Deer/hog hunting with a .223?


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john917v
August 18, 2010, 01:50 AM
I have a Savage 12fv, with a 3x9-40 scope. Once deer season comes along, I would like to hunt deer and or hogs with it. I would use a bigger rifle if I had it, but I don't. Now, do you guys think with a smaller caliber like this, I should go for a head, neck (spine), or behind-the-shoulder shot? Thanks for any help

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ms6852
August 18, 2010, 01:53 AM
First of all you need to find out what the minimum caliber requirements are for hunting in your state. It may be illegal to hunt with a 22 caliber rifle.

Boris bush
August 18, 2010, 02:12 AM
After the legality is figured out and if you can make sure you get proper ammo

TBBC, partitions, powerpoints and a few others will take deer fine.

IMO the behind the shoulder shot is poor shot placement. I have seen deer shot with the old warhorse 30 06 run half a mile through swamp, and tanngle like no other after being shot there. No caliber will bring a deer down all the time with poor placement like that. With larger calibers I always shoot the shoulder. I prefer quick kills and a little lost meat over a long lingering death and a possible chance at not tagging the animal.

With .223 stick with neck or spine shots. If you go for the head, the round will not matter.....

There will also be two camps on this issue. Those that have done/do it, and those that think about it.

add a grain of salt and figure out for yourself what you want to do after that....

FLAvalanche
August 18, 2010, 10:19 AM
No, you can't hunt hogs with .223. It's impossible! Even though plenty of people here do it successfully it's absolutely impossible and furthermore, because it wasn't recommended by someone on TV or in a magazine you shouldn't do it!

Sorry, I was just preparing you for what you're going to hear...

Go hunt with your .223 and enjoy yourself. It will do just fine. If your state laws don't allow .22 caliber they are probably referencing .22 rimfire. If it doesn't state rimfire in your hunting laws a quick call to your local fish and game office will set you straight.

I don't recommend neck and spine shots on hogs simply because most people don't know where the spine actually is in a hog and the neck has a lot of area with nothing vital.

Learn the vital areas of the pig because they are different than a deer.

W.E.G.
August 18, 2010, 10:45 AM
A .223 will drop a hog like a rock.

Aim for head, neck or front shoulder.

Probably want to avoid "varmint" bullets if you are taking shoulder-shots.

Hog is all stomach behind the shoulder.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/trivia/hog-vitals.jpg

I like this shot by THR member Mike 724 at http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4824280&postcount=46

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=83177&d=1219020662

chas08
August 18, 2010, 11:52 AM
Put it under the ear and its plenty. I've killed several hogs and a few deer with my .223 using FMJs. For large boars I'd stay away from the shoulder shots.

john917v
August 18, 2010, 05:04 PM
You guys are right, I knew it was illegal to hunt deer in TX with a rimfire, but I didn't know about the .25 caliber-minimum size. I'm not trying to be silly or anything, but hogs are considered a pest here in TX, (and just about everywhere else, I'm sure) but, I keep hearing from locals that there are no bag limits, you can harvest them with whatever you want, and so on. Is this true, especially the part where you can harvest them them with whatever you want?

FLAvalanche
August 18, 2010, 05:35 PM
Game animals and game birds may be hunted with any legal firearm, EXCEPT:
• white-tailed deer, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope may NOT be hunted with
rimfire ammunition of any caliber.

That's right from the Texas Hunting Laws pdf found on their website.

chas08
August 18, 2010, 07:40 PM
That's right from the Texas Hunting Laws pdf found on their website. Thats correct, there are no caliber restrictions or mag capacity restrictions in Texas. Hogs can be hunted year round, day or night, with or without artificial light, and there's no limit.

millertyme
August 20, 2010, 12:35 AM
I remember back when I lived in Tennessee they had what I'd call an extermination order on hogs. No license required, no closed season - day or night, and no limit. my only regret is that I didn't have any time to get any by the time I found out about them.

Double Naught Spy
August 20, 2010, 07:30 AM
I hunt hogs with 5.56. Mostly I make brain shots and it works well regardless of the size of the animal. The caliber may not be ideal, but it can me used very effectively.

