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Firearm of choice for deer season?

rtn001

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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.
If it works it works. Who am I to argue with success.
 
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JiminAZ

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Thank you it really was a banner year for us. The tags we had on the Kaibab are a 5-8 year wait so I went ahead and hired a guide. I'm not God's gift to deer hunting. We've managed to kill our share of deer over the years but never anything this size. Sure learned a lot about habits of larger bucks from the guides who were very generous with their knowledge.

BTW rtn001 the 6.5 ammo we were using was a hunting bullet, not a target round. That was my weak attempt at humor.

And Lilred500 contrats on your buck this AM!
 
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Lilred500

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Thank you it really was a banner year for us. The tags we had on the Kaibab are a 5-8 year wait so I went ahead and hired a guide. I'm not God's gift to deer hunting. We've managed to kill our share of deer over the years but never anything this size. Sure learned a lot about habits of larger bucks from the guides who were very generous with their knowledge.

BTW rtn001 the 6.5 ammo we were using was a hunting bullet, not a target round. That was my weak attempt at humor.

And Lilred500 contrats on your buck this AM!
Thanks congrats to you as well my friend!!!!
 

JTW

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So I was running shy on time and wanted to take my 3 year old little girl out... I’d set up a feeder behind the house by the shop and hadn’t seen anything at it. But it was 2 hours before dark and I didn’t have time to get to the farm and in the condo... so we headed out to the shop and setup inside with the service door open and part of a sectional couch providing cover.

I sit up on a hill and have a window for a “safe” shot into an open field across the road. The road sits well below the possible bullet flight path. I just really didn’t love the idea of using the 300wm as I knew it would blow out the other side if I got a shot.

so about 30-45 minutes pass and sure enough a doe and a little buck come cruising into the corn. My little girl about flipped her s***! She was talking loud “daddy I see a deer, there’s a deer” “shoot it daddy, shoot it”.. all while moving around and making all kids of noise while looking through my binos backwards. I’ve never been so nervous to pull the trigger on a deer in my life. I wanted it to happen for her. So I waited until I had the right shot on the doe and let her rip.

Being as I didn’t love the situation I grabbed my truck gun, my little ruger m77 hawkeye compact in .223. I’ve never shot a deer with a .223 before, it’s killed countless crows, ground hogs, yotes and a host of other varmits with a 55g v max. So I figured it was the time to try it on a deer.

I squeezed the trigger and watched her run about 20 yards, then start the stagger and went down... we waited a few minutes and I walked out to where they were to let Cora “track” it.

Well, first observation.... zero blood. So I head her towards the deer and she sees it and flips! She’s tickled to death and is now an expert deer killer.
Second observation, was in gutting it... the internal damage was impressive. I noticed a little more bruising in the entrance area, but the lungs and heart were all tore up.

Third observation, while skinning it out I find the bulk of the bullet just inside the opposite hide.
So while I’m not a fan of the 223 for hunting.. It did an extremely effective job for the task at hand. I’m not real sure I would put one of the kids behind it due to the lack of penetration with the ballistic tips as a bad shot would leave no blood and most likely result in a lost deer. But with the right shot placement and need for minimal penetration, it did very well!

But it all worked out and she got her first taste of killing... little ruger for the win!
 

ehart814

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Saw the title of this thread and thought wow, here comes another oil or tire thread! haha

I prefer hunting with whatever gun someone else is willing to use to harvest a deer for me because I am too lazy to get out there and I can't handle sitting in the cold. I'd probably sit in my truck at the edge of the field if I could get away with it.
 

Lilred500

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So I was running shy on time and wanted to take my 3 year old little girl out... I’d set up a feeder behind the house by the shop and hadn’t seen anything at it. But it was 2 hours before dark and I didn’t have time to get to the farm and in the condo... so we headed out to the shop and setup inside with the service door open and part of a sectional couch providing cover.

