63 replies [Last post]
WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Re: 223 for deer
mmangels22 wrote:
Using a 22 caliber round on a big game animal is not ethical nor should it be preached. 24 caliber should be the absolute minimum. I don't endorse it at all.

I don't endorse using .22 calibers on deer either, but I would not go so far as to claim all .22 cal rounds are unethical. Explain to us how it's unethical? There are different types of .22 caliber bullets. We're not talking .22LR here. I've been hunting biggame long enough and have taken enough biggame over the last 26+ years to know that using a .223 is not unethical as long as you do your part. As I've said before, it doesn't matter what caliber or cartridge you use, as long as it has enough velocity and energy on target to reach the vitals and deliver a humane kill. Every hunter has to do his/her part to ensure a clean humane kill no matter what cartridge they use. I've seen guys get buck fever on deer using stuff like .30-06 and 300 win mag, yet their gut and rump shots were just as unethical because they could have done a better job at hitting the damn thing, but instead they let human emotions get in the way of what could have been a humane clean kill. Ethics in hunting are not just about caliber size, they're a pretty broad subject. I know for fact that a .223 and .22-250 will for sure give a clean kill on deer, but like all cartridges it has it's limitations and all hunter need to be aware of those limitations. I myself use .270 Win on all my biggame, but I once had some overly enthusiastic novice try and tell me that using a .270 Win on elk was unethical Think Of course the guy was 17 years younger than me and had up to that point never even been on a hunt before. Laugh

Offline
Location: California
Joined: 05/26/2008
Posts: 20
Re: 223 for deer

I never said any 22 round is unethical I said it is for big game. They (DFG) catch you hunting with a 22 during deer, elk or pig seasons you get a nice fat ticket.
You need to be a damn good substinence hunter to use 22 on a deer, however 24 caliber should be the min.

Critter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4083
Re: 223 for deer
mmangels22 wrote:
I never said any 22 round is unethical I said it is for big game. They (DFG) catch you hunting with a 22 during deer, elk or pig seasons you get a nice fat ticket.
You need to be a damn good substinence hunter to use 22 on a deer, however 24 caliber should be the min.

Perhaps the .22 caliber round is illegal where you hunt but in a number of states it is a legal round. So you really need to check your big game rules before you decide on weather to use it or not. I personally have taken a few whitetails with a 22-250 and a couple of mule deer with it along with antelope. It did its job and dropped the animals just as easy as a .24+ caliber would of. There are quite a few hunters out there that substitute caliber and power for poor hunting and shooting skills and figure that a poor shot with a new fast short magnum is better than a good shot with a small caliber. I see it all the time with hunters that come out here to Colorado on their first elk or deer hunt with that long barrel smoking cartridge and after their first shot couldn't hit the side of the mountain. So is that big magnum better than a small .22? Here in Colorado the minimum caliber for big game such as deer and elk is a .24 but I have seen quite a few elk and some deer absorb the rounds from a .243 like they are only being bitten by a mosquito, but I have also seen them dropped in their tracks by the same round by somebody that knows how to shoot the round. So should we raise the caliber up to a 6.5mm or a .270?

So back to the original argument of weather the .223 is a deer round I would have to say that it is if the hunter does his job of shot placement.

Offline
Moderator
Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Re: 223 for deer
WesternHunter wrote:
ikeh wrote:
The .223 was specifically designed for the two legged deer. A true sportsman would not hunt four legged deer with a .223. There is to much of a chance for wounded game.

Do you really think so? If the .223 can put down and kill a 200+lbs two legged deer (i.e. human), what makes you think it can't kill a 150lbs to 250lbs deer? I myself would not make it my first choice for deer, but I'm not going to go so far as to say that it can't kill a deer, it can. You can wound anything with any caliber if you miss the vitals. No caliber, no matter how large will substitute for a missed shot to the vitals.

The .223 was not really designed to kill humans but wound them instead. Takes more soldiers to care for a wounded person than a dead one.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Re: 223 for deer
mmangels22 wrote:
I never said any 22 round is unethical I said it is for big game. They (DFG) catch you hunting with a 22 during deer, elk or pig seasons you get a nice fat ticket.
You need to be a damn good substinence hunter to use 22 on a deer, however 24 caliber should be the min.

