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Minimum Caliber for deer #8372629 09/02/21 05:32 PM
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I'm tired of all the Covid arguing going on. Let's argue about something else. I think .223 is too small for deer. Yes, it will kill a deer. I know that. But because of it's light weight and small frontal area, it is not as effective as a larger, heavier bullet. .243 is marginal IMO. Calibers that I have had, or still do have, that I think are a better choice for deer:

.270
30-06
45-70
.308
300BLK
30-30
.357 Mag
6.5CM


Originally Posted by SnakeWrangler
Originally Posted by TurkeyHunter
And make Kamila president

She’d just end up blowing it......
Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372681 09/02/21 06:15 PM
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If I can't vote for the 223 then I ain't voting.

Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372686 09/02/21 06:18 PM
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Back when I had a place to rifle hunt, my 25-06 never let me down. I have shot deer with a .243 up to a 7MM Magnum and 30-06 and still prefer the 25-06.

Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372687 09/02/21 06:19 PM
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40# longbow


For it is not the quarry that we truly seek, but the adventure.
Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: Old Rabbit] #8372700 09/02/21 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Rabbit
Back when I had a place to rifle hunt, my 25-06 never let me down. I have shot deer with a .243 up to a 7MM Magnum and 30-06 and still prefer the 25-06.



IMO, the 25/06 is not the minimum for deer, it's the optimum! wink

Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372705 09/02/21 06:31 PM
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I'd say it could depend on how far you're shooting too. Most of deep east Tx is so heavily pined, I've played on several leases where you only have 100-150 yard foot plots and can damn near iron sight a lot of your shots. A .308 wastes a lot of meat in close quarters! But it's also forgiving and won't have you tracking through miles of pines in an evening hunt. I like a .270 for a short haul...that's about the lowest I think I've ever deer hunted with


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Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372725 09/02/21 06:42 PM
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this will go on until regular rifle season hunting begins ... I tagged out the first 6-7 years of my life using a 218 Bee and never had one get away or run for very long with proper shot placement. I've killed dozens with a 22-250 (hundreds of pigs too). When I graduated to a 243 after the 218 Bee, I killed a bunch but let a bunch get away when using a heart/lung shot on smaller properties, those suckers could run a long ways. I moved to the high shoulder and didn't lose any more with that caliber.

it truly comes down to proper shot placement depending on caliber, bullet, distance ... plus a few more variables.


"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."

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Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372734 09/02/21 06:48 PM
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When I hunted on a lease the owner thought we were crazy hunting with a 270 or 30-06. When they broke out the BIG GUN, they reached for a 22-250. Their normal hunting rifles were 22 hornet and 222 rem. For the most part they only took neck and head shots from blinds over feeders at known distances about 100 ish yards.

Ive killed a pile of deer with a 223. I see no reason why when used within the caliber and hunters limitations it isnt enough. I know many dont think bullet design or choice makes a difference, but a 60 grain partition has never failed to make a pass through for me.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: PMK] #8372745 09/02/21 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by PMK
When I graduated to a 243 after the 218 Bee, I killed a bunch but let a bunch get away when using a heart/lung shot on smaller properties, those suckers could run a long ways.


This is exactly why I feel the way I do. Yes, a smaller caliber can be effective when placed properly, but a larger caliber is more forgiving.


Originally Posted by SnakeWrangler
Originally Posted by TurkeyHunter
And make Kamila president

She’d just end up blowing it......
Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372765 09/02/21 07:10 PM
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probably ... but even the large caliber with poor placement and poor bullet type can lose a lot of animals too ...


"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."

~PMK~
Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: PMK] #8372789 09/02/21 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PMK
probably ... but even the large caliber with poor placement and poor bullet type can lose a lot of animals too ...

True. More likely with a smaller caliber. But still true.


Originally Posted by SnakeWrangler
Originally Posted by TurkeyHunter
And make Kamila president

She’d just end up blowing it......
Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372877 09/02/21 08:48 PM
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Shot placement trumps all. Back when deer hunting was actually hunting, I killed/recovered a lot more deer with my .243 than the out-of-towners with their .270s, .30-06s, and big magnums. Yet they'd get to camp every year and grind on me about my tiny .243. Then I'd spend 8 hours tracking their deer through the brush because they hadn't picked up a rifle in a year while I was shooting .22s, pellets guns, and my .243 year round. It's easier for them now because they just sit in a box with a good rest and snipe a deer 100yds away at a feeder but most of them still don't shoot very well.


