Handgun vs. Coyote/Bobcat

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by raindog, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. raindog

    raindog Member

    Aug 30, 2009
    For years, the most threatening thing I've seen in woods in which I regularly hike have been deer and rabbits. Recently I've seen both coyotes and bobcats.

    Fortunately both seemed rather scared of me and scampered off. But it did get me thinking...would the Glock G19 (9mm) I carry be sufficient for self-defense if one of them was not in a friendly mood?

    I don't have a dog any more but will again some day...would not like to see him tangle with these sorts of animals either.

    If 9mm isn't sufficient, I could carry a G21 instead (45 ACP) if that is a better caliber for this purpose.

    To be clear...yes, I understand these creatures typically run away and I'm not going into the woods petrified of being attacked by coyotes, but always better to be prepared. I'm usually more worried about 2-legged varmints.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    If you don't accidentally corner them somehow, that is all they want to do, avoid you.

    Gonna be hard to hit either one with a handgun, just worry about the two legged ones.
    Demi-human likes this.
  3. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    Coyotes and Bobcats are less of a problem then domesticated dogs. Yes Rover Boy, let out in the morning thus free to roam all day is problematic in packs taking down livestock. It happens more often than you think. We are adjacent to a NC state park with peak visitation but few if any wildlife incidents which is interesting considering our increasing Black Bear population. I've had several pear trees damaged by black bears. I work on the property. My EDC is a S&W Shield 9X19mm.
    PRM, macadore, Gordon and 2 others like this.
  4. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

    May 26, 2017
    I would think that a 9mm would work fine for those two animals. Any good hollow point bullet should be fine.
    Dave T, R_P_K, Merle1 and 3 others like this.
  5. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    N. GA
    Not surprising that predators are showing up where food is available.

    Given a choice I'd rather not face animals with a 9mm. I'm more of a .357 or .44mag person when afield.
    Anchorite and Duster340 like this.
  6. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    Libby Mt
    Glock 20 10 mm Should do the job if necessary.

    I heard somewhere that if you see a bobcat or big cat, he’s already seen you many more times.

    Sounds about right ..
    FlSwampRat, R_P_K and Lucky Derby like this.
  7. LaneP

    LaneP Member

    Jul 31, 2019
    I would feel completely comfortable in such a scenario with a 9mm, though I would be leaning toward heavier rather than lighter bullets, and most likely something like a good 124 grain JHP load.
    mrmike7189, Merle1, BSA1 and 2 others like this.
  8. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

    May 25, 2005
    Colorado Front Range
    As stated above, feral dogs are more of a concern than coyotes or bobcats. I would be OK with a 9mm in that environment.
    mrmike7189, R_P_K, ATLDave and 3 others like this.
  9. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    Y'all know a coyote is the size of a dog, right? And a bobcat is not a mountain lion and clocks in under a large, obese house cat. If you can hit them, a 9mm will absolutely do the job.

    That said, you are not looked at as prey by either of these critters. A pack of 'yotes, maybe...MAYBE if they were starving, you were way out in the wilds, and were showing signs of such weakness that they thought you would be worth a go. In my neighborhood they dont eat anything much bigger than an old fat dog. My dad had a lab/chow mix that would hunt them and drag the coyote's dead body home.

    If its not a boar or bear, most any handgun will take care of them....if you can hit them.

    Me, live and let live. I would be more concerned with a cougar getting the drop on me. Then again, cougars in this area dont seem to tangle with 200lb men by choice. Plenty of those old fat dogs to eat first.
    R_P_K, Gordon, gotboostvr and 6 others like this.
  10. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

    Dec 25, 2011

    I narrowly escaped with my life when this Coyote attacked me.
    Tayne, Dave T, hannstv and 15 others like this.
  11. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

    May 25, 2005
    Colorado Front Range
  12. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

    Sep 3, 2018
    I'm going by experience. In ten years on the swamp, it's been mostly Rattlers and Moccasins that are a real threat. The rarer wild dog. If you think you are going to shoot a Bobcat, an accurate rifle with irons. Coyote ? VERY accurate rifle with a real good scope.

