I am somewhat embarrassed that I dont already know how to tell the differences between the species of deer, becuase to me they all look the same. I cant even remember the how to tell the difference between male and female (doe and deer, crap I dont even remember the names!).
Im fairly new to hunting, and would like to learn the differences, along with the ability to spot and name different game animals.
If anyone could explain, or point me to a good web site, I would really appreciated it!
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July 16, 2005, 02:48 AM
where do you anticipate hunting? most states have only whitetail deer, so you may not need to concern yourself w/ other species. if you live where there are more than one species, you'll have to say where, because some states have mule deer, blacktail deer, or other species...
during hunting season, a female deer (doe) will rarely have antlers on its head. male deer (buck) will have antlers... there's a start... a lot depends on where you live/hunt...
July 16, 2005, 04:33 AM
I plan on doing most of my hunting in middle Tennessee. Im pretty familar with firearms, but not hunting. Ive always wanted to hunt but never had anyone to go with, or even help me out with. Now that I live in a place which more land and have more friends to help me out, I hope I can go hunting for the first time next season.
July 16, 2005, 04:48 AM
ok, i am almost 100% certain tennessee has whitetails only, so you don't need to worry about species, just sex. pretty easy to tell buck from doe - either it has antlers (buck), or it doesn't (doe). some states or parts of states may have a restriction as to how many points must be on one side or something, but that is something you'll have to check locally.
first thing you need to do is get decent binoculars, and learn how to use them. they will help you to determine sex of the deer, and rack size, plus they will keep you from doing dumb stuff, like looking for game/spotting things w/ your riflescope.
July 16, 2005, 08:45 AM
I think most states just have antler or antlerless season with antlers having a minimum length, instead of calling them bucks and does.
Be carefull about the species you are hunting, while a Tennessee deer is a white tail I recall a story from a few years back: During opening day a hunter shot a huge buck, he field dressed it and had his buddy help him get it on the back of his truck. He proceeded to drive around town and country showing off his deer, until he got stopped for illegally taking an elk...
Wear hunter orange, even if its not the law.
Know your target, a single leaf blowing in the brush can fool you if
you are eager to shoot. A large white tail will only be about chest high
most are smaller.
Scout your area, here in West Virginia we scout the last couple weeks before opening day, squirrel season is great for this.
Find a scrape line and look for a good place to set up covering it.
July 16, 2005, 12:52 PM
In the broadest sense "deer" include caribou,moose, elk,deer .The more common usage it means mule deer and whitetail deer .Mule deer is found in the west and whitetail is found in most states. Within the whitetail there are subspecies including northern,virginia,coues,key etc. TN would most likely have the virginia whitetail. In PA the average buck is about 150 and the doe 125 lbs.
July 16, 2005, 06:53 PM
You may also find Axis deer in some places. You'll know them because their rack is something to behold in comparison to whitetails.
There's also the Yes Deer, which is characterized by it's ability to continue watching the game on the couch oblivious to the fact that his wife is pouring her guts out.
July 17, 2005, 01:10 PM
Here in WA we have mulies, white tail and black tail. With that, the hunting regs have a very good description of each. I don't know about Tenn. but the hunting regs might be a good source of info. for you.
July 17, 2005, 04:43 PM
Unless you happen to be hunting where the land owner has exotics, you will only be dealing with whitetail deer in Tennessee. Be aware, that the state has an elk stocking program. I believe that the elk are being placed over in/near the Smokey Mt. National Park. Elk have large bodies (300-800 lbs) lbs) and large antlers compared to deer (Deer weigh 100-150 lbs typically). If you have a concern, call the state and ask where they are stocking the elk so that you can rule out that possibility. After you see a couple, there is no mistaking an elk for a whitetail deer. Check out the TWRA web site also. Good information there on hunting in Tennessee.
You might want to do some casual reading on whitetail hunting in the various sporting rags. They should get you thinking about some of the things that can be important. Best thing to do is hunt with somebody else who has some experience.
If you are hunting on private land, you definitely want to do some scouting to learn the boundaries of the land. Scouting should also be done to learn the habits of deer on the property and in the area. Some folks get down-right angry if you walk onto someone else's land by accident while hunting.
What I did was get the tax maps of the property that you would be hunting and then transfer it onto a topographic map to give you a rough idea of boundaries. Tax maps are available from the County Tax Assessor. This is especially true if the property is fairly large and there are clubs that have land leased adjacent to the property you are hunting or you are hunting on their leased lands. The club would have maps also.
You planning on hunting regular rifle season, archery, black powder?
I also hunt middle Tennessee.