Check out www.texasboars.com for more information about what folks are using to hunt in Texas. Generally, they suggest something larger than .223. This section has a lot of their members accounts of hunting successes and failures (mostly successes).
http://www.texasboars.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=77&sid=59d0a174e655144797d1cdb7134fc2ed

EmbarkChief
August 20, 2010, 11:05 AM
.223 + Hogs= Head
.223 + Deer= Neck or Head

Of course you can bring down either with hits to other areas, however in my experience these are the quickest and cleanest. YMMV

LoonWulf
August 22, 2010, 06:10 PM
alot of where your gonna shoot an animal depends on the angle you have. Ive killed alot of axis deer with my .223. The same rules apply to using larger calibers, but in spades since you have neither the penetration or the expansion/power of even a .243 to rely on. Head shots a great, but dont miss and hit them in the front of the face or jaw, youll never get that animal if you do. Neck shots are also very effective, but if you miss the spine or major artery you just gonna make a wound that will likely cause a long painfull death. behind the shoulder and your looking at taking out lungs or hart, or perhaps the spine if your hit high enough (Imho it offers a bit more leeway then a head or neck shot). I used to use 55grn vmax bullets, and ive never lost an animal, now tho id probobly go with one of the better controled expansion designs.

elorenzo
August 23, 2010, 10:47 AM
deer season 1999 in kansas was atough ordeal for me i hunted hard but had no luck even seeing a deer i had an either sex tag so i was ready to shoot i went out night after night and finally on the last day of the season i decided to pu my 30-06 awy for the season that evening while i was checking my cows i saw a nice big fat doe just my luck the only gun i had was a 223 i aimed at the base of her neck as she was facing away i pulled the trigger and she dropped like a stone after we measured and she was shot at 84 yards so yes your 223 is plenty of gun for hogs and deer

Good luck and happy hunting :)

Thatguy686
September 6, 2010, 12:36 PM
Ok To correct a couple people on here with a .223 on a deer use the fastest moving bullet u can find prolly. 35 grain and aim for the heart it'll work and as far as hogs do not aim for the head behind and a Lil below the ear is where u wanna hit if u shoot them square between the eyes they will take off injured but still u will be lucky to track them and find them aim just behind and a lol below the ear and I'll get a Drt shot (dead right there)

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
September 6, 2010, 09:43 PM
Thatguy686, Not trying to be mean or anything here, But pretty much any hog thats over 100 pounds will shrug off a 35 grain from a 223 and laugh the whole way up your leg while chewing you to pieces!!! Will a .223 kill a hog or a deer? Yes of course it will. Is it a recommended calibre for either? No sir it is not and for good reason. Shot placement with such a small calibre would have to be as close to perfect as humanly possible or you get a really big NO NO in the hunting world, an injured animal that you wont recover. Another problem hog hunting with a .223 is the danger factor. People seem to underestimate hogs for some stupid reason and I can not for the life of me figure out why! To be perfectly honest, I would almost rather have a pissed off wolf baring down on me than an injured pissed off hog! They are an extremely tough and ferocious animal when angered and I for one would want the biggest hunk of lead I could throw at one at my disposal if the need arose. I have seen first hand what one that was just 120 pounds did to a man that was well over 200 pounds. It had him tore all to hell before I could shoot the damn thing off him. In all honesty, save up and buy yourself a good 30/30 and then you wont have a worry at all weather or not you have enough weapon to do the task.

stsimons
September 6, 2010, 10:50 PM
my .02.

IF you are going to hunt deer or hogs use a premium bullet. Barnes TSX or a similar...

It will do the job if you do yours.

H&Hhunter
September 7, 2010, 09:53 AM
WOW!! There is some really interesting information on this thread. I've learned some new things today.

Wounded attack hogs! I had no idea that a little 120lb porker could be so viscous. I'd sure like to see some pictures of the guy or at least read the news article because I'm sure that made the news! Most of the hogs that I've wounded simply run away and you either need a really good tracker or dogs to find them. I must be hunting the cowardly beast version of the wild hog. Or maybe they can sense that I will simply stand for no nonsense from any hog as I am the pork punisher of Paducah!! That's probably it.

People on TV tell you not to use a .223 on hogs? Wow I didn't know that either. I kind of thought that common sense and years of experience would be the key factor here but I guess some do get their information from the TV. The .223 can be used on hogs but you really need to be careful with your shot placement which all but eliminates it from being a useful hog rifle unless you are hunting from a stand over a bait or are a really seriously disciplined spot and stalk hunter.

Maybe I should spend less time in the field and more time watching TV I might have missed out on some key information here!

With hundreds upon hundreds of hogs killed I've never had one attack or even push home a serious determined charge. I've had them talk tough when cornered, I've had them run at me trying to get me to back off, I've had them fight my dogs and they love to bluff charge trying to scare you. Many time people think they are being charged when in fact the hog is simply running in your direction trying to get away.

