Author Topic: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation  (Read 5488 times)

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Offline Lumber

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Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« on: August 27, 2018, 10:52:23 »
I've always wanted to buy a gun but never really had a need for one; well, now I do.

My wife and I just moved back to Nova Scotia and raw dog food prices are just too high. So, we want to take up deer hunting to make our own dog food. It might turn out not being that much cheaper, but it would be a fun process nonetheless, (plus deer steak :D)

Right now, I don't intend on hunting any else than deer, and I don't intend on owning any other guns than I need.

So, my question is, what kind of gun should I get? What manufacturer and what caliber? I always wanted a Remington 700, but don't think I want or need to spend that kind of money (especially since a prime reason for this is to save money on dog food.

If I had to choose, I'd rather go for slightly more powerful than I need; not because I expect to hunt anything bigger some day, but simply because I'm tired of only ever firing 5.56 NATO, and want to shoot something with more kick :D.

Thanks!

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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2018, 10:57:18 »
I've always wanted to buy a gun but never really had a need for one; well, now I do.

My wife and I just moved back to Nova Scotia and raw dog food prices are just too high. So, we want to take up deer hunting to make our own dog food. It might turn out not being that much cheaper, but it would be a fun process nonetheless, (plus deer steak :D)

Right now, I don't intend on hunting any else than deer, and I don't intend on owning any other guns than I need.

So, my question is, what kind of gun should I get? What manufacturer and what caliber? I always wanted a Remington 700, but don't think I want or need to spend that kind of money (especially since a prime reason for this is to save money on dog food.

If I had to choose, I'd rather go for slightly more powerful than I need; not because I expect to hunt anything bigger some day, but simply because I'm tired of only ever firing 5.56 NATO, and want to shoot something with more kick :D.

Thanks!

.270 Winchester is a good round for deer. 

Savage is cheaper than Remington but has a good reputation for accuracy still.

Link to Cabelas website:

https://www.cabelas.ca/category/bolt-action/1130?caliber=.270%20Winchester

You can see you've got plenty of options chambered in .270 Winchester.

And you've got Bass Pro and Cabelas in Moncton.  is there a Cabelas in Halifax?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 11:00:33 by Humphrey Bogart »

Offline Lumber

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2018, 11:13:03 »
And you've got Bass Pro and Cabelas in Moncton.  is there a Cabelas in Halifax?

There's one opening up in Dartmouth in a couple weeks, just over  5 mins from my house! :)
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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2018, 11:39:30 »
I've always wanted to buy a gun but never really had a need for one; well, now I do.

My wife and I just moved back to Nova Scotia and raw dog food prices are just too high. So, we want to take up deer hunting to make our own dog food. It might turn out not being that much cheaper, but it would be a fun process nonetheless, (plus deer steak :D)

Right now, I don't intend on hunting any else than deer, and I don't intend on owning any other guns than I need.

So, my question is, what kind of gun should I get? What manufacturer and what caliber? I always wanted a Remington 700, but don't think I want or need to spend that kind of money (especially since a prime reason for this is to save money on dog food.

If I had to choose, I'd rather go for slightly more powerful than I need; not because I expect to hunt anything bigger some day, but simply because I'm tired of only ever firing 5.56 NATO, and want to shoot something with more kick :D.

Thanks!

The heresy of hunting a deer to turn it into dog food! 

You wont find very big deer that often in NS, but if you and your wife both get licenses; and are lucky, you could end up with 3 tags each per season.  You would need to buy a bow or a muzzleloader for that third tag.

.270 is a fine round, .308 or .303Br are my two preferred with .12ga coming in close behind.  .12ga is so so versatile, you can effectively use it for all game in NS, not sure about moose.  But for deer, bear, small game and waterfowl its more than enough.

The Mossberg 500 3 Barrel Combo would be my number one recommendation:

http://www.bullseyelondon.com/mossberg-500-3-barrel-combo-12-gauge-shotgun-3-chamber-24-rifled-24-ported-28-ported-waterfowl-barrels-model-53341-canada.html

It gives you the ability to hunt just about anything in NS and for a 700$ or less value.  Good starter option to cover all of your bases. 

My second would be a sporertized Lee Enfield.  They are cheap, usually less than 200$, and the .303Br round will do great for Deer or Bear.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=sporterized+lee+enfield&safe=active&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjV0aaiyI3dAhXG4IMKHUhVAwoQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=750

You can pick one of them up pretty readily online or at gun shows. 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 11:53:18 by Halifax Tar »
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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2018, 12:07:03 »
One of my main hunting guns is a Remington 742 in .308, but they dont make them anymore. That calibre will take anything in NA. If yòu want more of a jolt, Marlin makes a lever gun in 45-70. Or a .300 winmag is another popular hunting cartridge.