July 17, 2005, 11:59 PM
22-rimfire- I plan on doing rifle hunting. I will be getting an AR-15 soon that I will probably use to hunt. .223 may be a little too light for some, but I dont think I will have any problems as long as I use the right ammo (bonded JSP or JHP) and use good placement.
Everyone else- Thanks!
July 18, 2005, 01:01 AM
glock- not to rain on your parade, but there is a wicked, wicked disease out there called 'buck fever' (not restricted just to hunters after bucks, either - it also strikes doe hunters). it strikes novice hunters the hardest, fastest, worstest, and all that. this makes your 'placement' idea, while sound in theory, about useless in practice.
the 223 can work fine, but for a first-time hunter, there may not be many worse cartridges to consider... ymmv... buck fever... i'm tellin' ya...
July 18, 2005, 01:05 AM
Yea, be sure and learn how tell the difference.
I was hunting with a woman one time, we were about 100 yards apart in tree stands. I heard a shot go off so I climed down out of my stand and went rapidly to where she was. I got there and found a man with his hands in the air, holding them up while my lady friend had a gun on him.
I heard him say, OK Ok Ok lady, you can have your deer, just let me get my saddle off of him. :D
July 18, 2005, 01:27 AM
Marshall: That is a cute story.
Not to pick at you but, I personally believe that the 223 caliber is one of the poorest calibers for deer hunting that you can choose and especially in an AR. It is right up there with 22 Hornet, 218 Bee, and 222 Rem. You probably haven't even heard of those calibers before. I also believe the AR-15 or clones give deer hunters a bad name. You aren't going to war, you're going deer hunting. Please don't use anything less than a 243/6mm for deer hunting.
July 18, 2005, 07:24 PM
Yep, .223 (or 5.56mm) is really a varmint round, you're not using enough gun. You need something between .243 to .35. with .270, 7mm and anything that starts with .3 being good choices. Slugs through a shotgun work just fine also. You want your deer DRT (or as close as possible). Trailing a wounded deer mile after mile through the woods is not much fun, scares the other deer, makes other hunters mad and you could lose your deer to either another hunter (happened to my cousin, he made a bad shot, we waited and by the time we caught up, another hunter had seen this deer "Just drop dead before I could get my gun up", he had him tagged and half-way gutted when we showed up.) or just lose him period.
Since you've never hunted before you might also want to take a Hunter Safety course. I sat through one with my daughter a couple years back and learned alot. Can't wait to go through it again in a couple of years with my son just to see what else I learn. :D :D
Check the sticky at the top of this forum, there might be someone who'll mentor you on your first hunt.
July 18, 2005, 07:43 PM
I don't remember the game rules for TN, but in many states a 223 is illegal for deer hunting. Worth a check if it will save you a ticket.
July 18, 2005, 07:53 PM
Most states have limitations on caliber of weapon for deer.
Here's the specifics for Tenn.
Deer, Bear, Boar and Feral Hog Hunting
1. Shotguns using ammunition loaded with single solid ball
or rifled slugs.
2. Rifles, except those utilizing an artificial light capable
of locating wildlife, using center-fire ammunition of .24
caliber (6 mm) or larger, in all counties except where
regulated by legislative acts.
3. Muzzle-loading percussion cap or flintlock rifles, handguns
or shotguns of .40 caliber (.40-inches) minimum.
These muzzle-loading firearms are legal during any gun
season or hunt unless otherwise specified.
Muzzleloading firearms are defined as those firearms
which are incapable of being loaded from the breech.
Also, if you were born after 1969 you are required to take a hunter safety course.
Who must take a Hunter Education Class and where are they offered?
Anyone who wishes to hunt in Tennessee and was born on or after January 1, 1969, must pass a Hunter Education Class. These classes are free and are scheduled by the Hunter Safety Coordinator in each of TWRA's four regions. To find a convenient class, call the nearest of TWRA's four regional offices and ask for information about a class near you or click here: Regional Hunter Education Classes . Most of the classes are taught in late summer or early fall.
Arizona has Whitetail, Couse (sp?) Whitetail and Mule Deer.
July 18, 2005, 11:24 PM
LennyJoe: I'm embarr-assed. It never occurred to me to check the minimium TN center fire rifle requirement. You need to add one important one to the list... (#6) Center-fire handguns .24 caliber (6mm) or larger having a barrel length of four inches or more, in all counties except where regulated by legislative acts. The .40 caliber requirement (above) is for black powder weapons.
Frankly, I think it should be 357 or larger in power. The requirement above opens up a lot of different caliber options that are substandard for whitetail.
July 19, 2005, 08:54 AM
I believe the state record Mule Deer buck came from this county. Mule deer generally have bigger ears and out there they tend to run a little bigger. Also Mule deer run a little differetly than Whitetails (not always). Sometimes they do something called stotting. It's kind of a fast bounce.
