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.223 for deer

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by jordan1948, Sep 12, 2009.

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  1. blackops

    blackops Member

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    Thank you.

    For those questioning 500yd shots...obviously your terrain is more forgiving than mine. Not that EVERY shot is going to be 500yds, but a 300-400yd shot across a canyon looks pretty dang good to me.
     
  2. ~z

    ~z Member

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    Earlier this month I had a 460yd shot on a doe antelope. Two days later a 482yd shot on a buck-lope. A buddy had a 401yd shot on a buck-lope. All 1 shot drt kills. Could we have gotten closer? Maybe 10-20 yards closer without spooking them across the next ridge, maybe not.

    blackie is on the money on this one. How are you gonna get closer in the land where the grass barely gets beer can tall?
    ~z
     
  3. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Part of making 500 yard shots is knowing when you can't make them based on the conditions, terrain, and position.
     
  4. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    ~z - the same way I can walk upright through the woods and get withing 30y of a deer who is looking at me. Move very slowly. It also seems that deer recognize eyes, so don't look directly at them, but use your peripheral vision. I have had deer look at me the whole time I was standing up and cocking my rifle. Just slow, smooth motion and they don't seem to notice or view it as a threat.

    Canyon shots are a whole different story...I personally would probably pass on a shot that long, but I don't have 4-500y ranges to practice on here. If I were out in NE, I might take that shot if I had practiced it a lot, but I would still probably pass on it. Out there, you can still stalk your prey. I would still say that 95% of hunters out there aren't capable of taking that shot. Remember, a lot of hunters are the type to put 5 rounds through the gun every season to verify zero.

    Also remember, Blackops also bow hunts...so he can get that close if he needs to.

    Zak, I have little faith that an excited hunter can make that call. I see to many deer out here gut shot or missed completely using center fire rifles and shotguns all the time. These guys can't make a shoot / no shoot call at 50-100y, I can't imagine them trying to make that call at 500. I'll shoot all day at the 300y range and do well enough to hunt, but I still would really hesitate to take that shot in the field where I am a little excited and may not have the best of shooting positions.
     
  5. blackops

    blackops Member

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    I couldn't of said it better myself.

    Yeah...I can get close to muleys in arizona in a pop up blind. :D

    Understand though that when rifle season comes directly after archery the deer have already been pressed. Close shots are few and far between after the deer have felt any sort of pressure in my terrain my friend.
     
  6. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    Blackops, rifle season comes after both muzzle loader season and archery season here. If the deer aren't spooked then, I don't know what could spook them. Hunting from a blind / ambush hunting does require a bit of homework to do successfully, and in general I go out a few times before season starts to scout. I hunt at bow distances, like I have said before. The reason I don't have to take 2-300 y shots, sometimes across ravines, is because I have done my homework and can move without freaking the deer out too much.

    I have seen a successful 1 shot drop right there kill on a deer at about 4-450y. The only reason the guy made the shot is because he was lucky. He took out the spine on a moving deer (trotting, not full out). If he had been holding over 5 inches more, +/- 1 moa, he would have missed completely. As a matter of fact, he went to do a coup de grace and missed on the next shot (deer was mostly stationary) from the same position. He hit on the 3rd shot in the neck. All I am saying, and for the last time (I'm gonna bow out of this one now) is that while there are people that can make a 500y shot consistently, there are many many more that only think they can. These same guys that think they can are the ones most likely to take the shot they should have passed up. There is a whole 1.5 - 2 moa difference between a quick heart/double lung shot and a slow agonizing death from a gut shot at that distance. A lot of hunters cannot do much better than 2 moa from off hand or from a hasty field rest. Put me on a set of sticks and I could probably make that shot 7/10 times, which is exactly 3/10 times too much of a chance of a poor shot or a wounded animal running off than I care to take.

    Zak, how was that snow yesterday? My sister in law had pictures showing it pretty deep for this early in the season.
     
  7. schlockinz

    schlockinz Member

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    (continuing with being off topic)

    A 400+yd shot on the east coast seems like it would be rare at best, how often can you guys really see 400yds, let alone 500yd?

    Out west is a completely different game, I never saw deer out there that would let you stalk up to them, unless you were lucky and had tall grass (not often). The trick was to use terrain and stalk close, that still might leave you with a longish shot. Consequently, most of the people that I knew who hunted lopes and mulies in the deserts would practice fairly often at 600+yds in different positions and shoot prairie dogs during the off season to stay sharp, these guys were some of the better shots that I'd seen in years.

    When I lived in NY, I knew very few people who could reliably hit deer at 100yds, seems like they never really practiced that hard, or would just sheet at deer.

    Different cultures, different norms.
     
  8. ~z

    ~z Member

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    scythefwd, I completely agree with your ethics. I'm also sorry you had to witness some hack with a rifle take a hold over shot on a critter at that distance. I'm a bow hunter and a pistol hunter also. I'm a big fan of still hunting and closing the distance. I have worked hard to put many shots at less than 15yds, some at 1/2 that. I have invested countless hours afield pre and post season patterning and locating preferred habitat.

