Wirehunt I'm not saying there's not a lot of deer taken with a .243, there are. there's also a lot of deer left bleeding out or with broken bones somewhere because of a bad shot with .243's because shot placement is more critical with them. They don't have the shocking power to put one down like the bigger calibers do. Yeah, yeah, I know there's a lot of deer wounded with the bigger ones too but PERSONALLY I think there's more with .243's. Just my two cents, take it for what it's worth.
I think that way as well, BUT if someone is a good enough shooter-marksman to neck shoot then good luck to them. In NZ there has been thousands of deer shot with the .222, it was the caliber of choose for a lot of the old deer cullers and meat shooters and those guy's don't like wasting ammo so every shot counted.
I think the important thing is only a very good shooter use these smaller cal. rifles. If you don't think your that good don't use them.
Myself I like the 6.5 and think this is a great caliber for all but the biggest species of deer, in saying that at the moment I'm using a 7mm08 only because when I bought my current hunting rifle 6.5 wasn't available in this model here.
It's not that I don't think I'm a good shot. I am (even if I do say so myself) I grew up hunting bean fields where 300 yard shots and more are the norm. I've taken deer at 500 yds. But why take a chance on a smaller caliber when you don't have to? Not trying to argue with you, just my thoughts.
It's not an argument it's a discussion and I do like a good discussion
Theres a big differance Rebel between our shooting types, the longest shot I would take would be 300-350 yard's on deer and even then I'd be trying hard to get in closer. The only guy's I know of shooting at those long ranges are using 7mm magnums or rifles along those lines and normally with a range finder. The guy's using 243 and the like don't take shot's at such long ranges, h*ll guy's using 308,270 etc get in closer because even with a 308 at 500 yard's your pushing the envelop. So your back to square one, should you shoot at a deer at 500? A skilled marksman will say yes, but Joe blow hunter should be keeping it under 300ish unless he's got plenty of gun!
It all comes down to personal preference and location. 7 mm mag is the weapon of choice up there. You can't get in close to a deer across 300 yds of open field. I've hunted thick woods where a short barreled 30-30 would have done just fine. I think my closest kill was about 40 yds and I made a not so good shot on her. Kinda ironic I've made excellent shots at long ranges and almost lose a deer on a short shot like that. I was sighted in at 100 yds and was watching a green field when she just came walking thru the woods. I didn't hold low enough and hit her high in the lungs. She went about 50 yds and got into the thickest briar patch I've ever seen.
We've got a patch of bush which is fantastic, but our average shot is not much more than 20 yard's, do we take shotguns? No, cause you can bet that if we do we'll see deer in the clearing's at 200 yard's.
Maybe that's a good way to work out the best rifle for the job. If you know the area see what you think will be your longest shot and take a rifle capable of that.
Many New Englanders, (and Upstate New Yorkers like me), have hunted with the pump action Remington .270 or 30-06 carbine for decades. It is the choice of the famous Benoit Brothers, who track huge bodied deer all over New England and Canada. I like the lever gun, too, but the pump can handle more powerful, longer range cartriges, as weell as being even faster than the lever for follow-up shots. More accurate on average, too
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