22LR and 22mag are both rim fire so they would be illegal at night in your state.
incorrect. I suppose it's my fault because I didn't check my laws properly
before posting. Directly from our hunting regs
Legal Equipment: Furbearer & Coyote - firearms (except full auto), bow and arrow, and crossbow
Use of Artificial Light: Furbearers and coyotes may be taken at night, but the use of artificial light, including optics that project or amplify lights, is prohibited. However, hand held, battery powered flashlights, hat lamps, or hand held lanterns may be used to take trapped furbearers, trapped coyotes, or furbeareres treed by dogs with .22 rimfire rifles and handguns.
translation - any firearm may be used to take coyotes. Including a .17 HMR, .22 WMR, .22 LR, .22 Short, etc.
I mentioned that I shoot competitively because I believe the majority of the members that read this and intend to use the information are not. I also believe that most are not deer hunters.
presumption perhaps? I realize this is NOT a gun board or anything of the sort, however it seems that many who live in areas with a high enough coyote population either are, or have the gumption to learn, to be proficient enough to take a 'yote.
Not being either I would question their accuracy and temperament/excitement at the time of the shot. Given that, and including the fact that you are shooting in the dark, I would want them to use something that will require a little less pinpoint accuracy then a rim fire weapon would produce. I want a clean kill, not a wounded animal.
personally, I don't go looking for 'yotes at night, but would not hesitate if the poor fools wondered on me. And the other thing to consider is COST. While I would say about the most effective coyote gun would be a decent bolt gun in .223 with a top end powered scope of 9x to 12x. Ammo is relatively inexpensive and it's got more than enough whallup to get the job done.
However, most folks who have a pest problem aren't going to chunk out $400+ for that one task. $100 to 200 would be more likely? A decent .22 or .22 mag can be had for that and ammo is MUCH cheaper. And that's why I figure if somebody's already got anything else around that'll kill 'em dead, then use it.