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Is .243 enough for mule deer???

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by WTBguns10kOK, Nov 17, 2012.


Is .243 enough for mule deer?

Poll closed Dec 17, 2012.
  1. Clearly

    115 vote(s)
  2. Not even close

    10 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. WTBguns10kOK

    WTBguns10kOK Well-Known Member



    4 mile pack out, halfway up the mountain. One shot kill, 85 gr. TSX. 75 yards offhand.
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Not a problem out to 300 yards or so. Use a good bullet and you see the results. :D

    Nice buck! :D
  3. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    Can a 243 cleanly kill a muley?


    Nevertheless it's not my favorite cartridge for the task. I'd prefer a bit more frontal area and bullet weight and am more than willing to put up with the increased recoil of a 7mm-08 or 30-06 to get it.

    If you do use a 243, then definitely use a premium bullet.
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    I reckon I'd likely be even more careful about sight picture and shot placement than when using a .243 on a smaller whitetail.
  5. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    Sure. I know a few guys who use it for elk, a little light to my thinking, but a lot of elk are taken with it.
    When our G&F was deciding on minimum calibers for big game years ago they went with 24 caliber because the 243 had such a loyal following.
  6. interlock

    interlock Well-Known Member


    Nevertheless it's not my favorite cartridge for the task. I'd prefer a bit more frontal area and bullet weight and am more than willing to put up with the increased recoil of a 7mm-08 or 30-06 to get it.

  7. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Well-Known Member

    Load right - shoot well and know your/the round's limitations... you betcha! Just don't be "that guy" launching indirect fire at the poor creature from ridiculous ranges.
  8. courtgreene

    courtgreene Well-Known Member

    You shouldn't do that with any load though, so be responsible and take that .243 into the woods!
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    I started out using a 243 for deer hunting. Lost one deer. That bothered me. Been using 270 win ever since. So, yes it is enough for deer, but I would be careful about your shot placement. That goes doubly for the infamous threads on 223 for deer.
  10. wankerjake

    wankerjake Well-Known Member

    Nice buck. I really wanted to shoot one this year with mine, using 85gr TSX. It was not to be.
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member


    I've posted this before. Bullet technology has improved so much lately that smaller rounds are far more effective then much larger rounds with old school bullets.

    A 243, even 223 is more than enough gun for deer.
  12. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    I ran across a thing in the paper recently about our G&F thinking about the 22 calibers for deer and I think antelope. It would have to be a centerfire and have a certain minimum OAL.

    Don't know how far it will get. It's been many years since there were any changes to what's legal for different hunting.
  13. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    That is a an impressive old buck. GOOD JOB.
  14. WYOMan

    WYOMan Well-Known Member

    Is it enough.....Definately. Do you need a bigger cartridge?.....If thats what tickles you go for it. But don't tell others that using the .243 isn't enough. John WG&F is considering allowing .22 centerfires as long as the COAL isn't under the 2 inch threshold already in place.
  15. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    Couldn't remember if it was 2 or 2 1/4 and didn't have any orders laying around handy.
  16. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

    Is a .243 enough gun? Yeah, I imagine so. However, I hunt some wide open country that holds some really big deer. I don't think I would want a .243 on a 400 yard shot on a 200 inch buck weighing over 300 pounds.
  17. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    That is where the light rounds start to have issues.
  18. 4895

    4895 Well-Known Member

    You can kill a mulie with a .22 hornet.
  19. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    You CAN kill a mulie with a .22 short or a sharp stick for that matter. What's your point?
  20. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Well-Known Member

    .243 Testimony

    I do not hunt deer, but my brother is an avid deer shooter. He has killed lots of white tails and mule deer...almost all of them with his favorite Ruger #1. His confidence in the .243 is reflected in his choice of his single shot when he has a cabinet full of repeaters of every caliber. You too can shoot with confidence.

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