    But it's counter-intuitive, at times. All the venomous snakes have either been on roads or near buildings, never out in the swamp.
  13. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

    Jan 11, 2015
    I tend to let the Bobcats and Yotes do their thing. The coyotes I've had close encounters with wanted nothing to do with me. And the rare bobcat sightings tend to be a flash as they slip outta sight. Now feral dogs are more of a concern. I've had two encounters with them that got interesting. In both cases I nearly opened fire. 1st time two large mixes of some type came with in about 10 yards of me as I was hiking through the woods doing some scouting. They were not acting aggressively, but also showing no fear as I yelled at them. I started easing back the way I came and they began following. I backed up to a big oak and had my 629 trained on the closer of the 2 with the hammer back. They hung around for a bit and took off. The 2nd time was during shotgun deer season in IL. Was leaning against a tree at the end of the day when 2 dogs came in front of me acting unusual but not getting closer than about 10-15 yards. I wasn't 2 concerned as I had my Mossy 500 12 gauge trained on them. It was when I heard a rustling of leaves off to my right and noticed a 3rd dog slinking in that I got anxious. Fortunately my cousin came walking in from his spot to meet and walk back.out of the woods to my truck. The dogs spotted him and took off. While I didn't feel under armed in either encounter, it did get me thinking about the benefits and importance of a sidearm when out and about in the woods.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  14. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

    Feb 1, 2016
    I would take a 15 round 9mm over a 6 round .44 or even a rifle for bob cat and coyote defense like you describe. Like you said you just want defense, not to hunt them. First shot will scare either away if either hang around long enough for you to even see them in the first place. If for some unknown reason you actually have to shoot one a 9mm will come to target much quicker than a rifle and you will get a much quicker follow up shot than with a 44. I have killed a deer with a .380 (a deer with mangled legs twitching on the side of the highway that just destroyed my friends car) I am confident a 9mm will kill a bob cat or coyote.

    Carry what you feel comfortable with, 9mm, .44 or 45-70.
  15. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

    Jun 6, 2006

    Coyotes and like bobcats can be dangerous to children. A yote pack of the coydog or coywolf, or worse both mixed in the yote might be more dangerous. I would fear them more at night. If they attack for close in a glock in just about any caliber should be fine, but I would chose the 9x19. You want a light expanding bullet that is best suited for animals going from 25 lbs for the smaller adults to in to 60 plus for those with a bit of eastern grey wolf or dog in them. Heaven help you if find one crossed with pit lol.
    Around my place in FL i carry a 9x19 and in the summer a snub nose .38 with bird shot for water moccasins.
    Gordon likes this.
  16. DocRock

    DocRock Member

    Aug 19, 2019
    Colorado Springs
    As we are all well aware, "with modern ammunition, the 9mm Parabellum is effectively the equivalent of the 416 Rigby", so no worries with bobcats and coyote, neither of which will have anything to do with you unless rabid, or you are wearing a Gaga inspired meat-suit...
    Elkins45, Dave T, DeepSouth and 7 others like this.
  17. WYO

    WYO Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Agree. If a Glock 19 can't handle those, people surely should not be carrying them as general self-defense firearms.
  18. IdaD

    IdaD Member

    Oct 30, 2018
    Do some of you guys realize we're talking about a 20 to 30 pound wild dog or cat here? Your boot would likely be sufficient.
    Casefull, Texas10mm, PRM and 4 others like this.
  19. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

    May 25, 2005
    Colorado Front Range
    Some people who live in areas without interface with large predators have to gin up what they do have to justify certain purchases.
  20. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    Umm, there's a few funny notions rolling around in here, including the premise of the thread. However, I can share some experiences that are perhaps relevant, but are a small sample.

    I'm a professional forester and spent the first 12 years of my career working alone in the woods several days a week. The last three years that aspect of my life has greatly diminished due to "advancement" but I still go to the woods alone for work, and recreation both. I've actually had a lot of interesting animal encounters when I think about it.

    Bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions are prevalent where I live. Bear wander in now and then, and the occasional wolf, but the state typically removes them as they tend to cater to local ranchers pretty heavily. Of those three, bobcats are the least concerning to me. A few years ago I was scaling a deck of post and pole material to be sold, and while tagging and measuring the deck a bobcat came crawling out about four feet from me. It wanted nothing to do with me, and simply crawled back into the pile to get away. It was cute more than anything. When snow drops you can see the repeated cat tracks in the snow as they do their daily checks of the small log decks for bunnies to eat. Granted, if one was rabid, or you cornered one somehow, it could be a problem. However a BIG bobcat, and I mean real big, runs in the neighborhood of like 40 lbs. The only way a 9mm wouldn't stop it was if you were throwing the bullets at the cat rather than shooting them.

