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Whats The Best Deer Caliber
Big Game Hunting topics that dont fit other categories
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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:46 am    Post subject: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

Howdy. Im sure there are a lot of opinions this subject , well here is mine. I hunt in the east most shots are 200 yards or less. Average mature buck 150 to 210lbs average mature doe 110 to 140 lbs. For my type of deer hunting i prefer the 3/08 or the 7/08 with bullet weights from 140 grains to 180 grains. They are both highly accurate calibers with plenty of punch. With proper shot placement meat loss can be kept to a minimum. I have never lost a animal that was shot well with either one ( most of the time it yanks the earth out from under them Very Happy ). For the area i hunt in i think both are prime choices. What is your choice Question

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Knifeboy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

Joe,
I bet your gonna get a whole bunch of replies on this one.
I hunt here in the desert of Arizona and its not uncommon to be shooting at something 250 yards plus. So I like to use flat shooting rifles. I personaly prefer my .270 on my favorite critter to hunt and thats the Coues deer. Coues are a smaller breed of deer so the .270 does a pretty good job of putting them down. I like my 300 Ultra mag for elk, it shoots a long ways really flat and has the power to knock an elk down really easily.

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DallanC
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

.50 cal Muzzleloader of course! Wink

I've taken 8 or so Mule Deer with a .22-250, another 15 or so with my .50cal Muzzleloader, 1 with a .270 and 1 with a bow. I've been lucky todate to have never lost a deer. My favorite rifle to hunt with is a frontstuffer, sidelock or inline it dont matter to me.

My wife uses both a .243 and a 30-06. Shes never lost one either.

While I have had great success with a .22-250 (my father too, its all he uses for deer) I like a little more bullet so I suggest .243 with 100grn premium bullets (ie: Nosler Partitions) on the low end (my wife took a 350bc caribou with that setup, all hits complete pass throughs). From there on up its all good.

I've long thought a 7mm-08 is a dandy deer rifle, I love the short action, the wide selection of bullets, the low recoil.

Other favorite calibers I'd like to try are the 25-06, 257 Roberts and 240 WBY. Its just unfortunate we only get a single deer tag out here in the west. I'd love to live back east for a bit where I could take a deer with each of my favorite rifles.


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FrozenDog
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

Not an easy question. The best deer caliber varies from place to place because of amount of cover, expected range of shots, and so on. Where I live there is a 24 caliber minimum on any big game, so 22-250 etc is not even considered. I personally have dropped deer with 243, 30-30, 308, 338-06 and 30-378 Weatherby Mag. My hunting partners have used 284, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Savage and 30-06. They all work. I have not included shotguns because nobody I know uses them for big game - we tend to hunt at longer ranges than a shotgun can reach. For myself, I started with a 30-30, and it works well so long as you don't need to shoot 200+ yards. My 243 was my favorite for years, easy to carry, easy to shoot, extremely accurate, and it killed a pile of deer. Recently I have begun to favour my 338-06, and I have yet to see a deer go more than 15 yards after I hit it, but I would probably not have tried it if I did not also hunt elk and moose. What it comes down to is use something you can be comfortable with, something that will reach out as far as you expect to shoot, and something that will still have killing energy at that range (don't use a 22-250 at 400 yards on deer . . . it will reach that far but the energy will not be enough to insure a kill).
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grimel
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:22 am    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

That's an easy question:

Something from 243 to 338-06 ( the 7mm RemMag being the only loudenboomer in the bunch) shooting a bullet designed for med game that you can shoot well.