Ahhh, so confused, .30-06? .223? 12 gauge?
July 20, 2005, 04:42 AM
dakotasin- I handle stressful situations fairly well, so I dont think I would be effected too much by the rush. I have a pretty good amount of firearms experience, and im not that bad at trap shooting. Trap shooting definatly isnt deer hunting, but I do think it can be useful for a number of reasons.
22-Rimfire- I know they .223 isnt that great, but it definatly isnt far from the .243 in power. Even with a larger caliber, would a bad shot really be that much better? Besides, the AR-15 I am getting is mainly for home defense purposes, so I will have a lot of time with it. I would much rather be hunting with a gun that I have tons of experience with rather than a gun that I can only afford to zero in.
As for the calibers you listed, I believe the .223 is far more advanced than any of them. I am somewhat familar with them, especially the .22 Hornet, and I will say that most ammo is made specifically for varmint hunting; there are probably half a dozen different purposes, and I believe that some of the heavier, bonded JSPs and JHPs would be closely suited to deer hunting.
As for not using the AR-15 becuase it looks bad, im not sure how others feel about this, but to me it is like saying "use a single shot pistol for self defense becuase you dont want to look like a tactical Ted Rambo wannabe".
As for the minimum caliber limits, I think my first hunting will be on private land, but sometime next year, I plan on getting a .30-06 (100th Anniversary rifle) for this purpose and will most likely start hunting on public land (although the number of irresponsible idiots out there kind of scares me).
Scout- I would really appreciated a fellow THR member close to me to help me out, but I really dont see that happening. :(
I hope I didnt seem offensive in my post. I am still open to this, since like I mentioned, I dont really have much experience with hunting.
July 20, 2005, 09:25 AM
There is only one species of deer: yummy! :D
July 20, 2005, 11:16 AM
Glock19Fan - Understand that the .24 caliber restriction in TN applies regardless of whether you are hunting on public or private land, bullet weight and design or your familiarity with the platform you will be shooting it out of.
Just so you are clear....
1-Most experienced hunters believe that .223 is an inappropriate cartridge for deer regardless of bullet design.
2- It is ILLEGAL to use .223 for deer in Tennessee regardless of whether you are hunting on public or private land. You will be charged/ticketed if caught.
Please rethink your decision to use .223.
July 20, 2005, 03:40 PM
It appears to me that Glock19Fan is NOT as gun savvy as he says he is.
One can learn all one wants to learn (as from a book) about deer, varieties, terminology, etc with a simple google search. Likewise, by reading the applicable state regulations one can learn what a legal deer gun would be. Further, by attending a local hunter safety course (mandatory in some areas, certainly recommended here) one can avoid many pitfalls.
July 20, 2005, 06:53 PM
As my uncle would say: " That boy just ain't listenin'. "
Get thyself to a Hunter Ed course. Use this link to find one near you.
I would also suggest again to find an experienced hunter who is willing to mentor you. You can learn alot more then just hunting with the right person....
July 20, 2005, 08:50 PM
This species is known as the "WereWolf Deer" or commonly refered to as "Killer Deer". Attacked me one morning as I was getting into my stand....can only be killed using silver bullets or driving a wooden stake through it's heart.
July 20, 2005, 10:07 PM
First, Glock19Fan-- As you can see here, .243/6mm is a whole different animal than a .223:
The .243 is simply a .308 Winchester necked down to 6mm/.243 caliber. It's got a LOT more "oomph" to it.
Maybe the route you'd like to go is a .243 upper?
Another route, which is a lot of fun, would be to find a nice inexpensive rifle in a more suitable caliber. I've done a bit of hunting with a SMLE in .303 purchased for under $150 that would readily hit Coke cans on demand at 100 yards. If your issue is ammo availability, perhaps one of the Ishapore .308 models, which are still fairly thick on the ground for about that price, would suit you?
It looks like you're interested in doing the right thing, because you came here and asked for advice. That shows you're willing to learn, and to follow the rules and ethics of hunting. Don't stop now. While some of us can come off as a little didactic at times, there is some decent advice being offered, here. If you'd like, I can put you in touch with a decent gunshop in Knoxville (I don't know how often you get down into Tennesse from KS), with some staff that could help you find an appropriate hunting rifle.
