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.22 magnum on deer?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by thechosenone, Apr 4, 2007.

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  1. thechosenone

    thechosenone Member

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    I asked this on another forum and i got mixed results, everyone here seems pretty knowledgeable so i'll see what you guys think. I know that this is frowned upon, and no one should shoot a game animal with a cartridge that is not adequate for that particular animal. But i personaly know 3 people that have shot whitetail deer using a .22 magnum, all were head shots and all were dropped in there tracks, one being a 200lb 10 point buck. Now what i'm trying to get at is what kind of ammo would be best for head shots on whitetail deer? Would it be FMJ so it would penetrate better or would you use the V-max bullets for better expantion? I don't think i would every use a .22 magnum on deer but in case the need arises what should i use?
     
  2. DixieTexian

    DixieTexian Member

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    It's illegal in Texas to hunt deer with rimfire, but my grandfather has said he has killed them before with a .22LR (long ago). He said neck shots are good. It would work as long as you know where to hit and can hit it. Dr. James Kroll said he uses a .22-250 for his studies. Shoots them at the base ot the skull I think so that they drop instantly and the stress doesn't cause their body chemistry to change before they can perform a necropsy.
     
  3. oregonhunter

    oregonhunter Member

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  4. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    There was a post on another forum a few months ago from a guy in Mongolia with an antelope taken with a Ruger semiautomatic pistol in 22 LR. It was taken with one shot and it wasn't a head shot either. In once of his books, Peter H. Capstick relates a story of 2 elephants taken with a 22 LR (both with one shot) and, in another book, tells of a cape buffalo taken with a single shot from a 22 Hornet.

    The take home message is, you can take a large animal with a small bullet if the hole is in the right place. If using a small bullet, you need penetration above all else so an FMJ or solid is the way to go. Also, to take a large animal with a small bullet you need to be either very talented in shot placement or very lucky.

    A 22-250 Remington is in a class far above the 22 WMR or 22 LR. With this cartridge, you don't need to limit yourself to head shots. It works just fine on broadside heart/lung shots. I've never tried a Texas heart shot with one but I doubt it would work well for one of those.
     
  5. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Ah, the .22 mag, the poacher's dream.....:rolleyes:
     
  6. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    I lived in Texas for a few years, was stationed at Ft. Sam. Anywho, almost everyone who I hunted with on their ranches for deer used .22mag, all of them. Works great if you shoot well, and the Texas heart shot (head shot) wasn't the method, they all made regular vitals shots.
     
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The most important point is that one makes a clean, ethical kill. Working on the margin just isn't part of the deal. You use enough gun such that the tissue damage and loss of blood will bring an animal to a stop within a reasonable distance, even if the shot is less than perfect.

    Art
     
  8. koja48

    koja48 member

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    Why take a chance on NOT making a clean, humane kill?
     
  9. 'Card

    'Card Member

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    I've got to stop looking at these threads. :cool:

    Look, the question shouldn't be: Can you kill a deer with X cartridge?
    Of course you can. You can kill a deer with a toothpick if you can get him to stand still long enough.

    The question should be: Is X cartridge a good choice for killing a deer?
    That depends. Does it allow a margin for error? If the placement isn't perfect, and the conditions aren't perfect, and if bullet has the potential to be effected by limbs and brush in the flight path, and if the deer flinches or jumps just as you pull the trigger - will it still get the job done?

    So you've got to consider those factors and come to your own decisions. For me? In the kind of rugged terrain where I usually hunt, a .270 is about as light as I'm comfortable going with. On open plains, I think the .243 is a good choice, but that's about as small as I'd go.

    But that decision is different for everybody.
     
  10. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    Back in the '60s my granddad bought one of the original Winchester pump rifles they brought out to introduce the .22WMR (I forget what model that was), for the express purpose of some nighttime venison shopping. He took a couple with DRT head or neck shots, and was amazed at the performance. He finally gave up those practices after he found out what I'd been telling him about the modern day consequences of getting caught was true...
     