    Coyotes can be a little more hazardous, though every time I've seen them they were trying to get away from me with one exception. I was GPSing a timber sale unit when one came out of the bushes about 40 yards away. It turned, saw me, and charged. When it was about 20 yards away it must have realized I was way bigger than it initially realized, because it veered away into some other bushes and ran off. This was late spring, so I'm guessing it had pups nearby and was trying to chase me off, or lure me away from them. I've literally walked up on them dozens of times, including surprising one that was stalking a few deer that had a fawn in tow. They can be dangerous, particularly where they become unafraid of human habitation, or start to see human homes as a food source (garbage). There have also been instances of coyotes hunting in small packs. One tactic that has been observed is that an individual will approach an unleashed dog and attempt to play (play bow and other typical canine play activity). Then they get the domestic dog to follow back to where another coyote or two are waiting, and when they are in striking distance, they kill and eat the domestic dog. I've heard of a few instances locally of this happening where the dog owner looks out the window to see a coyote interacting with their dog. They run outside to stop it, and the coyote runs off. Unfortunately the dog follows because it's in play mode and not really listening to the owner. Children are at risk as well, illustrated by the video above. All that being said, 99% of the time they will run off if you encounter them in the woods. If they don't, a BIG coyote is maybe 40 lbs also, with an absolutely enormous one coming in at maybe 55 lbs. A 9mm loaded with quality ammo is going to be more than enough to stop one.

    Honestly, a 22 Mag is probably plenty to stop either animal. In fact I'd say a 9mm is ideal for coyotes, as you are more likely to be carrying more ammo, and several small targets may be hard to hit. Misses could be a factor.

    I see some mentions of 357 and 10mm. Well, if the notion is that you are better going with overkill, I get it. Also, if there are larger critters, like black bear or lions about, those cartridges are good choices as they will be perfectly adequate for all those animals. Though the behaviors of these animals are all different. If you've never been around lions, they make life spooky at times. If you've never seen one running, let me tell you that the word "speed" takes on a new meaning.

    However, the original question was about 9mm being adequate for bobcats and coyotes, and the answer is yes. With a good bullet it's more than adequate.

    I was actually charged by a fox in my driveway one night after walking home from the bar. It got within 8 feet of me. It ran off when I burst out laughing at its show of force. Back arched, hair bristled, sideways bounding motion to make it seem bigger...……. Pretty cute and funny to watch. It got an A for effort.
    burk, kcofohio, tommy.duncan and 10 others like this.
  21. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

    May 8, 2011
    Limerick, maine
    Been around coyotes all my life. Any 9mm will work. Tho i use 357 sig or a light fast 40 S&W for a little longer range. They do down rather easy. They are not thick skinned beast's. Last one i show was with a turkey load from a 20 gauge at about 15 yards.

    I assume the same for bobcats. We have them here. But all the ones i see in the woods are running from me. And they are also thin skinned and not massive. Alot of people around here hunt them with a 22lr.
  22. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Fl panhandle
    Cats and dogs? 9mm is fine. Even if you miss, they will be running away so fast you won't need a follow up.
  23. BlueHeelerFl

    BlueHeelerFl Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Treasure Coast, FL
    Recently there was an alleged bobcat attack in FL. From the story it soubds like the couple surprised the animal. The couple was also elderly and were not intimidating to the cat.


    A few months ago I heard a pack of coyotes howling when I left for work at 3am. They weren't all that far away, and it sounded like a bunch of them, so I decided to get going. I didn't feel like proving or disproving the theory that coyotes leave people alone.

    I'd be more concerned with my elderly mother going outside at night than myself
    Buzznrose and Lucky Derby like this.
  24. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    May 30, 2017
    The couple of times I've spotted a bobcat in the wild, it was a rare treat. They are extremely elusive and they don't even pop up on my radar as a potential threat.

    Coyotes are different. We don't have feral dogs out here since the wolves, bears, cougars, and coyotes eliminate any stray canine within a few days.

    It's creepy to have a pack of howling and yipping coyotes in town at night, but they only terrorize local pets. They are getting bolder and more aggressive, however, in some areas where there is little to no hunting pressure and they are losing their fear of man.

    That being said, most coyote hunting is done with a .22 cal rifle such as the .223. .22-50, and even .22 Mag and .17 HMR. A Glock 19 on your hip is perfect coyote medicine in case the extremely unlikely scenario occurs that you would need to defend yourself against one.
    Lucky Derby likes this.
  25. Scrapiron45

    Scrapiron45 Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    Been chased by a mad raccoon once, managed to kick him hard enough to turn him, don't believe I could of hit him with a pistol, it just happened too fast. Wife works at local health dept, says most common rabid animal attacks are coons and skunks followed by feral dogs and cats, occasional coyote. Have shot several dogs from the tractor seat with a nine, they get close, don't think they realize I'm there.
    MutinousDoug, Buzznrose and Walkalong like this.
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