You can get hurt when dealing with a wounded hog especially in tight cover when they feel blocked in but they don't come looking for you or hunt you down and tear you to threads with vengeful fury in their hearts.

ZeroJunk
September 7, 2010, 12:42 PM
If it is all you have make it work for you. Use premium bullets and make good shots. I wouldn't try quartering shots on a big animal with it, but broadside shots in or just above the heart will work fine and it gives you a little more room for error than a head or neck shot. If you know you can make the head or neck shot, go for it

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
September 7, 2010, 12:50 PM
H&Hhunter, It was back in the early 80's in Tennessee, He shot it at a pretty steep angle quartering to him and if I remember correctly it was with a .243 but Im not 100% sure on that, The hog covered 40 yards in a heartbeat and yes sir it was attacking not simply evading. Hit him in the calf first, ripped a chunk out of his leg, guy went down and it got a hold of his thigh. The tusk missed his femoral artery by 1/2 of an inch. That is not the first or only time that hogs have attacked. You just don't read about it often but it is not as rare as one would think. It has not happened to you because you, like me, are not out there with a "BB gun" trying to take a pretty hefty animal. Always choose a weapon to meet the task. When I hog hunt I carry NO LESS than a 30/30 and I either have a .44mag SRH or my .500S&W on my side for those incidents. I've been charged down by a dominate male more than once and a good shot to the area just above the snout with one of those handguns will do the job. While you are correct MOST THE TIME H&Hhunter hog will generally run off, not ALL the time will they. A dominate male is highly aggressive and will charge you and trust me bud, if one gets a hold on you it will be a lasting memory. One you will not wish to have either! Those tusks are not just for show and them buggers definatly know how to use them to their advantage!

R.W.Dale
September 7, 2010, 01:53 PM
OK but let me ask you this

You shoot porky and he's PO'd and coming for you which would you rather have? One shot at most from grandpaws remchester bolt action 243 with a 3x9x40 scope, one shot from your old faithful open sighted 336

OR

4 62g TSX'es en route from a semiauto carbine fitted with a very fast reflex sight..


HMMMMMMMM! let me think about that for a minute???


Now this said I'd like to add that the below quote is also uncommonly BAD advice. Use a bullet suitably constructed WHICH ISN'T gonna be one that weighs 35grs

Ok To correct a couple people on here with a .223 on a deer use the fastest moving bullet u can find prolly. 35 grain and aim for the heart it'll work and as far as hogs do not aim for the head behind and a Lil below the ear is where u wanna hit if u shoot them square between the eyes they will take off injured but still u will be lucky to track them and find them aim just behind and a lol below the ear and I'll get a Drt shot (dead right there)

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
September 7, 2010, 06:37 PM
OK but let me ask you this

You shoot porky and he's PO'd and coming for you which would you rather have? One shot at most from grandpaws remchester bolt action 243 with a 3x9x40 scope, one shot from your old faithful open sighted 336

OR

4 62g TSX'es en route from a semiauto carbine fitted with a very fast reflex sight..


HMMMMMMMM! let me think about that for a minute???

While yes that AR in .223 with some 62g TSX's COULD get the job done that would NOT be my first choice no sir! My 336 would be. My ONE shot to your 4 shots needed would make me feel much safer! (Not to mention im pretty dern quick on followups with a lever) BUT the OP's first question clearly shows he doesn't have an AR based platform, he has a Savage bolt action. The question was should he take head or neck shots on deer and hogs. My answer was and stays NEITHER with that weapon. It is not an ethical choice for big game and shouldn't be used. Simple as that. I am sure I will get ripped on for that but really do not care. I believe firmly in ETHICAL hunting as our big game animals (even the pest hogs) deserve as clean and ethical kill as humanly possible period.

CSA 357
September 7, 2010, 06:52 PM
head shots or plan on some geting away, shot placement is everything

EmbarkChief
September 8, 2010, 01:03 PM
Ok To correct a couple people on here with a .223 on a deer use the fastest moving bullet u can find prolly. 35 grain and aim for the heart it'll work and as far as hogs do not aim for the head behind and a Lil below the ear is where u wanna hit if u shoot them square between the eyes they will take off injured but still u will be lucky to track them and find them aim just behind and a lol below the ear and I'll get a Drt shot (dead right there)
Let me take a quick second to relate something I witnessed first hand a few years ago. On a family hunt at my uncles place in the Texas Hill Country a newly minted "cousin in law" tried to shoot a white tail through the shoulder with a .22-250. Range was probably around 70 yards and I'm unsure what bullet he was using. The bullet impacted the shoulder and exploded, I'm talking baseball size chunk of flesh missing, but did not penetrate into the vitals. Luckily another cousin was with him and quickly dispatched the deer with his .270 before it got very far. If penetration is your goal use bullets on the heavy side.