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I'm not aware that the 22WMR or 22LR is legal anywhere in the US for white tail deer. The 22WMR is what some poachers use. These people need to be put in jail.

    Why even consider what bullet is best when it is illegal to hunt deer with the 22WMR? Use a caliber and rifle that has sufficient power to efficiently take a deer and not one that you have to depend on head shots. You can take lots of game with a small bullet with head shots. Doesn't make it the best choice or even one you should consider.
     
  12. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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    While the law surrounding cartridges legal for taking deer in thechosenone's vicinity is really pretty liberal ("any centerfire rifle"), it doesn't allow rimfires.

    http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/guide/legalimp.html

    Which he should know.

    Which he could have found as easily as I just did in 3 minutes.

    Which makes me wonder. . . .
     
  13. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Actually, in some circumstances they are but I'm not going to say where.
     
  14. wildfowl

    wildfowl Member

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    I am sure it can be done, but why when there are so many better rounds out there, LIKE the .458 Win Mag........
     
  15. DixieTexian

    DixieTexian Member

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    Go for a heart lung shot with a .50 BMG. Saves having to field dress it.
     
  16. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    Hmmm...let's combine threads and talk about hunting deer with a single shot 22. :D
     
  17. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I think it's clear you can take a deer with a 22 WMR or 22 LR. Now, I believe we need to discuss whether one could be taken with a 17 Mach 2 or a 17 HMR; single shot if you like.
     
  18. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Member

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    Illegal and a bad idea. You could probably kill a deer with a pellet gun, but why? All it does is make the animal suffer for a long period of time.
     
  19. Bearhands

    Bearhands Member

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    Matt G....... "make me wonder" TOO!!!!!!! ***???????//
     
  20. Oohrah

    Oohrah Member

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    Many years ago when I was hungry and had no money, twice low
    behind the shoulder were instant kills. The third was a tracking
    chore, that it wasn't repeated again, and an oath to never use
    anything without the bullet energy to do the job under any circumstances.
    The failure for an instant kill was a rib that changed the bullet path.
    This took place in a wilderness area and the native Americans used it
    also with results that also moved them toward centerfire rifles.
     
  21. thechosenone

    thechosenone Member

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    I know what the law is in my state. I'm asking the question because i sometimes see deer when im hunting squirrels and other small game. I enjoy walking around in back and i like to take along my .22 mag. This would be a situation were i would use this information. I'm not a poacher and i don't advocate poaching. I do realize my 30-06 or mosin would do a much better job on deer than a .22 mag but i don't frequently use either on squirrels or other little critters. The three fellows that i know that have killed deer with a .22 mag have been in similar circumstances. Just to clear everything up. I really enjoy hearing what everyone has to say and i have learned a lot since i have became a member. And i thank everyone that takes the time to answer the question i post. thanks again.
     
  22. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    Even if you are "squirrel hunting", I don't think anyone here is going to advocate illegally killing a deer with a rimfire. Laws are laws and they are in place for a reason. Try suirrel hunting with a shotgun and take along slugs or buckshot for any deer you may see, if they are "in season".
     
  23. BIGR

    BIGR Member

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    Many deer and game animals have been taken with a .22 or .22 mag. Will they kill deer? Yea with the proper shot. Is it a good practice to go out and use one for deer hunting? NO, use a bigger caliber and make a humane kill on the animal.
     
  24. koja48

    koja48 member

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    If I'm ever ATTACKED by a deer when all I'm carrying is a .22 mag, I'll let you know, 'cuz that's the only time this old boy would consider using one on a critter that size . . . you'll probably be waiting awhile for the answer . . .
     
  25. Lonestar

    Lonestar Member

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    Clipper, just so you know, your grand dads rifle was probably a winchester model 62. A friend of mine bought a taurus copy in .22lr to the range the other day. Neat gun.
     
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