Ammo & Gear Reviews

Hevi-Shot Dead Coyote

Although Dead Coyote was built for hammering song dogs, this load pulls double duty for waterfowling at distances beyond 45 yards. 

ENVIRON-Metal now has a shotshell utilizing its hybrid-metal Hevi-Shot in the larger T-shot size. Dead Coyote, as its name suggests, was designed for predator hunting, where its heavier-than-lead density and T-shot pellets provide distinct downrange ballistic advantages over traditional lead loads, namely magnum turkey and buckshot.

Dead Coyote is available in two configurations, both rated at 1,350 feet per second: a 3-inch shell with 1 1/2 ounces of shot (50 pellets), and a 3 1/2-inch shell with 15⁄8 ounces of shot (54 pellets). There may be fewer pellets per ounce than with the smaller shot sizes, but each .20-inch T-size pellet carries more energy—11 foot-pounds at 100 yards. That translates into extended range and cleaner kills. Because Hevi-Shot is 10 percent heavier than lead and 54 percent more dense than steel, it’s superior to the two metals in penetration and knockdown power.

Unlike the company’s turkey, waterfowl and pheasant loads, which utilize drop-cast Hevi-Shot, Dead Coyote pellets are formed from compressed powder. This results in consistent pellet size and truer spherical-shaped pellets, two qualities that elude the company’s drop-cast shot. Measuring the pellets, I found they were all within plus or minus .001 inch of the .20-inch prescribed size. Protecting the pellets against deformity is plastic buffering and a shotcup that is relatively flexible when compared to those wads typically found in steel loads. Moisture is kept at bay by a water-resistant seal on the case mouth, an important consideration in a duck blind.

At the range I found Hevi-Shot Dead Coyote patterned very well. Using a Remington Model 870 Super Magnum choked to improved modified with a TRUGLO Titan adjustable choke tube, five shots at 40 yards averaged 43 pellets within a 30-inch circle and 15 pellets inside a 10-inch circle. Tight patterns coupled with high retained energy left little wonder as to why this shotshell is lethal beyond normal shotgunning range. Recently I had an opportunity to field-test Hevi-Shot Dead Coyote while pass-shooting resident Canada geese. The first outing offered only one shot, but it was a good one that connected with a honker nearly 50 yards distant. The sound of the hit was unmistakable, like a baseball bat smacking a 2×4.

A few weeks later I gave Dead Coyote another test. It was a windy, bluebird day—the kind that keeps geese high in the air. The first flock was heading wide right of my position until the birds caught a glimpse of the decoys. As if on cue, they swung in for a closer look and cut the distance to approximately 40 yards. The closest bird crumpled at the shot—half of my daily limit. The next group was a bit farther, around 65 to 70 yards. I led the goose by several feet, and at the shot it tumbled stone dead to the ground. Two shots, two geese, limit filled.

I was unable to recover a single pellet from any of my birds, as all passed completely through—a testament to the pellets’ energy. I’ve never seen anything like it.

While I didn’t get a chance to try Hevi-Shot Dead Coyote on predators, it certainly made short work of those geese at extended ranges. I’m sure it will drop coyotes and other varmints just as well.