243 - 90-105gr
250 - 100-125gr
260 - 140gr
270 - 130gr
280 - 120-140gr
308 - 125-180gr
323 - 170-200gr
338 - 180-210gr

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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

Howdy. Hey Dallan here in Maryland we can take 12 deer in each season Archery/muzzleloader/rifle. After the first buck we must take 2 does then we can take another buck and then 8 more does. 36 total and thats just in my region there are two regions. Im happy with 4 or 5. Laughing

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Blaine
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

Talk about opening "Pandora's Box" Laughing There are more opinions about "What is the best deer caliber?" than there are "real" deer hunters. I've been chasing Whitetails from Louisiana to Maine and Virginia to Illinois for over 35 years. I've seen deer killed with a lot of rifle /handgun calibers as well as shotguns. Almost every one of them worked great in the right hands and in the right circumstances. If I could only own one caliber (rifle or handgun) and was only going to hunt deer, I would have to choose the 270. It is flat shooting for the longer ranges yet still has enough "punch" left over to penetrate on those less that perfect angles that deer sometimes present us with. It is not unpleasant to shoot and good factory ammo is available everywhere. Also, almost every gun maker offers it, even the T/C Encore. Having said all that, I'm looking forward to hunting with my T/C Encore in 308 this fall. Confused Exclamation

Good hunting....whatever you choose....Blaine

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Coyote_Hunter_
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 1:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

Don't know about the "best" as that is pretty subjective. But here's what I use when I get a tag:

.257 Roberts, 115g Barnes TSX
7mm Mag, 160g North Fork bonded
.375Win, 220g Hornady JFP
.300Win Mag, 180g North Fork bonded
.44 Mag, 240g Speer JSP or 300g Speer UCSP, revolver and carbine
.45-70, 350g North Fork bonded
.50 Muzzleloader, 350g Thompson Maxi-Hunter

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calsibley
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:56 am    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

In Canada I imagine more deer, and moose as well, fall each year to the venerable old .303SMLE. In the states it would appear more deer are dropped by the .30-30 each year than other calibers. Maybe in both cases it's merely due to the large number of those rifles still in service. I doubt many hunters would say they are the best calibers for the job, but they do seem to get the job done. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:04 am    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

Howdy The 30-30 does take alot of deer each season. Around here a lot of people use the 30-06 wich i am sure does a fine job but i never cared for it (don't want to bunch any bodys shorts ). (imo) the 308 does everything the 06 will do up to the 180gr bullet with more accuracy and less recoil. Just my opinion

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Coyote_Hunter_
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

shrpshtrjoe wrote:
Howdy The 30-30 does take alot of deer each season. Around here a lot of people use the 30-06 wich i am sure does a fine job but i never cared for it (don't want to bunch any bodys shorts ). (imo) the 308 does everything the 06 will do up to the 180gr bullet with more accuracy and less recoil. Just my opinion

Another reason not to get a .30-06 is they say if you have one you don't need another rifle. Horrors!

Had a very nice used Marlin .30-30 follow me home from the gun show today. Sweet Sixteen and barely a mark on her!

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moose2
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

Like most other replies, the best deer rifle is a pretty debatable question.
My favorite is still the .257 Roberts with a 115 GR. Nos. Partition. Used it all over the Northwest and the midwest with great results out to 300 yds.
I like it because it reloads well, performs well, has low recoil, and its a Classic caliber.

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calsibley
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:36 am    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

We've got almost as many moose here as deer although the seasons for each do not overlap. A lot of hunters will use one rifle for both species. I have a .308Win., but wonder if the 7/08 wouldn't also do the job on moose?
I would think so. Best wishes.

Cal - Montreal
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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 6:19 pm    Post subject: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

It depends. I like the .270 Win., .280 Rem. .30-06 Spfd and 8mm Mauser. So areas near here are shotgun only or muzzleloader then I use a 12 gauge or .50 flintl;ock. All the best...
Gil

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BillPa
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 3:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Whats The Best Deer Caliber Reply with quote

Joe, for over 40 years of this stuff, I've discoverd the best caliber for deer is the one you being told about at the moment. The only other thing that will cause more arguments is if your wife and girlfriend show up at camp at the same time.

Choices are what this business is all about. A rifle and caliber that YOU can shoot well is generally the best.

Nice way of duck'n the issue, heh?

Bill
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