Disclaimer: I love the .22-250 and have taken quite a few deer with this caliber, I believe its just fine for a deer cartridge as long as the hunter understands its limitations.

qajaq59
September 8, 2010, 02:56 PM
Just MHO. You've seen where the brain and spine are on a hog now. If you are a good shot, and are willing to pass the shot when you can't place it where you should, then go hunting. If you get close, pick your spot, and practice lot before you go, you should do fine.

H&Hhunter
September 9, 2010, 02:06 AM
Just MHO. You've seen where the brain and spine are on a hog now. If you are a good shot, and are willing to pass the shot when you can't place it where you should, then go hunting. If you get close, pick your spot, and practice lot before you go, you should do fine.

I 100% agree and also just MHO..But why would you want to limit yourself like that when there are so many adequate choices available for the job.

OK but let me ask you this

You shoot porky and he's PO'd and coming for you which would you rather have? One shot at most from grandpaws remchester bolt action 243 with a 3x9x40 scope, one shot from your old faithful open sighted 336

OR

4 62g TSX'es en route from a semiauto carbine fitted with a very fast reflex sight..


HMMMMMMMM! let me think about that for a minute???


Your platform choice has some merit no doubt. But having stopped porky when he was running directly at me I've found that hitting the head is pretty tough so give me some horse power for deep penetration for that frontal shot that needs to get to the vitals. A 225 gr TSX out of an ghost ring sighted .358 works like a charm. In fact I think a ghost ring sighted .358 win might well be the best hog medicine on the planet when not hunting from a stand but jump shooting and spot and stalking. Plenty of penetration very little recoil and can be had in a short fast handling package for not very much money.

ZeroJunk
September 9, 2010, 07:11 AM
I would use a bigger rifle if I had it, but I don't

From the OP.

There are a lot of hunters who kill deer with a .22 caliber centerfire of some sort and swear by them, so it certainly isn't a hunt stopper. Personally, I don't see any downside to using something even much bigger if the recoil doesn't bother you. My thinking is that meat damage is more the result of a bad shot and even then unless you hit the deer in a ham or the loin it doesn't amount to much waste.

But, if it is all he has it is all he has.

Oceans
September 11, 2010, 12:59 AM
The 64 grain Winchester Power Point gets a lot of good reviews, also, it is often unavailable.

P30shtr
September 11, 2010, 01:09 AM
I dont personally hunt but am getting more interested as I get older ( no one in my family hunted growing up so... no one to go with). Any way was wondering if wild hogs are good eating or not. Kind of like wild turkeys arent that great.

Art Eatman
September 11, 2010, 10:29 AM
P30, it's like any animal: Young wild gobblers are better eating than the trophy critters with long beards. Same for hogs. 100 pounds and under are better than the 200 pounds and up sizes...

Folks around Blountstown, Florida, commonly trap wild hogs and only take the shoats up to 40 pounds or so. Phantasmagorically fine eating!

AKElroy
September 11, 2010, 10:44 AM
I knew it was illegal to hunt deer in TX with a rimfire, but I didn't know about the .25 caliber-minimum size.

Texas has no such minimum. This restriction would take out myriad 6mm's; including the .243.

Took my first deer @ 12 yers old w/ a .22-250. Heart / lung shot; ran 300-400 yrds. I have had identical responses from that exact shot placement w/ 7mags & .270's.

Pigs can be taken with an airgun if you hit behind the ear. Your .223 will do just fine.

Double Naught Spy
September 11, 2010, 02:22 PM
It was back in the early 80's in Tennessee, He shot it at a pretty steep angle quartering to him and if I remember correctly it was with a .243 but Im not 100% sure on that, The hog covered 40 yards in a heartbeat and yes sir it was attacking not simply evading. Hit him in the calf first, ripped a chunk out of his leg, guy went down and it got a hold of his thigh. The tusk missed his femoral artery by 1/2 of an inch. That is not the first or only time that hogs have attacked. You just don't read about it often but it is not as rare as one would think.

LOL, why do we call it an attack when we shot the animal first and it is acting in self defense?

Great story, but then again you can find all sorts of failures of various calibers where animals attempted to eliminate the threat. I have no doubt any caliber has failed given how well I see people shoot and hit/miss animals.

Pigs can be taken with an airgun if you hit behind the ear.