Like you, the whole "give hunting a bad name because of the black rifle" thing doesn't really make much sense to me. It's not so much the tool, it's how you use it. I understand that fully. For me, the issue is that the rifle in .223 is not technically legal to hunt deer with, and you're admittedly a novice at deer hunting. As someone who's killed a few deer in my time, I can admit to you that I've blown shots that only a bit of power margin saved from being tragic woundings. Please learn from my mistakes. I'll be happy to share them, if you'd like, via PM. :)
July 20, 2005, 10:24 PM
Matt G- Great post! The only thing close to hunting I have ever done is a little squirrel hunting, along with the occasional varmint extermination, and with both, even the varmints, I believe in quick kills (it REALLY pisses me off when I see friends taking pot shots at animals and not finishing off, but not all really understand the ethics of this game).
I am kind of bummed out about the .223 being illegal. I agree, using the largest gun is the best, which is one of the reasons why I am getting a .30-06, but there are .223 loads that give the .243 a run for their money (for example, 100 grain .223s are loaded just 300-400 FPS slower than the same weight in .243, given a reputable loader such as Black Hills).
W Turner- Thanks for clearing that up for me! I have only lived in TN for a few months, and I am still not fully aware of the laws here, especially with reguard to hunting. I was pretty familar with KS laws though, and I didnt even hunt. However, reguarding your first comment, I believe that the rounds that most hunters are familar with in .223 are the light 40-55 grain frangible varmint rounds. There are newer loads out there that expand fragment, and penetrate to respectable depths, most commonly in the 75-100 grain loads although there are 55-62 grain bonded loads that give respectable performance.
Hobie- Could you explain your first comment?
Please remember that taking a Hunters safety course is a given- I probably know what is taught in most classes, but learning and a great refreshment could never hurt.
EDIT: Haha, you wouldnt guess what my post count is! :)
July 20, 2005, 11:46 PM
There are newer loads out there that expand fragment,...
don't know if you meant to say that, but fragmentation is the last thing you want out of a hunting bullet, regardless of caliber, but most especially in 22's...
July 21, 2005, 12:13 AM
I agree that fragmentation can be bad, but IMO, as long as the bullet still penetrates to a sufficent depth and retains a decent diameter, a little fragmention is OK.
However, I would agree that total fragmentation can be bad.
July 21, 2005, 02:47 PM
Glock19Fan: A few comments... I'm glad you are familiar with the other 22 varmint rounds that I mentioned. You know on a public forum like this, you have no idea whom you are really dealing with and the only way to establish knowledge level or experience is how a question or comment is framed. I know that there have been major improvements with the 223 round. But you can wrap it up any way you want, it is basically a varmint round period.
My older brother actually shot his first buck with a 222 with 55 grain jacketed soft point bullets years ago. That was the only rifle he had and they were legal for deer sized game. He now uses a 270 win.
My first deer rifle (a 243 win) was similar to your reasoning... trying to get more broad use out of a rifle (groundhogs, varmints, and deer). I lost a deer with a chest shot, and I upgraded to a 270 win the following year. I recommend the 270 or slightly larger as a good caliber for whitetail deer hunting. The venerable 30-06 is a great caliber. My history was always striving for careful bullet placement and modest power versus substantial power such as might be found in a 300 win mag or 7mm for deer. I just stay away from the 30... magnum rounds for deer hunting as they are not necessary. Some of the new short magnums have tweeked my interest though... in particular the 270 short mag.
With regard to the AR's for deer hunting. In my opinion, they can and do give deer hunters a bad public image. Does that matter? YOU BET! We don't need the press showing pictures of the big deer hunter with his AR-15 and 20 round magazine as being representative of hunters. Personally, I like the AR's, I just wouldn't take one in the woods deer hunting even in a 308 chambering. The fact is I view them as a target, plinking, or defensive gun for civilian use. Perception is usually fact when it comes to the media.
Public land hunting is pretty limited in Tennessee. Most of the WMA's are by draw and are black powder, archery, or shotgun (slug) hunting. Some of the larger WMA's allow rifles. The application for hunting the WMA's is in mid July, just past, I belive. Would have to look that one up.
Good luck in getting things together for your first hunt in TN.
July 21, 2005, 04:24 PM
I'm noting your use of terminology, references to various cartridges and so forth which point to an inconsistency with your claim of familiarity. You don't strike me as a knowledgeable shooter. My opinion is based on the following statements:
I plan on doing most of my hunting in middle Tennessee. Im pretty familar with firearms, but not hunting.
I will be getting an AR-15 soon that I will probably use to hunt. .223 may be a little too light for some, but I dont think I will have any problems as long as I use the right ammo (bonded JSP or JHP) and use good placement.
I know they .223 isnt that great, but it definatly isnt far from the .243 in power. Even with a larger caliber, would a bad shot really be that much better? Besides, the AR-15 I am getting is mainly for home defense purposes, so I will have a lot of time with it. I would much rather be hunting with a gun that I have tons of experience with rather than a gun that I can only afford to zero in.