Or a Ruger #1 in .458 African. That'll suck the wax right out of your ears😉
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 12:10:28 by recceguy »
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2018, 13:18:58 »
Go full ghetto and hunt deer with an SKS if you really want to be cheap  ;D

Offline Lumber

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2018, 13:27:22 »
Go full ghetto and hunt deer with an SKS if you really want to be cheap  ;D

Honestly, they are selling them so cheap at the Army Navy surplus store that the thought crossed my mind.

I'm leaning toward the Savage Axis XP.
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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2018, 13:34:54 »
Go full ghetto and hunt deer with an SKS if you really want to be cheap  ;D

I am retrofitting my SKS into a deer rifle lol The 7.62x39 has similar ballistic characteristics as a 30-30 I have read.  Could be a good little brush/truck gun.

Honestly, they are selling them so cheap at the Army Navy surplus store that the thought crossed my mind.

I'm leaning toward the Savage Axis XP.

I have heard good things about the Savage Axis.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2018, 14:58:05 »
I know lots of people that use a SKS for deer. Just make sure to use modern hunting loads, no surplus for hunting. And keep your shots to under 100 yards with it.
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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2018, 17:54:41 »
I know lots of people that use a SKS for deer. Just make sure to use modern hunting loads, no surplus for hunting. And keep your shots to under 100 yards with it.

All good advice.  Thanks recceguy!
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Offline RomeoJuliet

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2018, 17:57:06 »
Tikka T3 .270.  My first and last hunting rifle.  Tack driver.

Offline Lumber

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2018, 08:15:40 »
Tikka T3 .270.  My first and last hunting rifle.  Tack driver.

$900+ at Cabela's... guess you missed the part where I was trying to keep this cheap :P
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

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Offline Lumber

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2018, 08:19:25 »
Also, I didn't realize you can only bag 1 deer per year in Nova Scotia. That won't give me much dog food, and going to New Brunswick and paying for an non-resident tag ($247) would defeat the purpose of this saving me money on dog food (but could still be fun).
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Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2018, 09:21:44 »
Savage Axis is the best bang for your buck (pun intended) in the budget range.

Don't forget to consider used options, $200-300 and you should be able to get something.

Don't write off an SKS as an option either, the price is right, and they're capable against a deer, and they're still available for $200-250.

There's all sorts of overpriced and useless "tactical" upgrade options on the market but you can make a few actual useful upgrades as a hunting rifle for a few reasonable price (either upgrade the iron sighs or add a scope mount.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 09:24:27 by Not a Sig Op »

Offline Lumber

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2018, 09:39:50 »
How hard is it in NS to actually hunt deer? I mean, I see a couple per week crossing the street near my place in Dartmouth. How likely is it that I wouldn't even see a deer on a Hunting trip? Would I have to sit in a blind all day, or am I likely to show up after breakfast and be dragging a deer out by lunch, just be taking a hike through the woods? (moving "vawy quiet" like Elmer Fudd, of course)
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2018, 11:01:03 »
Also, I didn't realize you can only bag 1 deer per year in Nova Scotia. That won't give me much dog food, and going to New Brunswick and paying for an non-resident tag ($247) would defeat the purpose of this saving me money on dog food (but could still be fun).

You can bag 2.  1 Rifle season, and 1 ML/Archery season.  If you and your wife both max out your licenses you could optimally get 4. 

I was in correct when I said 3 = 6, as your doe tag allows you to take a doe with either your rifle or primitive tag, season dependent of course.

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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2018, 11:44:09 »
How hard is it in NS to actually hunt deer? I mean, I see a couple per week crossing the street near my place in Dartmouth. How likely is it that I wouldn't even see a deer on a Hunting trip? Would I have to sit in a blind all day, or am I likely to show up after breakfast and be dragging a deer out by lunch, just be taking a hike through the woods? (moving "vawy quiet" like Elmer Fudd, of course)

It requires effort, and don't get discouraged if you get skunked some seasons.  I would suggest you link up an experienced hunter to help you out.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2018, 12:18:54 »
How hard is it in NS to actually hunt deer? I mean, I see a couple per week crossing the street near my place in Dartmouth. How likely is it that I wouldn't even see a deer on a Hunting trip? Would I have to sit in a blind all day, or am I likely to show up after breakfast and be dragging a deer out by lunch, just be taking a hike through the woods? (moving "vawy quiet" like Elmer Fudd, of course)

Come up to my camp on the Tabusintac River in NB, we can get some deer or if that fails, enjoy a few bubbly pops  ;D