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Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: QuitShootinYoungBucks] #8372903 09/02/21 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by QuitShootinYoungBucks
Shot placement trumps all. Back when deer hunting was actually hunting, I killed/recovered a lot more deer with my .243 than the out-of-towners with their .270s, .30-06s, and big magnums. Yet they'd get to camp every year and grind on me about my tiny .243. Then I'd spend 8 hours tracking their deer through the brush because they hadn't picked up a rifle in a year while I was shooting .22s, pellets guns, and my .243 year round. It's easier for them now because they just sit in a box with a good rest and snipe a deer 100yds away at a feeder but most of them still don't shoot very well.


never shot a 243, but this is truth here

Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372916 09/02/21 09:11 PM
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I have taken them with everything from a .223 to a 12 Gauge Slug. Shot placement is everything. Put it in the right place, gun go boom deer fall down.

As I age I realize that the cartridge really doesn't matter, use what you want to as long as it is legal lol.


"Whitetail Deer are extinct because of rifles with telescopes mounted on them." - My 11th Grade English Teacher
Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372917 09/02/21 09:12 PM
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Its funny, OP posts topic "minimum caliber for deer" and then ends his post with "that are a much better choice..."

So are you really wanting the minumum caliber for deer killing? Look at the outdoors handbook and it tells you the state minimum.

If you want to argue the "best" caliber for killing deer....thats a whole other ballgame.

Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372919 09/02/21 09:13 PM
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.243 kills them dead. I went on a doe harvest, shot all three I killed behind the shoulder, two at 150 yds, all dropped in their tracks.

Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: Texas buckeye] #8372928 09/02/21 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Texas buckeye
Its funny, OP posts topic "minimum caliber for deer" and then ends his post with "that are a much better choice..."

So are you really wanting the minimum caliber for deer killing? Look at the outdoors handbook and it tells you the state minimum.

If you want to argue the "best" caliber for killing deer....thats a whole other ballgame.

.243 is what I consider minimum caliber to meet the effective criteria I am looking for. Minimum according to Texas law is .223. The minimum to physically kill a deer is probably .17 HMR, only because I don't think they make a smaller bullet. For this argument, what is the minimum that one would consider would meet the criteria of a deer rifle.


Originally Posted by SnakeWrangler
Originally Posted by TurkeyHunter
And make Kamila president

She’d just end up blowing it......
Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372939 09/02/21 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by unclebubba
For this argument, what is the minimum that one would consider would meet the criteria of a deer rifle.


IMO .24 caliber is the minimum, but heavy-for-caliber .22 bullets in the 80-90gr range, with 1800-2000 ft/lbs. or more are certainly more than capable on even the biggest whitetails. They're deer, not tanks.


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Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372980 09/02/21 10:04 PM
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They sometimes change the rules, but it used to say "centerfire." That puts things like 17 Rem and 17 hornet into play. Personally I've used 22 Hornet, 222, 223, 243, 30-30, 270. No complaints on any if you shoot them right.


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Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372981 09/02/21 10:05 PM
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Back in the days when I was runnning guns made in Finland for a living, I had a very good - read that to mean bought more than a few every year - tiny customer in Harper who bought more 222's than all of my customers in my 5 state territory put together. My management wanted to know why, so I asked the old Aggie professor wha's up with all the 222's??? He said most of his clients liked to sneak around the Hill Country and not wake their neighbors when they pulled the trigger... uhhhhh ....no matter where they were. I always enjoyed that Sales Call as there were no finer folks to talk to anywhere.
Ron

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Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8372983 09/02/21 10:06 PM
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Last 8 or 10 years I’ve used a 260. Works great, but after this shoulder surgery I am not in the mood to do much tracking or dragging this season, so I’m moving back to my 270 this year. Making them a little bit deader is just what I want and need.


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Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8373041 09/02/21 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by unclebubba
Minimum according to Texas law is .223. .


It's legal to hunt deer in Texas with any centerfire cartridge, 222/221/218 etc.

Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8373050 09/02/21 11:10 PM
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I have guided a lot of hunters in my life. I personally have had more trouble with someone who shoots too large a caliber rifle than those that shoot something they are comfortable with. I would rather have someone shoot a 223 than someone who just got a 300 Weatherby and flinches just thinking about shooting it.

Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8373061 09/02/21 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by unclebubba
I'm tired of all the Covid arguing going on. Let's argue about something else. I think .223 is too small for deer. Yes, it will kill a deer. I know that. But because of it's light weight and small frontal area, it is not as effective as a larger, heavier bullet. .243 is marginal IMO. Calibers that I have had, or still do have, that I think are a better choice



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Last edited by maximum; 09/02/21 11:27 PM.
Re: Minimum Caliber for deer [Re: unclebubba] #8373062 09/02/21 11:27 PM
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22 Hornet will do the job. What matters is who is shooting it, not the caliber. I wouldn’t walk rimrock and shoot running deer with the Hornet, but it works fine with a rest looking at a 100 yard feeder. It worked great for my smallest boy on his first three deer.

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