As for the minimum caliber limits, I think my first hunting will be on private land, but sometime next year, I plan on getting a .30-06 (100th Anniversary rifle) for this purpose and will most likely start hunting on public land
there are .223 loads that give the .243 a run for their money (for example, 100 grain .223s are loaded just 300-400 FPS slower than the same weight in .243, given a reputable loader such as Black Hills).
Im not sure whether or not it is legal to shoot in my yard (I am outside city limits though), but what I meant was I have to shoot in my yard until I can register at a range, which is about 15 minutes from here.
I am buying a gun this week from summitgunbroker. I am ready to pay, but since we just moved to TN, none of us have a TN drivers license, although we do have them from our old state (Kansas).
I was wondering what is required when buying a gun in TN, and would not having a license prevent us from doing so?
The 50 round boxes are generally restricted to LEO, while the 20 round boxes are most commonly sold online to the public and in the gun stores. Both are the same round, although I have heard from a few people that the 50 round boxes have stricter quality control, but im not sure.
I was shooting my Heritage Arms revolver today with Aguilas Super Colibri ammo. As I was ejecting the cases, I noticed it looked like they were being hit twice, the one to the left being slightly smaller. I guess that the recoil pushed the hammer back,Ö
Also, what age is it to possess and carry a handgun, loaded if legal?
Look for the serial number. You can not only date it with the #, but you could also find out what happened to the poor guy shooting it.
A cursory examination of hunting literature would have you avoiding the .223 Remington for any but small deer in very controlled circumstances (as some have in Texas). You would have known what was and was not legal for such use.
I looked for 100 gr. .223 Remington loads not being familiar with bullets in excess of 80 gr. for this cartridge in available barrels. Iíve not found them and Black Hills shows a max weight of 75 gr. A gun savvy guy would know how much bullet size, weight and velocity affects effectiveness. Others have pointed out HOW the .243 beats the .223 and so forth. Might be something to that donít you think. However, I donít think the .223 Rem is a suitable home defense round either. If I were you neighbor and knew that is what you were doing Iíd probably have a talk with you. I know what the cartridge will and will not do, Iíve been using and training others in its use for over 25 years AND on the platform you say youíll be using. There are several other far better dual purpose cartridge/platform combinations for your purpose. As a gun savvy guy, youíd know that.
Deer arenít armored plated but a sufficiently large (diameter to meet legal AND ethical requirements) and heavy bullet, constructed to behave in flesh as necessary at the velocities produced by the cartridge IS necessary. LOTS of cartridges meet those requirements and some, in combination with certain platforms, are very suitable for additional use as a home defense arm.
As noted above, you donít know with whom you are conversing here. It might, just might, have been smarter for me to leave this topic be but I didnít. I figure you are an enthusiastic teenager without much experience. Thereís nothing wrong with that as weíve all been there. If you arenít, Iíd be surprised and a bit embarrassed for you.
In any case, you would do well to "listen" to some of the advice provided with regards to obeying the law and choice of deer capable cartridge. Nobody here wants to see anyone else fail in life.
July 21, 2005, 05:00 PM
glock- i've hunted a lot of deer w/ a lot of different calibers. unless you are after very small deer, fragmentation, especially w/ a 22, is very, very bad for deer hunting.
i know this board is more dedicated to 'combat' shooting, for lack of a better descriptor, and i know that most here claim the 223's fragmentation is what makes it a good battle cartridge... but... in hunting deer, fragmentation is not a desireable character. so... regardless of the chambering you wind up w/, use ammo that is not pre-disposed to come unglued.
July 21, 2005, 07:47 PM
I have hunted extensively with both the .223 and the .243. IMO, they are both anemic for whitetails. I have killed mule deer and pronghorn with both though. However, the mule deer I killed with the .223 was unintended as I was hunting pronghorn at the time and had a REALLY close shot at a big muley doe. Dropped her on the spot. My .243 is my favorite muley gun, as I hunt the prairie and longer shots are the norm. The handloads I use are a 105 gr Hornady Spitzter type bullet in front of IMR 4350, souped up to about 3K ft/sec.
July 22, 2005, 02:20 AM
Hobie- I dont understand why you posted all of my previous quotes- All the information contained in them was correct, and all the questions asked were reasonable.
"I looked for 100 gr. .223 Remington loads not being familiar with bullets in excess of 80 gr. for this cartridge in available barrels. Iíve not found them and Black Hills shows a max weight of 75 gr."
Well you didnt look hard enough. Ill help you out.
