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Firearm of choice for deer season?

ohanacreek

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I know people that use a .223 to hunt deer. In SD that’s the minimum caliber.

It takes a really well placed shot to bring them down without running off too.
Yup a 22 will kill a deer, some rounds are just more efficient than others.

I'd rather have a quick clean takedown, no point in making the animal suffer. Also I am fat and out of shape so searching for one in the brush and thickets we have around here is not enjoyable. Im in it for the meat not the sport.
 
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SouthwestORV

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Ive heard complaints of lost deer because they will still be able to stumble off after a 6.5CM unless you use the single blunt nose Hornady round.

These complaints are coming from guys who I KNOW don’t miss and have had no issues out of their 30-06,270,243 guns.

To me the CM is a long range target and varmit caliber. Is it accurate YES VERY, is it great for large game? It will kill something if you put a hole in it, but I think there are much better rounds and calibers for large game.
6.5 CM will not struggle taking down large game. 30-30 Win by itself nearly wiped out large game in the US. My 243 is more deadly/capable than the 30-30, so naturally I take down elk with my 243, no problem. For years my family has eaten exclusively red meat harvested with my Tikka 243 - elk. Ballistics are not voodoo, the 6.5 CM makes a bigger hole and hits about 30% harder than my 243. 30-30, 243, 6.5...are all enough with proper shot placement*. If I miss the lungs and hit the gut, it might wander off. If a 300 Win Mag misses the lungs and hits the gut, it might wander off.
*By "proper shot placement" I refer to the known/ethical kills zones on an animal. I'm not making the ridiculous "yeah but you could shoot an elephant in the eye with a 22 and it will kill it" argument.
 

SouthwestORV

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Yup a 22 will kill a deer, some rounds are just more efficient than others.

I'd rather have a quick clean takedown, no point in making the animal suffer. Also I am fat and out of shape so searching for one in the brush and thickets we have around here is not enjoyable. Im in it for the meat not the sport.
That's a statement I can agree with - quick/clean takedown; don't make the animal suffer unnecessarily; some round are more efficient than others.
 

Alan

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6.5 CM will not struggle taking down large game. 30-30 Win by itself nearly wiped out large game in the US. My 243 is more deadly/capable than the 30-30, so naturally I take down elk with my 243, no problem. For years my family has eaten exclusively red meat harvested with my Tikka 243 - elk. Ballistics are not voodoo, the 6.5 CM makes a bigger hole and hits about 30% harder than my 243. 30-30, 243, 6.5...are all enough with proper shot placement*. If I miss the lungs and hit the gut, it might wander off. If a 300 Win Mag misses the lungs and hits the gut, it might wander off.
*By "proper shot placement" I refer to the known/ethical kills zones on an animal. I'm not making the ridiculous "yeah but you could shoot an elephant in the eye with a 22 and it will kill it" argument.
I don't have a .243 but it is underated or people don't think it is a sexy caliber.
 

SouthwestORV

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I don't have a .243 but it is underated or people don't think it is a sexy caliber.
A lot of folks call it a girl caliber, or youth caliber. Sure it's good for both of those things too, all the more reason to love it. I love the 243 for several reasons:
1. Inherently accurate cartridge (has a decorated distance/accuracy/competition history)
2. Low-recoil
3. Short action
4. Main stream - lots of options for loads/cartridges, affordable to shoot, lots of knowledge
5. VERSATILE! - with the lightest varmint loads it matches the 22-250 for flat trajectory, but hits with more authority; yet with 100gr soft points I can take the largest game I will ever want to hunt.
Vid 1:
Vid 2:
 

rtn001

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I don't understand the "stumble off". Most deer run if shot in the body unless it is a spinal shot. I have only killed 5 deer with my 6.5 CM. 3 were spine shots and went straight down. One a body shot ran about 30 yards, the other about 60.
The only problem I have heard was a person that used target rounds. They are made to punch paper and are not recommended for any type of hunting. The bullet is not constructed the same the same. I have killed deer with 30-06, 270, 243, 6.5 swe., 8mm06, 45-70, 7 mm Mauser, 6.5CM, 12 and 20 gage shotgun and have had them run. So I don't understand "stumble off" statement.
 