In my state you'll get a ticket too, if your lucky, as it sound like Kalifornia has the same regs regarding caliber. Yes I understand what you are saying regarding a .22 on biggame, but it is not unethical, maybe illegal in some states, but not unethical. I've seen it done on deer many times and have taken a few myself with .22-250 in states that allow it, works just fine. It's not the diameter of the bullet that is the limitation on the cartridges in question, it's the ft/lbs of energy that the bullet can deliver on target to penetrate the vitals. A .30 carbine at 200 yards can be more unethical than a .22-250 or .223 at the same distance. I don't advocate using .22 caliber large cartidges on biggame if you have something more suitable to use. But you need to explain what you mean by "unethical", your using the word as a blanket generalised statement without explaining yourself. Give some facts. Give some real world accounts and first hand experiences. My first hand accounts are that within normal shooting distances a .223 or .22-250 are plenty cabable of a cleanand humane kill, but we all know that there are better cartridges out there for deer.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Re: 223 for deer
ChesterGolf wrote:
WesternHunter wrote:
ikeh wrote:
The .223 was specifically designed for the two legged deer. A true sportsman would not hunt four legged deer with a .223. There is to much of a chance for wounded game.

Do you really think so? If the .223 can put down and kill a 200+lbs two legged deer (i.e. human), what makes you think it can't kill a 150lbs to 250lbs deer? I myself would not make it my first choice for deer, but I'm not going to go so far as to say that it can't kill a deer, it can. You can wound anything with any caliber if you miss the vitals. No caliber, no matter how large will substitute for a missed shot to the vitals.

The .223 was not really designed to kill humans but wound them instead. Takes more soldiers to care for a wounded person than a dead one.

Maybe so Chester, but the .223 is killing people all over the world as we speak. Contrary to many of the myths and misinformation we hear from the history channel documetaries, the .223 is pretty efficient at killing humans. No cartridge out there has ever been designed to wound, but rather suited for a specific sized target in mind. The .223 was actually developed for target and varmit shooters. Turns out that since it's first battlefield use, many NATO armies around the world have found it pretty usefull against humans.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Re: 223 for deer

I think sometimes that hunters get too caught up in caliber specific conversations that they often fail to notice another important aspect of a cartridge. This is taken from the CDOW biggame regs. I'd like to emphisis sub part (d) of the paragraph. To me this is the most important part regarding the ammo used on biggame. Even in states that allow .22 on biggame, the guide in sub part (d) is a good rule to follow.

LEGAL HUNTING METHODS
1. CENTERFIRE RIFLES
a. Must be min. .24 caliber (6 mm).
b.Must have min. a 16-inch barrel and be at least 26 inches long.
c. If semiautomatic, they can hold max. of 6 rounds in the magazine and
chamber combined.
d. Must use expanding bullets that weigh min. 70 grains for deer, pronghorn
and bear, 85 grains for elk and moose, and have an impact energy
(at 100 yds.) of 1,000-ft. pounds as rated by manufacturer.
e. It is illegal to hunt game birds, small game mammals or furbearers
with a centerfire rifle larger than .23 caliber during regular rifle deer
and elk seasons west of I-25, without an unfilled deer or elk license for
the season. A small game, furbearer or unfilled big game license is required.

I will say that using a .223 on deer with it's standard weight bullet,the hunter would be best advised to keep shots well inside 100 yrds. Same goes for the .22-250

Pronghorn are a different story. It doesn't take much to drop one of those, they're pretty easy to kill once you hit em. I've used .22-250 out to 200 yrds before with no problem on pronghorn, but that was many years ago.

Again I don't advise using a .223 on deer if you have something better available to you. But in states where it's legal and a .223 is all you may have, it can be used with good results. Like anything else, you have to be aware of it's limitations and operate it within it's envelope.

