Our lineup has budget to mid-priced scope options to give you an idea of how much other hunters are spending on their scope system for their AR.
|Vortex Crossfire II||Under $200||V-Brite reticle, Illuminated reticle, CR2032 battery 150-hour runtime, ¼ MOA adjustments, SFP reticle|
|Trijicon TR24R Accupoint||Under $1000||Glass-etched reticle, LPVO, Battery-free illumination, Fiber optics & tritium|
|Leupold VX-Freedom||Under $350||Firedot illuminated reticle, Motion sensor, Long eye relief, ¼ MOA adjustments|
|Vortex Strike Eagle||Under $500||SFP reticle, Illumination, BDC3 MOA reticle, IPX7 waterproof, ½ MOA adjustments|
|ATN X-Sight 4K Pro||Under $800||Digital night vision, Multiple digital features, Day/night use, 5-20x magnification, Ultra-long battery life|
|Crimson Trace Brushline Pro||Under $400||ELD glass, BDC Predator reticle, Fixed 100-yard parallax, ¼ MOA adjustments, SFP reticle|
This factor will largely depend on what your hunting style and terrain is like. You'll know best whether low power will get the job done for close-mid range shots, or you might prefer a large objective for some extra power to stretch the distance to the capabilities of your cartridge. Are most of your shots under 150, 300 yards? Will you be using your long-range shooting skills to take down coyotes 600 yards plus during the day?
You'll also need to consider your field of view to adequately spot predators. The higher up you go in magnification, the more field of view you will lose. Additionally, if you're using a ballistic drop compensating reticle, you can only use holdover points at max magnification.
|Vortex Crossfire II||3-9x||40 mm|
|Trijicon TR24R Accupoint||1-4x||24 mm|
|Leupold VX-Freedom||3-9x||50 mm|
|Vortex Strike Eagle||1-8x||24 mm|
|ATN X-Sight 4K Pro||5-20x||70 mm|
|Crimson Trace Brushline Pro||4-12x||40 mm|
It would be convenient if coyotes came out broadside during the light of day, but that's not often the case. One of the difficulties of hunting these predators is they prefer to use the cover of darkness to get up to mischief making them hard to detect, identify, and shoot accurately. You need good glass that can keep up to the demands of low light conditions. Being brand-specific, maybe opting for a large objective lens, or an illuminated reticle can help improve your sight picture and target take down.
|Vortex Crossfire II||FMC|
|Trijicon TR24R Accupoint||FMC|
|Vortex Strike Eagle||FMC|
|ATN X-Sight 4K Pro||FMC|
|Crimson Trace Brushline Pro||FMC|
Overall, a larger riflescope configuration (magnification & objective lens) can get you further or might keep you out minutes longer, but it also adds weight and bulk. On a hunting setup, it might be preferred to stay light especially if there's some hiking to coyote hidey holes.
You should also consider mounting systems. Cantilever mounts are best on an AR-15, and there are some scopes with 1" tubes. If you have spare rings around, try them out.
|Vortex Crossfire II||12 inches||15 oz||1 inch|
|Trijicon TR24R Accupoint||10.3 inches||14.4 oz||30 mm|
|Leupold VX-Freedom||12.1 inches||17 oz||30 mm|
|Vortex Strike Eagle||10 inches||17.6 oz||30 mm|
|ATN X-Sight 4K Pro||14.9 inches||35.2 oz||30 mm|
|Crimson Trace Brushline Pro||14.1 inches||15.5 oz||1 inch|
Hunting scopes should be held to a high level of durability. Not only are you hiking miles, getting in and out of trucks, climbing tree stands, and dragging gear along with you, you also have bad weather and terrain that always seems to work against you. The last thing you need is a big scratch on the lens, fogged-up glass, or a zero that’s way off base so that you're forced into calling it a day when you just began. Point taken? It's gotta be worth its salt.
|Vortex Crossfire II||Yes||Yes|
|Trijicon TR24R Accupoint||Yes||Yes|
|Vortex Strike Eagle||Yes||Yes|
|ATN X-Sight 4K Pro||No*||Not disclosed|
|Crimson Trace Brushline Pro||Yes||Yes|
It doesn't matter how much your scope costs, make sure it comes with some sort of money back guarantee or lifetime warranty. The big brands in the industry often have the best warranties that includes lifetime, transferable warranties, and no questions/no proof of purchase needed. Some underdog brands wanting to make the big time often have excellent and highly responsive customer service. Be sure to be ready to inspect and test out your scope within your return window period and to keep proof of purchase for the less than the best warranties.
|Vortex Crossfire II||VIP Warranty|
|Trijicon TR24R Accupoint||10-15-year Warranty|
|Leupold VX-Freedom||Lifetime Guarantee|
|Vortex Strike Eagle||VIP Warranty|
|ATN X-Sight 4K Pro||2-year Warranty|
|Crimson Trace Brushline Pro||Lifetime Warranty|
The AR-15: Best Rifle for Coyote Hunting
As modifiable as the MSR is, it was bound to be recognized as an excellent weapon for coyote & predator hunting. The key in producing successful kill shots, and we mean drop-dead-in-its-tracks type of kill shots, when using an AR is to ensure you have the right gear.
It goes beyond barrel lengths, choice of cartridge, bullet velocity, and usable distances for those loads, it must include optics. Can your scope maximize your AR-15 setup? Does your scope allow you to identify and track your target at last legal light of day? It might be time to upgrade your optics to one of the coyote hunting scopes above!
*Be informed about local and state regulations regarding predator/coyote hunting. Time restraints, fur harvesting, licensing, and more factors may affect the legality of the hunt.