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Friday, October 15, 2010

The Best Rifle Caliber to Hunt Big Game With

This has been a debate for many years and will continue to be a debate among hunters for all eternity. There's many different calibers of rifles to choose from. The most popular being the.270 and 30.06. More recently the 7mm and.300 have started to become mainstream rifles to take big game hunting. Most will agree it all depends on what type of animal you're hunting. Obviously using a.270 with a low grain cartridge for a full grown bull moose is not the best option. While some will argue it's ok if your shot placement is spot on.
5 months before my first big game hunt my father bought me my first Remington.270 bolt action. I loved that Remington.270 cause it was the rifle I shot and killed my first mule deer with, a beautiful 4-point buck. However when I started hunting elk I upgraded to a Remington 30.06 bolt action on my father's recommendation. I can still remember him saying "elk are very strong animals and are very hard to put down." That statement has stuck with me for many years and always comes to my mind when I'm elk hunting.
I can still remember the first elk I shot and killed. The area I hunt is spike only so that makes my options easy. I spotted him 2 days into the hunt about 450 yards away from my position. He was a big majestic spike. He had to be two years old due to the size of his body and his antlers or his father was a great big bull. Anyway the first shot that hit him went straight through his vitals, which didn't stop him from moving downhill and I proceeded to put two more rounds into him finally bringing him down. I was in awe at the shear strength and power that these animals have. My father was definitely right.
My father uses a.300 semi-auto Browning which is a beautiful rifle and has a lot of knock down power. I sighted the scope in for him and ended up with a big ole bruise on my shoulder the next day.
For the last 10 years I've been using my Remington 30.06 to hunt mule deer and elk and that caliber seems to be the best for me.
When it comes to which rifle to use I recommend bigger is better and using the highest grain cartridge possible. The worst thing for a hunter is wounding an animal and not being able to find it. A lot of us can relate a story or two regarding that. Nothing makes a hunter feel worse than that. I make sure when I hit an animal it's going down. Another recommendation is to make sure you're practicing all year with your rifle, it is very true that a well placed shot from almost any rifle will put down a big game animal.
May all your hunting trips be good ones.

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