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awmiller's picture
Location: Mansfield, TX
Joined: 07/21/2010
Posts: 31
Deer Hunting Inquiry

Your task, should you accept, is to help one determine how best to stock up.  You see, I've been mulling over some thoughts on my hunting preferences here lately and thought I'd hit the boards to see what others were thinking (and using) as well.

There are many species that I love to hunt, but I want to keep each discussion very focused and very specific.  For the purpose of this discussion, my interests here are focused on DEER .

Now here's the meat of my inquiry....  you are to identify the following that you would use:

1) What rifle would you use?

2) What bow would you use?


I have my thoughts but will chime in later after I see what some of y'alls is!  I'll let this discussion run for a while and then compile the responses (along with responses that I receive from other inquiries) and post them up on my blog (and here of course!!!).



ManOfTheFall's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Dover, Ohio Tuscarawas County
Joined: 07/07/2010
Posts: 2127
Rifles? None. I don't own one

Rifles? None. I don't own one and never hunted with one. You can't hunt with them here in Ohio. As far as bows go I would probably go in this order. PSE, Matthews, Hoyt. We can use crossbows here in Ohio and for them I would choose Horton.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Depends on where you hunt for

Depends on where you hunt for the gun.  Woods, Marlin lever action 30-30.  Wide open range, Remington 700 BDL in 30-06.


Bow, I would like a Matthews Z7, but can't justify the $$$$. So, I own a middle of the road Parker.

ecubackpacker's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NC
Joined: 09/11/2009
Posts: 1638
Remington 700 and a Mathews

Remington 700 and a Mathews bow.

Ca_v, I have a Parker. Can't remember the name though. It doesn't come close to the joy of shooting my Mathews LX.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
I will wait till I get

I will wait till I get somewhere that I can hunt more regularly before I dump that money into it.  Trying to get a job in Omaha, and that would be the perfect time.... Thumbs up

saskie's picture
Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264

White Tail Deer aren't terribly difficult animals to bring down - pretty much any centrefire round will work. I'm sure it will be mentioned repeatedly (and with good reason) that being able to shoot accurately and consistently is infinitely more important that the size, style, type, make or action of your weapon.

For the record, I shoot a .308 Browning Lever action

That being said: more popular calibres are: .243, .270, the 7mm family, 30-30, .308, 30-06 and .300 Mag

Which one would be "best" will depend more on the conditions you will be hunting in and your ability to manage recoil:

If you're up-close in the bush the 30-30/.243/7mm-08/.308 or .30-06 carbine would be my choices - for these conditions barrel length, comfort and "fit" - meaning how fast you can get on target with a valid sight picture definitely out-weigh calibre. I personally don't subscribe to the brush-busting theory that low velocity rounds are less affected by brush. If I can't see the spot where I want the bullet to hit I don't shoot. If I can, I shoot.

Longer shots across open prairie you'd be best served with a faster, flatter round ie: .270, 7mm Mag, .30/06, .308

If you dabble in other tougher animals (elk, moose, bear), or frequently hunt Canada/Western white tails which are bigger-bodied than their eastern cousins something with a little more punch would serve you well (but isn't neccesary - that whole shot placement thing again): 7mm Mag, .30-06, .300 Mag

All of the above: .30-06/.308


Bolts are the most accurate, usually the least expensive, easiest to clean/maintain. Cons: compared to the others, they're the slowest handling if follow-up shots are needed.

Semi's -

Pros: fast if follow-up shots are needed, inherrently disperse and lessen some of the recoil (it's used to cycle the next round, dampening what you feel at the shoulder).


1. they have the most moving parts = most expensive and more prone to failure (compared to a bolt action of similar quality);

2. safety as soon as you squeeze the trigger the next round is there, live and ready to be fired, if you momentarily forget that in the excitement of watching your trphy topple over there's a bigger risk of an negligent discharge then or later when you go to clean it.

Lever/Pumps -

pretty fast handling for follow-up shots (not as fast as a semi, but pretty fast); tend to be manufactured in shorter barrel lengths/carbine models which becomes a big plus if you're hunting in the thick stuff with quick shots at close range...and dare I say it, levers are just plain sexy!

Cons: still lots of moving parts so more expensive and more potential for failure

Brand - lets face it, like anything else generally you get what you pay for. Buy the best you can afford. I do find Browning to be a little over-priced but I have no complaints about the quality I ended up with.

High-end: Weatherby, Tikka, Sako, anything custom made

Mid-range: Remmingtons/Browning/Ruger

Entry level: Remmington, Savage, Winchester, Marlin

After all is said and done: buy the one you like. Deer aren't that fussy. They hate 'em all.


hawkeye270's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
Rifle - Remington 700 BDL SS

Rifle - Remington 700 BDL SS DM in .270 winchester

Bow - Hoyt but I can't afford it. I've got a reflex right now. 

chrisp's picture
Location: Central Florida
Joined: 02/07/2010
Posts: 282
I shoot a Rem 270 pump...Bow

I shoot a Rem 270 pump...Bow i use a PSE,like other's i wood love that Z7...Po boy,Po way's...CrossBow i use a Horton 175...

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