    However, I also spend a lot of time at the range and in the field practicing extended range shooting so when the opportunity arises and I find myself in WY on a self guided public lands hunt I know my limitations and can make an ethical extended range shot. We all hunt differently, we all hunt the same.
    ~z
     
  9. blackops

    blackops Member

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    Yes, it is a completely different type of hunt as most don’t understand (not that they should). You seriously just have to hunt it to understand it. I do my fair share of scouting and hiking my butt off to make my hunt as successful as possible, but the deer here are “educated” if you will and they are the smartest deer I have ever been around. They rarely see people, but when they do they know exactly what is starting, deer season. They push towards the deepest darkest canyons, make 150yd shots nearly impossible, and will challenge even the most physically gifted individuals out there. I know this intimately. You also have to understand when you have grown up in this type of terrain hunting you are forced how to be successful at longer ranges. Get better at shooting or get better at dealing with failure…it’s as simple as that.
     
  10. Tacbandit

    Tacbandit Member

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    Quote:
    "Part of making 500 yard shots is knowing when you can't make them based on the conditions, terrain, and position."
    _______


    This is good info...
    Jordan 1948...You asked about using .223 on deer........Seems the conversations changed
    a little...Lol...Please don't try .223 on deer at 500 yds...in any load....
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  11. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    schlokinz - poeple out here will hunt power lines. quite frequently you can see 1k by those.

    Tac, good point and OP... I apologize for the thread jack. The .223 is capable as long as you use it within the rounds limitations. I personally would limit shots to under 75y, but I'm pretty sure you can go out to about 125 y with the .223. If you use one this year and are successful, please post pics of the damage. I have never seen a deer shot with that small of a caliber and am interested in what the internals look like after a successful hit. Discussing pix of the wound channel and the related damage from the shot would be most interesting and probably give you, me, and all others a great wealth of knowledge on how well the round actually performs. Just remember to wipe your hands off between gutting the deer and handling the camera... I wouldn't want to mess up the camera :)
     
  12. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    That and being willing to pass on a shot that you know down deep that you can't make. For many people that seems to be the tough part!
     
  13. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    Lets see, a 5.56mm killing a 170 lb mammal-naw can't happen! As stated a QUALITY bullet with good placement will take deer at reasonable ranges. I really would suggest a .243 as minimum.
     
  14. Yellowtail3

    Yellowtail3 Member

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    500 yards. Wow. That's waaaay outside my comfort zone. Can't hardly imagine it. I've never killed anything past about 90 yards or so (all my deer are in the woods). I don't know if I can even see that far.

    I'm thinking .223 is too light for deer. Meaning... it's not the best choice, when there are so many much better choices. If what I had on hand was a .223, I'd hunt deer with it. I hope I'd have the discipline to pass up on shots that might be fine with a 30-30 or thereabouts, but challenging for a .223, like shoulders (my fav spot, so they're less likely to run off).

    Since this thread started w/some guy asking about using .223 in lieu of a .44 rifle... I'd say, the .44 is a much, MUCH better choice.

    full disclosure: I've never hunted with a .223, don't even own one. I've hunting deer with shotgun, 30-06, .270, muzzleloader, and now a 30-30. No .223 rifle is as pretty as a Marlin 336, the 30-30 is a heck of a lot better choice for shooting deer with (IMHO, of course)
     
  15. kolob10

    kolob10 Member

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    I'll bet I could kill a deer with my 900 FPS 22 cal pellet rifle if conditions were perfect and it was a survival situation. Today I'll use a caliber more conducive to a quick clean kill every time under most all conditions. Here in Indiana, I use a pistol in 6.5mm Bullberyy improved, rifle in 44 mag or 357 maximum, muzzleloader in 45 or 50 cal. I respect the game that I hunt and avoid watching an animal suffer due to my miscalculations, ineffeciencies, or bravado. Good shooting!
     
  16. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    +1 kolob10
    Well said.
     
  17. Vlad357

    Vlad357 Member

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    Minimum catridge for whitetail deer?

    I have taken several with standard .223 55 gr soft points. Last was a nice buck at 140 yards, head on, one into the chest and he staggered 10 feet and fell.
     
  18. jordan1948

    jordan1948 Member

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    How did this go from me asking what the best bullet type and weight for hunting deer with a .223 to making 500 yard shots?
     
  19. Yellowtail3

    Yellowtail3 Member

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    Thread Drift. Kind of like wind drift - gets you off-target.

    i'm off in pursuit of the wily whitetail (with a 30-30)
     
  20. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    ~z on those long lope shots, do you use kentucky holdover, or use your turret clicks (up from a specific zero at 100 or 200), to have a direct hold? What rifle & caliber combo were you using? What field expedient rest? Thanks.
     
  21. ~z

    ~z Member

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    Tad, if you will start a new post I will respond there. This thread has drifted so much (partly my fault, sorry). I think you may find more info in a new thread dedicated to extended range hunting. I will try to make this my last post in this thread.

    Additionally I have limited experience with .223 and deer, I have however taken several with a .222.
    ~z
     
  22. Tacbandit

    Tacbandit Member

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    Kolob10...+1 to ya...probably the best response yet...
     
  23. jordan1948

    jordan1948 Member

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    I really don't have a problem with the thread drift......got ppl to stop flaming me for having an idea.
     
  24. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I've posted pics before of the 14 pt buck I shot with a .223. Yesterday a game warden told me he uses a .223 to kill buffalo and elk for cwd control.
    Of course it take very precise shot placement and knowing exactly where to hit them. He told me but I can't recall the spot.
     
  25. RockinU

    RockinU Member

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    I have seen several deer taken effectively with a .223. However the .223 probably gets me more business for my tracking dogs than anything else. For sure the most that require "finish" shots at the end of the track
     
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