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Here it is guys. The dreaded discussion about taking deer with .223 and smaller. I am in NO WAY looking for opinions on whether or not .223 and smaller calibers should be used on deer sized animals. We all know we could be here for days talking about that.

I am looking for personal experiences in taking deer sized animals with a .223 or smaller. Here in Louisiana a .22 center fire is legal. I read a story of very young girl using a .22 Hornet to take a deer here in LA.

I think stories like these are great. This girl was probably able to start hunting 3 to 4 years earlier because of the use of such a low recoil caliber.

Once again, I AM NOT looking for any ethics discussions. I intend to one day use a .223 for head and neck shots. I also intend to use the same .223 to introduce my children to hunting if I feel they are ready at a young age. Thanks
 

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I have an uncle that used to take deer every year with a .223 FMJ round. All head shots, all deer dropped on the spot.

The problem is that he is a very very skilled marksmen, and the age group that you're talking about is very young, and probably inexperienced as a result.

If it means the difference of a young person becoming interested in hunting, then I'd say go for it, use a .223. I myself wouldn't use one, but with proper training, the .223 and smaller cartridges can be very successful on deer.
 

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While young people may have less patience and experience, they also tend to have the sharpest senses and in many cases are capable of the best precision. So if they can prove that they can take a surgical shot I would trust the accuracy of a 12yr old against any age group. Judgement and responsibility would be the more important factors.
 

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A friend of mine who is dead now hunted deer sucessfuly for over 40yrs in the U.P. in Mich. and used a 45gr factory load in a .22Hornet and a double lung shot.I have taken 1 deer at 300yds with a headshot from a .220Swift and about 5 with a double lung shot at 250yds and under with a .22-250 using 55gr flat base soft points.I never needed a second shot.It isnt so much the small caliber as the bullet.If you are using a bullet that is strong enough to penetrate and have controled expansion the .22 class will do it if you keep the distance down so the bullet will work.I still believe in the double lung shot.If they cant breath they cant go anywhere.I never shot one with a .223 but have known of several that were and at 150 and under there wasnt any difference in .223 and .22-250. sam.
 

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Back in about 1972 a high school friend of mine took a deer with a .222 Remington. I know this is fact as I saw the deer and the bullet taken out of it. Tiny little bullet it was, too.
 

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with precise shots(as they always should be) the .22's are capable with the right bullet selection. that being said, most 10yr olds can easily handle a .243 .
 

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with precise shots(as they always should be) the .22's are capable with the right bullet selection. that being said, most 10yr olds can easily handle a .243 .
That being said as they say on tv,if I were starting a youth out I would definitly go along with Lefty and give them the advantage of the better deer class bullets from the .243,especially since there is little difference in felt recoil. sam.
 

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Hunters kill deer all the time with a bow - of course a .223 or similar would do the job. I actually saw a 12 yr old boy take a large buck with a .223 handi rifle. Lung shot dropped within 20 yards. Even though I would recommend something bigger, I would have not problem shooting a deer with a .223 or faster .22 with the right bullet. I have even seen a deer killed with a .22lr (head shot). Killing stuff is not nearly as hard as people make it out. Killing game animals ethically, humanely and quick enough to track and recover them is the trick.
 

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Ruby Mountains Nevada mule deer with a Colt AR-15 and Nosler balistic tip 55 grain.

I was shooting uphill very steep and bullet broke front leg, into chest and lodged far side. Ran about 30 yards. Lots of lung damage and bone spray opposte chest wall. Bullet was found in a perfect little mushroom.

The lungs looked as bad as any of the 30-06 deer I've hit.
 

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Accuracy, target shot with many kids some were much more accurate with a less abusive smaller rifle than many adults are with a standard 06 ect .

I think a 243 would be as small as I'd go even tho a pop can aint safe round me with my 223. I wouldnt want a animal to have to pay for me possibly haveing a off day.jmho
 

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Several years ago, me and a friend were out hunting squirrel. We were both armed with Marlin Model 60 rifles. I had about 4 in my bag and he had 2. We decided to split up and halve our areas. All of a sudden I heard 3 quick shots and then he yelled out, " get over here". When I got there he had a large buck dead on the ground. His rifle put 3 shots into the bucks neck and it dropped like a brick.
 

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And after your friend poached this deer did he sneek it out and use it or leave it lay and waste as most do in cases like this? samuel.
 

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I have an uncle that used to take deer every year with a .223 FMJ round. All head shots, all deer dropped on the spot.

The problem is that he is a very very skilled marksmen, and the age group that you're talking about is very young, and probably inexperienced as a result.

If it means the difference of a young person becoming interested in hunting, then I'd say go for it, use a .223. I myself wouldn't use one, but with proper training, the .223 and smaller cartridges can be very successful on deer.
Bravo's right, you should check into a 410 or posibly a 20 gauge but the 20 might be too much recoil don't know.

How old are your kids or do you have any yet?
 

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I have an uncle that used to take deer every year with a .223 FMJ round. All head shots, all deer dropped on the spot.

The problem is that he is a very very skilled marksmen, and the age group that you're talking about is very young, and probably inexperienced as a result.

If it means the difference of a young person becoming interested in hunting, then I'd say go for it, use a .223. I myself wouldn't use one, but with proper training, the .223 and smaller cartridges can be very successful on deer.
I do not know anywhere in the U.S. that fmj,s are legal to hunt game with. sam.
 
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