Just curious, just what is it that the pellet will be hitting behind the ear to put down the hog?

FLAvalanche
September 12, 2010, 12:33 AM
Just curious, just what is it that the pellet will be hitting behind the ear to put down the hog?

It's coming from the Gamo videos where they are shooting bobcats and hogs with their airguns.

Double Naught Spy
September 12, 2010, 12:43 PM
It's coming from the Gamo videos where they are shooting bobcats and hogs with their airguns.

That is nice and all, but origin of the concept isn't what I was looking for. What I was looking for was what biologically is being hit by the pellet/bb that will put down the hog.

You see, the ear is located very posteriorly on the head and fairly high up. Shooting just behind the ear just a short distance, can very easily result in a muscle shot only, impacting behind the head and above the spinal column, missing blood and CNS vitals. So I am interested in knowing the basis for the claim as it doesn't sound like a very good idea.

PT1911
September 12, 2010, 04:22 PM
it isnt directly behind the ear but rather behind and below... Hogs have a thick spine and if you aim.. say, 1" behind and 1-2" below the ear, the spine is a big target.. with a low caliber rifle or high speed air rifle, a hit here CAN take the hog down. It is the only shot I would take with a .223 as, it seems to me, it is a higher percentage shot than head shots which could be somewhat deflected (tiny target that itty bitty brain) and lead to a pissed and running hog.

Personally, I would probably just opt for a 45-70 and take out the shoulder.:D

Double Naught Spy
September 12, 2010, 04:48 PM
it isnt directly behind the ear but rather behind and below

You know, that is really a very important distinction. And while it may be a bit of hair splitting semantic keyboarding, such notations are fairly critical especially when there is so much hocus pocus hunting drivel being put forth. No doubt hogs and bears have a bizarre mystique about them that is near as I can tell, really isn't justified.

So it isn't that you are shooting them behind the ear really any more than you are shooting them behind the nose. It is a spine shot and yeah, the spine is located somewhere behind the ear. Then again, behind the ear would work for a shoulder shot as well. The phrasing is accurate, but too vague to be useful.

It is the only shot I would take with a .223 as, it seems to me, it is a higher percentage shot than head shots which could be somewhat deflected (tiny target that itty bitty brain) and lead to a pissed and running hog.

Personally, I would probably just opt for a 45-70 and take out the shoulder.

Most of the hogs I shoot are head shots with 5.56. They drop in place and life is good (for me). The head is presented as a viable target from more angles than is the spine. I can understand your concern about deflection, but I have yet to have that happen and the itty bitty brain has always been easy for me to locate.

I like the .45-70 for shoulder shots as well. I have taken two that way and they didn't run anywhere either. Problem is, my NV gear won't handle the .45-70's recoil, though I have handheld the scope behind the rifle and have been successful, but that involves having a rifle rest.

PT1911
September 12, 2010, 04:58 PM
I agree with you double naught spy. Also, I agree that for someone who is familiar with how to locate a pigs brain at various angles, it is the best shot to take with a 223 or similar cartridge. IMO, the spine offers a larger target and more room for error. Though, one must still be pretty familiar with the overall anatomy of the hog to make that shot appropriately as well.

For deer, a neck shot or even well placed heart/lung shot with the .223 is plenty.

AKElroy
September 12, 2010, 09:34 PM
The skull is very thin just behind & below the ear, and it poorly protects the lower brain stem. Lights out with any caliber if you can hit it. Since piggies are pretty much all stomach behind the head, that is your best shot. You really don't want to perforate anything behind the shoulder. Whenever I do, they get to lie there until the rest of the sounder finds them for dinner.

Either way, no mess by the next morning.

RonDeer10mm
September 12, 2010, 10:20 PM
For deer Im pretty sure .243 is the minimum but in some states .22 caliber (.223 rem) is legal for deer.

AKElroy
September 12, 2010, 10:35 PM
and are willing to pass the shot when you can't place it where you should,

I do not pass on shots on pigs. If they are safe to take, I take them. If it ruins the pig, so be it. If it is a wounding shot, I will track it and finish it, but I am still shooting it. Good presentation or not.

My hunting ethic is not the same on pigs as on other because I do not consider them game; it is pretty much the same as for cockroaches. They are taking over.

Feel free to flame, but coons are on the same "take any shot" list. And rattlesnakes. And O'Possum. That's it. And rats. That's it. Ferrel cats. But that's it.

Art Eatman
September 12, 2010, 10:59 PM
Looks like another "Is a .223...?" thread has gone as far as it needs to.

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