Im not sure who the rounds came from, but IIRC, I do think that Black Hills have loaded this cartridge in the past (although im not 100 percent sure, and im sorry if im wrong). Average velocity was around 2500 FPS. Not bad, and I would be they could safely be loaded another 100 FPS given correct R&D.
"Others have pointed out HOW the .243 beats the .223 and so forth. Might be something to that donít you think."
I know the .243 beats the .223, but IMO, it is like comparing the .45ACP to 9mm. The .45ACP is more effective than the 9mm on humans, but to what degree is hotly debated.
"However, I donít think the .223 Rem is a suitable home defense round either. If I were you neighbor and knew that is what you were doing Iíd probably have a talk with you. I know what the cartridge will and will not do, Iíve been using and training others in its use for over 25 years AND on the platform you say youíll be using. There are several other far better dual purpose cartridge/platform combinations for your purpose. As a gun savvy guy, youíd know that. "
Why is it not suitable for home defense? Bullets designed for personal defense generally will not penetrate further than handgun rounds through materials commonly found in homes (wall board, plywood, ect), and give impressive wounds. Not only that, but the average .223 round penetrates no deeper than many common JHPs in most calibers.
I would really suggest reading some of Dr. Martin Facklers material.
Since you think the .223 is such a poor choice for home defense what would you choose?
And like I said before, I completely agree that a larger caliber is better, in fact I may get a .30-30 (Marlin 336 looks interesting) between now and next year for deer hunting.
Everyone else- Thanks for your support!
July 22, 2005, 11:02 AM
Glock19Fan, check your numbers!
The mean velocity of the 105g .223 at the site you referenced is 2457.0.
The velocity of commercial Remington PowerPoint 100g loads is 2960 fps. That's 500 fps difference. That's pretty huge. Add in the fact that a tremendously fast twist is required to stabilize a 105g .223 bullet (1:7 may be marginal), and you have an accuracy problem to deal with, too.
Look, out of a stand over a feeder, I'm sure .223 would do for whitetail. But it's not anything like even the minimal .243. Alse, please tell me just who exactly loads that 105g load commercially, and what WalMart or Oshman's sells it? I can tell that there are numerous loads available at those stores in .243 or .308 or .270 or .30-'06 that I'd trust to kill deer.
July 22, 2005, 11:45 AM
Sigh. Okay. I've decided to share a tell on myself. I've told it before, and apologize to those who've read it in the past.
1988. I was 17, and hunted hard on a friend's itty bitty ranch without much success. I'd never killed a buck before, and wanted one. One morning, it was raining as I sat down in a camouflage poncho in a long narrow pasture where I'd seen sign that deer had been crossing. I sat for an hour or two before turning my head behind me and see a 7 pt buck trying to sneak (almost successfully) behind me at all of about 40 feet. He winded me at the same time I saw him, and took off. He ran faster as I stood up and tried to throw a wet poncho back over my shoulder as I threw back the hood and unlimbered a Ruger M77 .257 Roberts and sighted at his white tail. By the time I finally got crosshairs on the white tail and safety off, he was about 100 yards away and gaining speed. As he was at this point running straight away from me and it felt like an easy shot, I squeezed the trigger... at the precise moment that he jumped the barbed wire fence. After clearing the fence, he went into overdrive at a rightward angle, perhaps 1:30 or even 2:00 oclock. At any rate, he was quartering to me by the time I racked a new round into the chamber, regained him in my scope, and fired again at what I was sure was now a wounded deer. He was about 150 yards at that point, and I saw him falter at that shot. He ran on about another 30 yards, stopped, turned, and watched me for a few seconds as I dealt with an extractor failure and tried to shove a new round into the base of the fired case still in the chamber. by the time I manually got the fired case out and loaded the chamber and brought the rifle to bear, he was gone.
After 20 minutes of hunting for sign, my little brother found the buck all of about 20 feet from where I had last seen it, in a briar patch. (I tell you, sometimes their hide is perfect camauflage!) Post mortem examination showed exactly ONE entrance hole, and no exits. I had missed the buck on my first shot, when he jumped. On the second shot, I hit him in the right ham; I shot him in the ass. :rolleyes: I had forgotten to account for the windage of my target being a now-frantic buck moving at a near-45* angle at about MachII, 150 yards away. My bullet traveled all the way through a ~140 lb buck's rear haunch, his guts, his liver, the diaphram, and his right lung, landing against the backside of his sternum. When I later weighed that handloaded 100g Sierra Spitzer, it weighed 87 grains. Not bad performance, really.
But I'll say this: if it hadn't gotten to that lung, it wouldn't have died there, and I might never have found my buck (he didn't bleed a drop-- no sign to track). And know this, too: the sternum was intact; the bullet didn't even have enough energy to crack it.
