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Small bores for big game

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Small bores for big game

Old 06-26-2003, 07:20 PM
  #1  
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Default Small bores for big game

I ran into a fellow from Kentucky that insisted that a .17 or a .22 was all he, or any compitent shot ever needs for deer or bear. Now I believe it is not trying to use the little tiny needle blowers that makes hunting a challange, it is hunting it self. Use an approprate tool for the task. Using small stuff like that guy recomends is at best an ego trip for one wanting admiring glances. He ain' t going to get them here!!!! Using cartridges such as those .17 and .22 for deer and such is like trying to pound in a nail with a spoon. Not that it can' t be done but not the right tool. In addition to that, stuff can happen when hunting and small light calibers are asking for wounded and lost game. This is not a consilation prize and no self respecting hunter would consider using such cartridges for big game. These cartridges have their place but it is not in big game hunting. If these light weights are all one needs I would like to see their promoters use them on somthing that will stomp or eat them if things don' t work out just right!!!! Cape Buff, Lions, oh yes Leopard, and Brown bears also kome to mind.


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Old 06-26-2003, 07:42 PM
  #2  
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Default RE: Small bores for big game

I guess it depends on what .22 you are talking about. I would never use a 17 caliber on anything bigger than coyotes but a fast 22 with a heavy, properly colstructed bullet like a barnes or nolser partition would be fine for deer up to a certain point. Wouldn' t cross my mind to use one on bears though.

Called a vet out to put a horse down a couple of years ago and he brought a 44 to shoot it in the head instead of a needle. He told us that he use to use the .22 long rifle and it worked just as good as the 44 but people kept questioning him so he skips all of the questions and comments now.
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Old 06-26-2003, 08:38 PM
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Default RE: Small bores for big game

it also depends on the game laws , for example , in certain state' s , ( and i do believe that pa is one of them ) it' s illegal to use a .22 caliber or smaller for big game hunting
( but , the new .17 caliber has just been legalixed for small game use here in pa . )
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Old 06-26-2003, 08:58 PM
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Default RE: Small bores for big game

The 17' s AREN' T deer rifles...whether you' re talking about the centerfire or not.

I' ve killed deer with a 223 in WV (Legal there) and it was acceptable. However, it was a shot-choosing deal. The situation had to be perfect for me to do that.

I would not call the 22 cals good for deer hunting. I' d stick with calibers 243 and larger.................
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Old 06-26-2003, 08:59 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: Small bores for big game

When did PA change ? .. They have always been any caliber as long as it is centerfire. I was looking to buy my daughter a 223 to start ..Bill
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Old 06-26-2003, 09:42 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: Small bores for big game

I don' t care what flavor of 22 cal it is. They are not, never were, nor never will be a deer cartridge much less anything bigger. 243 Win should be the legal minimum in all states and if a kid can' t handle it they shouldn' t be shooting at deer. Just my opinion on the matter. I have seen too many deer ruined with 223' s and 22-250s.
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Old 06-27-2003, 12:05 AM
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Default RE: Small bores for big game

I will agree with frizzellr. And if you want to raise the minimum to .257 that would be o.k. too. Or better yet states with big game other than deer should have limits on caliber per species. Look at Wyoming and other Rocky Mtn states you can hunt elk with a .243!!! I haven' t seen a post were hunters have used one, but they are out there.
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Old 06-27-2003, 04:43 AM
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Default RE: Small bores for big game

This topic comes up from time to time and there are always strong feelings on both sides and no one is going to change anyones mind.I think it could partly be influenced by regional areas also.Up north here the mature whitetails run from 185-300# live weight and cover is thick to say the least,cut-overs,regrowth,and dark growth tend to keep shots close and you don' t always get a picture perfect broadside shot offered.Couple this with black bears available at the same time and those small calibers aren' t very appealing to say the least.Some hunters I am sure will pass on any shot at an angle or position that don' t give a clear shot at the behind the shoulder H&L area but others may not want to pass a big mature buck just because conditions aren' t perfect and so the little calibers aren' t for them.Our hunter success ratio is about 8-10% on mature bucks and its not unusual to hunt several weeks or even the entire season without even seeing one to shoot so I don' t want my caliber limiting me to certain picture perfect positions before I can shoot,its too hard to see them at all.IMHO I think 100grs bullet weight and 24 caliber are the minimum I would consider adequate for northern bucks and bears and then only in the hands of experienced and discplined shooters not new beginning kids and hunters.A 260 or 7mm-08 will do a much better job and can be handled by even recoil sensivitive shooters with a decent recoil pad and lighter bullet weights.Will a 22 CF kill deer?Of course but its not about how small in caliber you can go and still kill,its about clean and fast kills often under less than perfect shooting conditions with Murphys law in full effect.I' m sure in western and southern areas where its more open and live deer weights are more in the 120-150# area without other larger game in season at the same time it may be a different call.

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Old 06-27-2003, 06:24 AM
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Default RE: Small bores for big game

I know a number of guys who kill deer every year with .223' s or 22-250' s, but they hunt open farmland and shoot the deer in the head. They are pure meat hunters and do quite well at it. But for general woods use or body shots, I think the .243 is an absolute minimum. It is amazing that some folks who would say never, ever use a 22 caliber, think the .243 is an amazing deer cartridge.
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Old 06-27-2003, 07:07 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: Small bores for big game

I do agree that 22 are not the best for deer but with good bullets (barnes X) and a properly placed shot (chest) They will go down .. Any animal needs a heart and lungs to live. My daughter is small and reciol is hard on her. If I sit with her and help her with proper shots she will be fine... I would rather teach her to pick the good shots and use a 22 then have her not hunt at all .. It will be on our land where there are no other people so " rush shots are not needed .. Bill
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