I sit up on a hill and have a window for a “safe” shot into an open field across the road. The road sits well below the possible bullet flight path. I just really didn’t love the idea of using the 300wm as I knew it would blow out the other side if I got a shot.

so about 30-45 minutes pass and sure enough a doe and a little buck come cruising into the corn. My little girl about flipped her s***! She was talking loud “daddy I see a deer, there’s a deer” “shoot it daddy, shoot it”.. all while moving around and making all kids of noise while looking through my binos backwards. I’ve never been so nervous to pull the trigger on a deer in my life. I wanted it to happen for her. So I waited until I had the right shot on the doe and let her rip.

Being as I didn’t love the situation I grabbed my truck gun, my little ruger m77 hawkeye compact in .223. I’ve never shot a deer with a .223 before, it’s killed countless crows, ground hogs, yotes and a host of other varmits with a 55g v max. So I figured it was the time to try it on a deer.

I squeezed the trigger and watched her run about 20 yards, then start the stagger and went down... we waited a few minutes and I walked out to where they were to let Cora “track” it.

Well, first observation.... zero blood. So I head her towards the deer and she sees it and flips! She’s tickled to death and is now an expert deer killer.
Second observation, was in gutting it... the internal damage was impressive. I noticed a little more bruising in the entrance area, but the lungs and heart were all tore up.

Third observation, while skinning it out I find the bulk of the bullet just inside the opposite hide.
So while I’m not a fan of the 223 for hunting.. It did an extremely effective job for the task at hand. I’m not real sure I would put one of the kids behind it due to the lack of penetration with the ballistic tips as a bad shot would leave no blood and most likely result in a lost deer. But with the right shot placement and need for minimal penetration, it did very well!

But it all worked out and she got her first taste of killing... little ruger for the win!
Awesome man! I want a compact in 7mm-08 so bad I can’t stand it!!!
 

Smitty335

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They’re sweet! Stainless and laminate make for a good looking little gun too!
I bought a Ruger 243 and scope three years ago, great shooting gun, I just can't get bow hunting out of my system and haven't hunted in several years. Taken several deer from 10 to 30 yards, that's what's fun for me and not over feeders, just me though! I don't look down at gun hunters or people that hunt feeders, I just don't hunt that way?
 

Lilred500

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They’re sweet! Stainless and laminate make for a good looking little gun too!
Yes they are I want one so bad I can’t stand it, but I still absolutely love the 60s model bdls can’t get enough of them. Shot my buck with my 1965 270 and it put him on his ass like a tank hit him
 
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JTW

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I bought a Ruger 243 and scope three years ago, great shooting gun, I just can't get bow hunting out of my system and haven't hunted in several years. Taken several deer from 10 to 30 yards, that's what's fun for me and not over feeders, just me though! I don't look down at gun hunters or people that hunt feeders, I just don't hunt that way?
What model? What do ya want for it?
 
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Lilred500

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I bought a Ruger 243 and scope three years ago, great shooting gun, I just can't get bow hunting out of my system and haven't hunted in several years. Taken several deer from 10 to 30 yards, that's what's fun for me and not over feeders, just me though! I don't look down at gun hunters or people that hunt feeders, I just don't hunt that way?
I do 100% fair chase take mature bucks and what god blesses me with don’t need a corn pile when ya got acorns all around. I am a sucker for a ground blind and mr buddy heater though lol.
 

Smitty335

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I do 100% fair chase take mature bucks and what god blesses me with don’t need a corn pile when ya got acorns all around. I am a sucker for a ground blind and mr buddy heater though lol.
Don't know about the Mr buddy, but ground blinds are my thing, the heck with climbing trees! I have two Lone Wolf stands and climbing sticks, the sticks are nice, hang your stand, leave with your sticks, come back and some meth heads haven't stole your stand, no steps. Connect you climbing sticks, very quiet, get in your stand and hunt. I use tree stands for observation and build a ground blind, a lot warmer! HA! Another thing is hunting the breeze / wind, in the Ozark's, hunt the the wind in your on the lea ward side, because the wind swirls so bad in the hills, don't face into the wind face down wind, because the wind will flip it and blow it back into the wind.
 
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