Now, compare the .243 to the .257 to the .223 (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=26804&stc=1). Well, dadgummit, I now see that Remington (whose url=http://www.remington.com/ammo/ballistics/ballistics.htm]caliber conversion charts I've been using[/url]) only loads a 117g, and not a 100g. But here's the deal: there's not a dime's worth of difference between the velocity and energy of a .243 100g and a .257 Rbts 100g. While the Roberts has a wider caliber, the .243 has a better sectional density. Call it a wash at that weight. Basically, my .257 Roberts (which was admittedly a handload, but was not a souped-up load, by any means.) was identical to a .243 load. On that day, with that load, I had just enough oomph to get to the lung to kill that deer. Did I blow the shot? Sure. Should I have made the shot? Well, yes, given the fact that I felt I had probably hit the deer on the ill-advised shot I'd fired a second or two before. (Dang, I was sure I'd hit it! :) )
Would a .223 have done the job? Probably not. :(
July 26, 2005, 11:55 AM
Not putting down the AR or the .223 but...
Why not look at picking up a used 30 30 lever like a Marlin 336 or Win 94?
Light as AR, low recoil, cheap ammo and plenty of oomph for deer sized target.
Got my Sears model 45 (Marlin 336 sold under Sears brand name in 50s-60s) for less than $100 at pawn shop and I and 2 sons have taken multiple deer with it.
Personally I prefer a 308 (use a Rem 788 in 308) but you have a hard time beating a decent thurtythurty lever as a general purpose game rifle in US.
July 26, 2005, 03:55 PM
At times I gotta really stop and think about other people and the differences in experience and in where they hunt, compared to my deal. I started shooting rifles with a .22 in around 1941, and got my first '06 in 1950. I figure I'm maybe supposed to be do a bit more than someone who's sorta new to it all. Got my first deer in 1950, and a serious bunch more between 1963 and the 1990s.
While I've killed a couple of dozen smaller whitetails with the .243, I was always real picky about shot placement, using mostly neck shots and not going for Ma Bell stuff. Inside of 200 yards, almost always.
Overall, I sorta prefer stuff from .30-30 on up, if one is hunting where most shots will be inside of 150 yards. I'm nowhere near adamant, but for 200 yards and more for distance, I like things like the 7mm08 or stouter; .308 or .270 or '06, e.g.
A scope makes a big difference for shots at first light or late evening. With iron sights and poor light, what looks like a deer can sometimes be a fella...
July 26, 2005, 05:29 PM
You never know how it is going to affect you. Some people laugh at it and then shake so hard they drop their rifle, others are not affected at all. I carried an M-16 in Vietnam for a year. Scared? Oh yeah. But I stayed calm and steady in spite of it. The first time I started to line up on a nice buck several years later, I shook so much I couldn't in good conscience fire. That scope danced all over him. I was just as likely to hit him in the butt as in the head. And, I didn't get a deer that year. Over the years I have gotten much better but when I totally lose that funny feeling inside when a buck steps out, I quit hunting.
July 26, 2005, 06:40 PM
You are telling us what you "think will be" and the experienced hunters are telling you "how it is". No disrespect but one of the first signs of stupidity is a closed mind and the refusal to learn from those who know more. Your posts are riddled with lack of experience and a closed mind.
Good shooting and be safe.
July 26, 2005, 08:49 PM
Hey, I'll freely admit to the "quiveries" when a "real" buck steps out. I don't get'em for little ol' eatin' deer. :)
I've heard and read about the deal, but only know of one event at our lease during the many years we were there: One of the guys ran his rifle plumb dry, shooting at a really good buck that never quit running. He went to cussing and wanted all of us to go help him look for his wounded deer.
That is, until somebody pointed to five shells on the ground, all unfired...
July 26, 2005, 10:20 PM
Buck Fever: Being able to get that excited about a deer has got to be one of the greatest experiences for a hunter. I have had one experience when I was perhaps 15 bow hunting. I was hunting on the ground in a small blind near a pond out in the woods after school. Nodded off and when I opened my eyes there were three bucks within spittin' distance of me.... two large eight pointers and 1 six point. I waited for a shot..... pulled my recurve bow back slowly to full draw and then the fever hit me.... The darn arrow would just not stay still on the arrow rest! Darn...shot right under one at the great distance of perhaps 7 yds. Wonderful feeling though. I don't feel badly that it happened as it is still one of my better memories.
July 27, 2005, 04:30 AM
Matt- Thanks for the stories. I always like to hear about hunting stories. :)
Jeremae- I cant remember if I mentioned it or not, but I have been looking at that exact model (Marlin 336) for a while now, and have pretty much decided to get one for deer hunting, and will also be a trunk gun. I have heard they are great models.