Offline
Moderator
Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Re: 223 for deer
WesternHunter wrote:
Maybe so Chester, but the .223 is killing people all over the world as we speak. Contrary to many of the myths and misinformation we hear from the history channel documetaries, the .223 is pretty efficient at killing humans. No cartridge out there has ever been designed to wound, but rather suited for a specific sized target in mind. The .223 was actually developed for target and varmit shooters. Turns out that since it's first battlefield use, many NATO armies around the world have found it pretty usefull against humans.

.22 LR is killing people all over the world as we speak as well. Still doesn't make it the best round for the job. To compare the .223 varmint ammo to military ball 5.56 ammo would not be a true comparison. Recoil, politics and weight (firearm and ammo)were the key components for switching from the 7.62 to the 5.56.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Re: 223 for deer
ChesterGolf wrote:
WesternHunter wrote:
Maybe so Chester, but the .223 is killing people all over the world as we speak. Contrary to many of the myths and misinformation we hear from the history channel documetaries, the .223 is pretty efficient at killing humans. No cartridge out there has ever been designed to wound, but rather suited for a specific sized target in mind. The .223 was actually developed for target and varmit shooters. Turns out that since it's first battlefield use, many NATO armies around the world have found it pretty usefull against humans.

.22 LR is killing people all over the world as we speak as well. Still doesn't make it the best round for the job. To compare the .223 varmint ammo to military ball 5.56 ammo would not be a true comparison. Recoil, politics and weight (firearm and ammo)were the key components for switching from the 7.62 to the 5.56.

I have had the misfortune of seeing first hand the effect of those 5.56mm rounds along with many other types of small arms, and big stuff too. It seems to have no problem doing it's job. I had once worked for about three years flying as a bush pilot in a few butt crack regions of the globe. I've also had other various flying jobs that took me to some real shit holes. There are conflicts and uprisings that take place all around the world that never make the evening news and in more parts of the third world than most Americans ever care to know about from their insulated comfy little lives here in the states. For obvious reasons airfields always seem to be hot spots for armed ambushes, attack and takeovers in unstable regions of the third world.

I'm sure politics had a lot to do with the switch to 5.56mm as well as many other things. I heard it was mainly due to weight and the amount of ammo a soldier was carrying in the field. I first heard that years ago, when I was a kid actually, sometime in the early 1980's. My brothers played hockey with a boy who's father was in the Army during the early 1960's and through Vietnam. His job in the Army had to do with armaments and depot supply. Not really a high ranking guy or anything, but involved enough to know I presume. He claimed and had been told in service that the reason for the switch to 5.56mm was due to weight and capacity in the field. About 10 years ago I was worked with a guy who had retired from and enlisted career with the Airforce. His very early career was in the mid 1960's and had a similar job early on with armament supply. He told me the same thing. Makes sense I suppose.

But the original question was .223 for Deer? And yes it can take deer. Is it unethical, not nessesarily, depends on how you use it. It does have it's limitations and hunters need to be aware of those limitations. Is it even a good choice for deer? Hell no!

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Re: 223 for deer

I hate to stir the pot, but I know a guy who grew up subsistence hunting in the villages up here who claims to have taken everything but Musk Ox in Alaska with a .223. He says he goes for the ear -- killed a lot of bears that way.

Of course, when he claimed to have taken a bison with an ear shot, I asked about the bit in Alaska's F&G laws imposing caliber and energy restrictions on bison hunts. He sort of chuckled and said he did some stupid stuff when he was younger. And when he talked about guiding hunters, I asked him if he took his .223 with him. "Oh, no," he said -- "I carried a .375."

There's always some guy out there that will claim to have taken down a moose with an airsoft gun. In some cases, they may be right -- natives in Alaska notoriously choose rounds that most people would consider underpowered. But like the guy that lands a shark on 6 lb test, there comes a point where you start to question the line between "can" and "should."

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Deer CallsHunter John509/19/2007 12:04 pm
15 DEAD DEER BY UNKNOWN PREDATORSeth2212/20/2012 19:06 pm
O.K. now what????alan511/23/2006 20:30 pm
Shotplacement at elk (red deer)?Kirrmeister503/14/2011 14:50 pm
MASSIVE DEER KILLING BY UNKNOWN PREDATORSeth703/17/2005 17:11 pm