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I believe if you're a good shooter and careful with shot selection you can use about anything. I've killed a bunch of deer with a 22-250 and several with a 223 and they both did a great job. Neither is a good choice if you shoot running deer or just aim for brown.

For someone that never picks up a rifle until deer season and has a box of shells that last several years I'd say a 25-06 or 257 Roberts is a good minimum . I personally think a 25-06 or 7-08 is about the perfect balance of power to recoil. The 30-30 is also underrated.
 

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Would depend on age, skill & health of hunter, but as a very general rule of thumb I would say minimum is 243 in my opinion. Now with that said both my daughters started out shooting deer with 223 when they were less than 10, but almost always had them take neck shots @ 100 yards or less from a rest inside an enclosed & elevated tower stand
 

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I'd use a .223, wouldn't be my first choice, but if it was all I had I'd use it. .243 would be better than a .223, 25/06 better than a .243. A.300 win. mag. isn't necessary to kill a whitetail, but the main reason I don't deer hunt with one is my shoulder, not that it kills them too dead. I do most of deer hunting with a 25/06.
 

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Forgot about 25/06. Its probably good too and on the small caliber side. .243 is slightly undersized if the buck of a lifetime steps into view in my opinion.
Why not just get a 30 caliber? .308 or 30/06? Ive always kind of wanted a .35 Rem. for short range stuff. Any of them are the real deal for anything in arkansas.
 

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.243 Winchester. Works fine for deer, hogs, coyotes, killed plenty with it. Bullet choice & placement.... is important. Killed 8-10.... 150-175lb hogs the last 2 years with mine. Never had one get away. Hogs are certainly much tougher than deer.
 

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.243 Winchester. Works fine for deer, hogs, coyotes, killed plenty with it. Bullet choice & placement.... is important. Killed 8-10.... 150-175lb hogs the last 2 years with mine. Never had one get away. Hogs are certainly much tougher than deer.
^^^This if using 243. Spend the extra money for a good bullet like a Barnes TSX or Hornady GMX. Well worth it and bullet placement is important with ANY caliber.
 

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^^^This if using 243. Spend the extra money for a good bullet like a Barnes TSX or Hornady GMX. Well worth it and bullet placement is important with ANY caliber.
Not true. I shot one in the tail hairs with my 7 mag and it blew the back leg off. All I gotta do is get close with it and they go down.


I just might of exaggerated a little bit there but you get my point. ;)
 

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For most people a 243 should be considered minimum. I used one for several years and it kills young deer like a lightning bolt. Older tougher deer can take several shots from one and still run into the nearest thicket with a weak blood trail. I am in the minority here but always advocate bigger than a 243 if you can take the recoil of something bigger and still shoot well. I wouldn't consider buying a 243 to deer hunt with if I owned a 280. To varmint hunt yes.
 

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Growing up my sister and I both used my dads grandpa's late 60's Sako .222. My dad used the same when he was growing up. We hand loaded with either 50 or 55 grain core lokts. I shot a doe and a button buck that dropped in their tracks with a shot to the boilermaker. Shot a 5 point through the Lungs and ran 25 steps.

On top of that my brother in law hunted with a 22 mag till he was 12. Shot placement is key.

However I'm buying my first rifle in a few weeks and always wanted a 7mm-08 but convinced myself to go 30 caliber option with .308. I'll probably buy my son a 7mm-08 when he's old enough to go so I can have the best of both worlds. May even buy it a few years early so I can "break it in" ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah I've seen people and I've also killed a deer with a 22 not something I would want to shoot a big buck or doe with I've got a .280 but it's a bit to much in places where I hunt. I don't much care for a 30/06 but I would like something smaller no 30/30's
 
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