Art and ONV- I never will know until I find out for myself. I have wanting to get my first buck since I was at least 13, so I am pretty convinced I will come up with Buck Fever on my first time. :)
LHB1- I am very open minded, I just stick to things that I believe in. Im not easily swayed, and I defend what I believe, and sometimes it might look like I am meaning to be offense. If I do, I really dont mean any harm, so if I offended anyone in this thread then I apologize. :(
When I do get my first buck, I will be sure to post details and pictures. Until then, I will do as much "homework" as I can on this stuff.
Just wondering, but can anyone tell me the schedule for this stuff? IIRC, the seasons vary depending on the weapon, and are generally around winter time. Also, when are hunters educational classes offered? Im not 100 percent sure on this, but I think that hunting classes are not required in TN becuase they are in the same category as a fishing license, and if you pay enough, you can get both in one.
July 27, 2005, 09:24 AM
go to your state's fish and game website, and you can find out all the info you need, like season dates, cost, # permitted to kill, legal weapons, etc. it varies from state-to-state, but generally, deer season runs in november.
go here to find your state's site: www.24hourcampfire.com/DFG_subpage.htm
July 27, 2005, 06:04 PM
Anyone born on or after January 1, 1969 must possess proof that they have successfully completed a hunter education class before hunting in Tennessee. From http://www.state.tn.us/twra/ (http://http://www.state.tn.us/twra/)
I've already posted the link to Tennessee's Hunter Ed class schedule, scroll up and click. Most sporting goods/gun shops/hardware stores also have the state Published Annual Hunting Regs available for free if you ask. Go get a copy and read it, or print it from the above website.
You've gotten lots of great advice from people on this board. Now it's time for you do your "homework". Start at the above site, it will tell you everything you need to know. If you still have questions about state specific rules/regs/requirements, there's a number listed on the above site.
Plus, I also seriously recommend you finding an experienced Hunter who is willing to take you/let you tag along on your first hunt.
I think I speak for everyone here, when I say I want you to be a Safe Hunter and want to welcome you into the brotherhood. However, your attitude and unwillingness to listen is very offputting.
G-d gave you two eyes, two ears and one mouth, guess which ones you should use more then the other ???
July 27, 2005, 09:52 PM
Plenty of time to accomplish everything you need to do prior to hunting season, especially rifle which starts around Nov. 19th. Archery starts in late September typically and the black powder season starts prior to the rifle season. Hunter Ed classes are actually fun. Most of the Hunter Ed classes are scheduled in August and September. You will learn some things. I have taken the NRA instructors class, it's fun too. Get yourself a suitable rifle, find a place to hunt, scout it out for deer sign, and decide where you think you would be have the highest chance for success. Shoot your rifle. Hunting is all about learning the basics and then learning the property and area where you are going to hunt. Enjoy!
I had to chuckle at your last post where you said you were open minded. Some of your comments suggest otherwise. Hey! No offense taken on my part. We all have to learn. (I am still learning by the way.) I remember when I was in my teens, I had some pretty strong ideas and thought I knew everything that needed to be known about hunting. I studied the ballistic charts. Compared calibers and so forth. I learned differently as I aged a bit.
Where are you in Tennessee? Nashville?
July 31, 2005, 02:28 AM
I know the .243 beats the .223, but IMO, it is like comparing the .45ACP to 9mm. The .45ACP is more effective than the 9mm on humans, but to what degree is hotly debated.
while i don't want to necessarily jump on the bashing bandwagon, i did want to take issue with this statement...
there is no hunting season on humans. in order to determine what is "enough gun" for killing people, one has to study results of unplanned, unexpected incidents.
with deer, however, there is a wealth of knowledge derived from people systematically shooting the darn things for hundreds of years, under varying degrees of controlled circumstances, under more or less restrictive target selection rules.
compared to humans, deer are all pretty much the same. i have yet to see a morbidly obese deer, or a deer that works out a lot, or a deer that's high on meth. admittedly, i don't hunt, but the deer i see are all... pretty similar.
so given that people have been spending the past, oh, forever, trying to find the best balance between how to consistently and humanely kill a known-quantity-deer and how to damage the meat as little as possible, it would be safe to say that prevailing wisdom in such matters is worth paying attention to.
with defensive arms, "use enough gun" is about saving your own skin. with hunting arms, "use enough gun" is about not being needlessly cruel. frankly, i couldn't care less if you use something of dubious value to protect yourself, but i get somewhat annoyed at the idea of setting out to kill an animal without showing it the respect it deserves.
so go get that 30-30 or 30-06 :)
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