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Joined: 11/16/2005
Posts: 12
A .243 story

A 243 story on a deer. I'm not a 243 fan, never used one on deer anyway. However a friend of mine does. Yesterday we were on our last day of firearms hunt in Kansas, well for us anyway both have to work today, Saturday. I saw 2 what we thought were doe's, I shot the first one once he reached the clearing after a grunt to get him to stop, yes I said he, we found out they were bucks after getting close. anyway, he went down hard after first shot, the second buck started to take off but stopped and turned to look at his buddy and my friend had his shot but the buck turned away just as he shot hitting the deer in the back just above the tail not killing him of course. The deer did drop but got back up, My friend put another round broadside and the deer was still up and ran about another 20 yard or so and my friend put another round again broadside just behind the left shoulder, this time putting the deer down, yes we thought the deer was dead this time, but after looking at my deer and walking over to his, the deer started to get back up again, Wow!! now were mad the deer had to suffer so much, He shot again for the head but hit slightly low in the neck, braking the neck, deer still alive. My friend now was out of bullets and didn't bring extra and the deer still alive and kicking. I put one more into with my rifle and now finally a dead deer, was dead on impact. My friend using Federal 100 grn's Vital Shok's. I was using my 338 win mag due to my 30-06 going down. My deer was dead before it hit the ground. I know alot more then needed for deer but mine was a good clean shot, hardly any meet damage. My friend ruined some meet with all his shots. the 243 didn't impress me at all. Anybody have this much trouble with a 243, any suggestions for next year??

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
A .243 story

I once owned a 243 win. A very capable deer round out to 200, 250 yds.
I loaded several rounds for it. Shot at targets and coyotes many times over until, I was very proficient. Stared at the bullets many a time wonder if I wanted to use it on a big game hunt until. One day I had it rebarreled to a 308 win and have since used it on several hunts, without hesitation.
It's not that the 243 win can't perform. I just feel more comfortable using something that has a little authority on those, inevitable, not so picture book shots.
I still own a 243 win. A two barrel packaged single shot. The other barrel being a 30-06. If I'm out with that rifle I'll use the '06 for big game hunting and the 243 with 55 or 80 grs. for smaller game. The inherent accuracy of the round is amazing.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
A .243 story

glad you got the deer. Any aniimal(yes any animal) shot in the heart/lungs is going to die,regarless if it a.22 or a 458 win. Shot placement is critical. When a deer goes down ,wait five minutes for it to bleed out and you won't have tochase it all over the place. As long as there is any oxygen getting to the animals brain,it will try to flee. Over the last 40 years I shot many,many deer and never seen one yet get away that was shot in the vitals with any calibre weapon or any particular bullet..Hope this helps

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Location: North Eastern Arizona
Joined: 07/03/2005
Posts: 99
A .243 story

.243 inadequate for deer? Talk to the Hand Please, spare those of us that know better. Clearly, if your friend had shot his buck in the boiler-room, he would have succumed. I love you guys with the "bigger is better" mentality. Makes the triumphs with my "inadequate .243" all the more satisfying.

I watched my brother hit a bull elk with 4 shots from his "knock-down" giant 7MM Mag. All four shots were at under 100 yds. The fifth shot took him out. The problem and common denominator? Poor shot placement. No offense Briguy, but the problem wasn't caliber related. And neither was my brother's elk.

AZThunder

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Joined: 11/16/2005
Posts: 12
A .243 story

Hey AZThunder, no offense taken, but I never said the 243 was inadaquate, just didn't impress me much. Yes bullet placement is key, my friend just had a bad luck shot. My last 2 deer were taken with my 270 that I no longer have was replaced with my 06 that broke while sighting in the scope. I love shooting my 338 win mag, I think aswome gun, i'm good with it so why not take it. I hunt elk with it and haven't had to chase an elk,,,,, YET, I got good bullet placement each time. One thing was for sure I didn't have to chase my deer at all. My friend has also lost confidence in the his gun but was also wondering if the're better bulltets to use then the ones he used, I have never used federal or a 243 so i'm not sure, i'm a remington and winchester guy myself. our shots were at 200 yards and his second shot and 3rd were about 220-230 yards.

Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 15
A .243 story

I am fairly new here and love the forum, so first of all, hello all. Secondly, I am a very experienced hunter of coastal deer, pigs, and varmits in the California coastal range being fifth generation on a fairly large cattle ranch and I have been around 1,000 +/- large animal kills of one kind or another. Through the years I have seen nearly every legal calibre used to hunt deer in the state. Of them all, the least efficient was the 243 followed by the 250 - 3000. The biggest problem with them was not the ability of the rounds to kill with a perfect shot at 150 to 200 yards, but rather, the little things that can, and do, go wrong. The deer turns, wind drift, misjudge distance etc. which leads to hitting a bone, a gut shot, poor bullet penetration on a perfect shot and the bullet blows up on a rib, or some other problem inhearant with shooting all small calibre bullets. These two rounds have led to more cripples and lost deer than the combined total of all of the other rounds put together. Due to the years of experience and hours and hours spent looking for crippled deer and pigs, we banned these two calibres on the ranch. I am not (or at least trying not) to insult shooters of light calibre firearms, since in other parts of the country these may be perfectly reliable rounds. But if you hunt wide open, long range country, my advice is to buy a larger calibre.

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Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 365
A .243 story

Every time I hear the term "shot placement" I want to vomit. It's so over used on the inernet, hunting shows and gun mags today Brick Wall,) . I know I intentionally aim for the non lethal parts of a deer like the ears and feet Thumbs up . I don't belive any of us attempt to wound, hurt or torture the animals we shoot at. Sometimes things go wrong. Buck fever, rushing, cold, heat , pee break ect cause much of this. The 243 is a fine deer/antelope/varmit round. All calibers have there limits, what most hunters don't understand is that hunters have there limits also. You put any bullet in the bread basket and you'll have a dead deer. I'm glad you and your friend recovered the deer, congrats to you both. By the way "shot placement"........ neener!

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Location: Roanoke,Va
Joined: 08/27/2005
Posts: 13
A .243 story

my .243 shoots 1/4" groups at a 100 yards. I use 100gr Nosler Partition bullets,only take shots i know i can make, if a shot is questionable i wait.
If that means that the deer does not give me a good shot he lives another day.
I have never lost a deer (knock on wood) with my .243 and i will do my absolute best not to. As the others have said "shot placement".

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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
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A .243 story

I would not be so quick to dismiss shot placement.

Quote:
hitting the deer in the back just above the tail not killing him of course.

- Think As you said yourself I don't know of many calibres that will drop a deer hit like this

Quote:
put another round broadside and the deer was still up and ran about another 20 yard or so and my friend put another round again broadside just behind the left shoulder, this time putting the deer down

I have seen deer run farher than this dragging their lungs on the ground behind after being hit by a .300 Mag at 50 paces, so I would suggest that the calibre is again not the culprit. This was a dead-deer running, and assuming it was hit in the vitals twice almost certainly would have piled up within 100yds or collapsed as soon as the adrenaline surge wore off.

Quote:
but after looking at my deer and walking over to his, the deer started to get back up again, Wow!! now were mad the deer had to suffer so much, He shot again for the head but hit slightly low in the neck, braking the neck, deer still alive.

Then again, had he hit the head (shot placement) it would have been dead. Also had it been not pressured so soon, it almost certainly would have expired where it lay.

There is a point at which calibres become too light. I'm not sure exactly where that line is and I'm not going to get into that debate here. Let's not forget that thousands of deer are killed every year with broadheads fired from bows therefore calibre, while important, is not everything either.

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Location: Utah
Joined: 03/03/2005
Posts: 383
A .243 story

While a 243 / 6mm will do the job on deer, if you are choosing a rifle to hunt with, you (as an ethical hunter) should feel obligated to select one large enough to humanly kill the game as quickly as possible.

Margional calibers should not be considered when buying a new rifle. Now if all you have at home is a 243 Win and cannot afford a more powerful weapon, then by all means choose the best bullet to get the job done and use that rifle.

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Joined: 11/16/2005
Posts: 12
A .243 story

Saskie, let me tell you alot of time had past, I know i didn't make that clear in my original post. The first couple shots he had fired were one after the other. He wanted to get up right away but at that point both deer were down and we sat and waited, 20 minutes or so. we then got up and went and looked at my deer, put the drag harness on him, by this time perhaps an hour had past maybe not quit but close before we decided to go over to my friends deer. i Should have made this clear in my original post but didn't. Anyway as we started to get close to his deer a good 100 yards away from mine if not more we started to see alot of blood, once I saw the deer get up after the amount of time that had past i was suprised to see it still alive, if i'm wrong in thinking so and we should have waited longer then bad on us, but i have never had to wait even that long before, i'm not a new comer to deer hunting. the deer was badly wounded that is for sure and i'm sure it would have surecome to it's wounds sooner or later but just how long do you wait? one would think even on a bad shot as long as you can see your deer 30 min to an hour would be long enough, in this case it wasn't. hope that cleared up some..

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