Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

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Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#1

Post by GunSmoke » July 10th, 2019, 7:19 pm

So I got drawn for Whitetail, but I haven't been deer hunting since my uncles took me in my early teens.

I'll definitely need to buy a deer rifle as everything else I own is semi-auto. I'm hoping to hear from those of you with experience hunting in Arizona. Please share your model and caliber recomendations or any other suggestions you want to share.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.



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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#2

Post by smithers599 » July 10th, 2019, 7:47 pm

Hardly matters. Ruger American or Savage Axis. You don't need a super-duper rifle or scope.
However, don't dismiss semi-autos. Arizona deer are kind of little. A scoped AR15 with good bullets is fine.

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#3

Post by Ballistic Therapy » July 10th, 2019, 8:09 pm

I have killed lots of Whitetail in Arizona over the last 50 years or so.
Most of them I killed with a 30.06 using 150 grain bullets using a Remington 700.
For the last few years I have used a 308 using 150 grain bullets using a Remington model 7 lightweight.
The only reason I now use a 308 now is because I am getting older and it is harder to walk the hills and I found a lightweight I liked in 308.
I have also killed a couple with a .223 . It is not my recommended caliber of choice , but I just wanted to use it a couple times.
I have also used a .270 in an old Remington 721 on a couple.

You not only need a good gun , you will also need a good scope and a good pair of binoculars.
If you want quality prepare to spend some money.
" If you tell no lies , there is less to remember ". ( Indian Larry )

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#4

Post by GunSmoke » July 10th, 2019, 8:35 pm

Thanks. I definitely assumed I'd be spending some good money on binoculars and glass for a rifle. I don't mind spending good money on good gear. I'm looking forward to getting back out in the field again.

I am curious about the weight of the guns you all are carrying. There's such variability in rifle weights, especially in calibers 308 and greater. I was surprised to see how many rifles at cabelas are wearing heavy profile barrels. It looks like it would be quite easy to get yourself into a nine pound plus rifle once you added glass and a sling.

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#5

Post by XJThrottle » July 10th, 2019, 9:13 pm

I mean, if you're gonna buy a 308, might as well build an AR-10. Right?...
Brandon

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#6

Post by GunSmoke » July 10th, 2019, 9:20 pm

Lol, first thought was AR-10. My guess is that I should not embarked on the path of another AR platform product. Though it is tempting...

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#7

Post by Suck My Glock » July 10th, 2019, 11:37 pm

If you already happen to own an ACCURATE semi-auto in 5.56/.223,...that rifle is quite capable of cleanly harvesting a whitetail if you use heavy bullets, like 75 or 77 grain. Even 69 grainers have done well. If you can keep a group with that ammo at 200 yards in a cluster you can cover with your hand,...that'll do.

I've taken whitetail down near the border with .30carbine and .32-20,...not thought of as "proper" deer calibers, but within 100 yards, they do fine. While I have yet to take any whitetail with 5.56 yet myself, I've seen others do it cleanly. The key, as always, is shot placement,...and heavier projectiles than used to be common. Today, finding Open-Tip-Match "hollow-point" heavy 5.56 is no problem, compared to 20 years ago.

If you do already have, say, an AR15, that you KNOW you can hit with,...and if the terrain where you will be makes shots beyond 150 yards unlikely,...I say stick with that.

However, if the terrain makes it possible you may be taking a shot beyond 200 yards,...then go ahead and get a heavier caliber open ground rifle.

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#8

Post by GunSmoke » July 11th, 2019, 4:23 am

While I do have a capable long-range AR, I'm not sure that I feel confident in the 556 caliber the ranges we're discussing. The value of a larger caliber bullet to me at a 200yd distance, and certainly anything above the state of distance, is the margin of error it provides towards humanely harvesting the animal. This is especially true given my 20-year Hiatus from the sport. Anyone hunting with a 7 mm or 300 Win Mag that can offer a comparison?

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#9

Post by knockonit » July 11th, 2019, 5:12 am

hmm, hunting trip, perhaps the first one, warrants a new harvesting unit, whats wrong with you guys, a time like this is perfect for justification to add to the stable, what other reason is there to go hunting.
just saying.
06, 270, 308, aw the wonderful list of what i don't have and need, the world is your oyster, go forth and add to the stable a harvesting unit to end all hunts.
just me though.
Rj

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#10

Post by shooter444 » July 11th, 2019, 6:57 am

100% Knockonit,... I have been down sizing for over a decade, but, I missed my traded off old Mauser in 30-06sprg, so, I just had to pick up another. Shop says it is in, going to pick up today.

Luv that 06 caliber,... goes hand in hand with 45acp, imo.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." ... Declaration of Independence

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#11

Post by XJThrottle » July 11th, 2019, 7:20 am

I have a Rem 700 (what ever the Stainless/synthetic one is) in 300WM that I've taken on a few deer hiking trips. Can't hardly call it hunting....

I also built an AR in 6.5G for the same purpose, but my bone head didn't remember to put in in time. So, it doesn't get to go hiking this year either.
Brandon

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#12

Post by stomp442 » July 11th, 2019, 8:49 am

For deer or hunting in general the old .270 Winchester is hard to beat for all around versatility. A decent Savage or Ruger American should work just fine and be budget friendly. I would spend the most money on a quality scope. A decent Burris or Nikon would suffice but for a little more, a quality leupold can be had and should serve you well.

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#13

Post by h8pvmnt » July 11th, 2019, 9:38 am

I like the Ruger Hawkeye in .308 it will serve you for any AZ game. I also like the lightweight Kimber 84 But any quality Bolt gun will do. New or used. The old REM 700 can't be beat, Lighter and less pretty is better. A mid range scope is fine Nikon, Leupold, Burris, you don't need a Nightforce FFP scope for deer hunting. Spend the big money on Binos. You will use them over and over in all kinds of endeavors. I have hunted whitetail with an AR just because i can, but if you come across the buck of a lifetime you don't want to be under gunned or range limited. Plus as RJ said getting new kit for a reason is good. Really any centerfire rifle will kill a whitetail. I like lever guns, but there are range limitations with many chamberings. Probably more whitetails killed in the US with .44 mag and Shotguns than big rifle cartridges.

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#14

Post by GunSmoke » July 11th, 2019, 10:53 am

As a kids I hunted with a lever action 30-30, it was my uncle's. I miss that rifle.

So I've narrowed it down to 308, 7 mm mag or 300 Win Mag. Thoughts?

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Re: Got drawn for Whitetail, need to buy a deer rifle. Model & caliber suggestions?

#15

Post by h8pvmnt » July 11th, 2019, 10:59 am

I mean if you plan to hunt Elk or bigger game in AZ a 7MM or .300 Win mag are nice options but there is a trade off, usually heavier, recoil can be an issue and ammo costs are higher, that said a .300 with the right bullet will put a nice tidy hole in a white tail without destroying the meat. A lightweight .300 would be a bad thing probably. I would choose the .308, short action, lighter, more ammo choices and will do any AZ Big game hunting. Of course if you get drawn for Big Horn Sheep or Pronghorn you will need a new rifle with the 2000.00 scope and laser flat shooting for those long shots. But thats another thread.

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