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Huntnbuddy2

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Matthews switchback is my hunting method of choice but if i use a rifle it is either of my Browning BARs. One is a 300 WM and the other is a 270 both with Leopold scopes. I also have a savage in 270 with synthetic stock for when i am not worried if it gets dinged up. I retired my favorite gun a few years ago a Winchester Model 70 in 300 WM.
 

JiminAZ

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Just finished (mule) deer season here, it was a Tikka T3 year. First deer was taken by my 19 year old by himself with the (youth and wimmen) 243 that the kids learned on and all took their first deer with. That gun has killed more deer than anything in my safe, and all 8 or so went down quickly. He had a choice of anything I own and took the 243 because he is so confident in it. Barnes 80 grain TTSX factory load shoots .7 MOA in this gun. (That's a copper bullet).

Second deer was taken by my 21 year old son with a 6.5 CM, 304 yards. He didn't "stumble off". Bounded twice and piled up dead.

Last one was taken by the old guy (yours truly) with the same 6.5 CM. Anchored him at 120 yd.

Sure glad we got lucky and made that target round work. Hornady 143 ELDX factory ammo which shoots .5 MOA out of the Tikka.

Let's face it guys. They're deer. Mule deer are larger and tougher than whitetails but still not that hard to kill. Run the centerfire gun you have confidence in with a good bullet, put it in the boiler room, and they're going down.

Edit to add: I am a HUGE Tikka T3 fan. I have Dakota and Cooper and customs etc but these Tikkas shoot as well as any for 6 Benjamins or less. Have a YoDave spring in the 6.5 and also a 7mm Rem Mag, the 243 didn't need it. Also have one in 308 that I put a Bell and Carlson stock on. Every one is solidly under MOA with factory ammo, and with a little load development can do .5 MOA. If you're in the market, buy yourself a Tikka and put any savings toward a better scope.
 
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Lilred500

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Went to set my blind up for opening day of rifle season tomorrow here in wv. Ran into some folks sighting there rifles in they had two ruger m77 markIII compacts and man I fell in love. Defiantly the next rifle I will purchase what a tack driver!!!!
 

rtn001

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View attachment 167396 View attachment 167397

View attachment 167399

Just finished (mule) deer season here, it was a Tikka T3 year. First deer was taken by my 19 year old by himself with the (youth and wimmen) 243 that the kids learned on and all took their first deer with. That gun has killed more deer than anything in my safe, and all 8 or so went down quickly. He had a choice of anything I own and took the 243 because he is so confident in it. Barnes 80 grain TTSX factory load shoots .7 MOA in this gun. (That's a copper bullet).

Second deer was taken by my 21 year old son with a 6.5 CM, 304 yards. He didn't "stumble off". Bounded twice and piled up dead.

Last one was taken by the old guy (yours truly) with the same 6.5 CM. Anchored him at 120 yd.

Sure glad we got lucky and made that target round work. Hornady 143 ELDX factory ammo which shoots .5 MOA out of the Tikka.

Let's face it guys. They're deer. Mule deer are larger and tougher than whitetails but still not that hard to kill. Run the centerfire gun you have confidence in with a good bullet, put it in the boiler room, and they're going down.

Edit to add: I am a HUGE Tikka T3 fan. I have Dakota and Cooper and customs etc but these Tikkas shoot as well as any for 6 Benjamins or less. Have a YoDave spring in the 6.5 and also a 7mm Rem Mag, the 243 didn't need it. Also have one in 308 that I put a Bell and Carlson stock on. Every one is solidly under MOA with factory ammo, and with a little load development can do .5 MOA. If you're in the market, buy yourself a Tikka and put any savings toward a better scope.
Great mule deer.
 
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