Slugs Guns for Deer ... Coyote Bounties

Bolt-action vs. pump-action slug guns...best states for a coyote and bird hunter.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Q: I'm looking to get a new slug gun this year for deer season. I'd like a fully rifled barrel that's very accurate with open sights. I've heard good things about the Mossberg bolt action, but I am also thinking about getting a slug barrel for my Benelli Nova. --J.

A: Slug guns and ammo have gotten a lot more accurate in the past decade or so, but even with a rifled barrel there simply isn't going to be any practical difference between a bolt-action "slug rifle" and a rifled barrel on your Benelli, particularly with open sights.

The biggest difference might lie in the trigger. Many shotguns have triggers that work fine for scattergunning but don't have the crisp pull necessary for good slug placement. If the trigger pull is good on your Benelli, buy it a new deer barrel.

Q: I want to move to a good state for coyote hunting, and if possible good bird hunting, too. Is there any state that still has a bounty on coyotes? I'm thinking about Oregon or Montana. --W.B.

A: I don't know of any state that still pays a bounty on coyotes, but some stockmen's associations do. Just about any Western state has lots of coyotes these days, so the big difference would be the bird hunting. Oregon has a little more varied bird hunting than Montana. Both have the standard Western mix of pheasants, Hungarian partridge, and prairie and forest grouse; Oregon also has good populations of valley quail and chukar partridge. Oregon is considerably warmer in the winter too, if that makes a difference. I live in Montana, and it gets a lot colder here than many immigrants can tolerate. In fact it sometimes gets cold enough to freeze spit before it hits the ground.