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Is .243 enough for mule deer???

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

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Is .243 enough for mule deer?

Poll closed Dec 17, 2012.
  1. Clearly

    115 vote(s)
    92.7%
  2. Not even close

    10 vote(s)
    8.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. WTBguns10kOK

    WTBguns10kOK Member

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    Yes!


    8195389338_5b3401667a_b.jpg


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

    MCgunner Member

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    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 Member

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    Can a 243 cleanly kill a muley?

    Absolutely.

    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

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    Absolutely.

    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.

    +1
     
  7. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    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 Member

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

    22-rimfire Member

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    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 Member

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

    jmr40 Member

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY0w1c-gf18

    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 Member

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    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

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

    WYOMan Member

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    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 Member

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

    Ankeny Member

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    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

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

    4895 Member

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

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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

    Sniper66 Member

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    .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.
     
  21. WYcoyote

    WYcoyote Member

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    Yup. And at 350 yds. 95gr Nosler Ballistic Tip.

    404689146.jpg
     
  22. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice deer!
     
  23. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    I have little dilemma here.

    We often read reports of people successfully taking game with what to my mind are "marginal" calibre's for the application. A good marksman, with the right conditions and right bullet and load, along with the animal presenting well can achieve miracles.

    I wonder how many times animals have been wounded, escaped to die later as a result of using marginal calibre's. Or having to take numerous shots to despatch the animal. I doubt if we would ever find that out as folks won't be screaming to post on poor shooting and or losing game to poor shot.

    The problem is that that the less skilled with a marginal calibre, marginal skill, poorer bullet may well be less fortunate.

    So we mainly report success and forget the failures, a natural human trait for most.

    Now while I take no issue with those who wish to shoot the lighter calibre's and who do so successfully I personally like slightly heavier calibre's. As Robert Ruark said "Use enough gun", not too much or too little.

    Anyway to the OP, that is a great buck, well done on the shot. Where were the entrance and exit (if there was) holes located.
     
  24. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    Stay sober & you will be fine.
    I always loved my Remington 700 in 6 MM Rem until it started shooting by itself
    Never a problem taking a deer.
    I could not find a 6 MM Rem so I purchased a 243 Win
     
  25. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    Magazines have convince many hunters they need a magnum to kill mule deer. Not so. To kill any animal the bullet must penetrate the chest wall, expand, and punch through the chest organs. The chest wall thickness of a big mountain muley is not much thicker than an average sized eastern whitetail. Certainly no match for a modern rifle bullet.

    .243 is a keeper!



    TR

    muleyingrasslands.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
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