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2018, 15:16:03 »
It's been many years since I last went hunting, and our preferred quarry was moose.  While some of the attraction was to augment the larder with a cheaper meat source (even if unrealistically optimistic), the main draw was to get out in the woods with friends for some "He-Man Time".  If your main reason is a cheaper meat source, do a cost comparison of beef with (hunted) venison, much like this (though it is dated and based on US circumstances)

https://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/hunting/2013/05/ultimate-red-meat-venison-vs-beef#page-3
Quote
In February, USDA choice steak and sirloin had a national average retail cost of $7.08 per pound, the highest since July 2004. Ground chuck cost a national average of $3.40 per pound retail, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But how much does wild venison really cost? It's impossible calculate a perfect figure. The farmer who shoots three deer off the back 80 acres spends significantly less money than the nonresident hunter who flies to Kansas for an outfitted hunt.

But we can at least get a close estimate…

The average cost of a deer hunting license is about $21 across the top 10 whitetail states in the country. But a lot more goes in to the cost of venison than license fees. A 2006 survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that deer hunters spent $885 per year on hunting and trip expenditures. The survey also found that only about 50 percent of the deer hunters across the country killed one or more deer in a season. This isn't perfect math, but we can figure that deer hunters take an animal about every other year. This means it would cost $1,770 per animal. Factor in about 60 pounds of venison per deer and you get $29.50 per pound. Even if you take a deer every season, the cost per pound still runs $14.75.

Unless you want to go into the woods and kill something, have a look at what it would cost to buy beef in bulk (say a full side) compared to outfitting for a safari.
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Offline Nuggs

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2018, 21:49:07 »
More deer have been killed by a .30-30, I would hazard a guess, than any other caliber.

Especially in NS, as its pretty rare that your taking a shot over 75-100 yards.
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Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2018, 05:45:09 »
Also if your looking for a cheap effective hunting rifle, don't discount old sporterized military rifles. Some can be done up quite nicely for hunting and be fairly cheap (100-300$). Just pay attention to what the caliber is (i.e. go for something that can be found on the shelf like .303 or 8mm Mauser). They aren't going to be as accurate as even a Savage axis (firearm manufacturing technology has come a long way), but provided they are in good condition they will do the job more than adequately.

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2018, 07:09:59 »
More deer have been killed by a .30-30, I would hazard a guess, than any other caliber.

Especially in NS, as its pretty rare that your taking a shot over 75-100 yards.

.30-.30 and .303Br have probably culled more game in Canada than any other round I would bet.  But I think .308 and 30-06 are catching up fast as 30-30 and .303Br become less and less used.
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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2018, 11:12:49 »
More deer have been killed by a .30-30, I would hazard a guess, than any other caliber.

Especially in NS, as its pretty rare that your taking a shot over 75-100 yards.

The 30-30 is an anemic cartridge. It lacks good hard hitting. There are more deer killed with it, because everyone wanted the lever gun and there are hundreds of thousands of them. Any shots outside the 25-50 yards that most deer are taken at, in woodlots, and you're pushing the limits of the cartridge. I would be hard pressed to use a 30-30 at 100 yards and over. It's an outdated cartridge, suitable only for close in work.

.303 British has killed more deer in Canada, because everyone had a surplus rifle chambered in that cartridge. Similar to the States where the 30-06 (.30 Browning) was the king cartridge, because that what hunters used when they returned from the wars. Surplus guns. It's more a matter of available platform, than cartridge characteristics.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 11:26:31 by recceguy »
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Offline Nuggs

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2018, 17:08:02 »
Apologies my above post should have said deer not game. And while I agree a pile of Enfields entered circulation post war, far more 30-30 existed in civilian hands prior to that.

I can't think of a farmer that I knew in NS that didn't have a pre-64 1894, and even the ones that had Enfields preferred the 30-30 on whitetail. Especially as a 1894 trapper was a 33" gun weighing 6lbs. Far far easier to maneuver as a bush gun than a 9lb 44" enfield.

In my personal opinion you need 1000 ft⋅lbf for white tail. With 150gr out of a 30-30 at a max of 100 yards, your still over 1200, more at closer ranges, which we agree is where your white tail kills in NS will be. Sure a 180gr @ 1800 ft⋅lbf will kill whitetail, but in my opinion its overkill, especially for the extra 3 lbs and 10" in thick NS underbrush.

Remember too that a 30-30 is 20% more energy at 100 yards than 7.62x39 but I don't see anyone calling sks anemic on deer.

Now if we were talking moose very different story.

Regardless 30-30, .303, 7.62x39, .308, 30-06 all solid deer guns.
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Offline Lumber

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Re: Deer Hunting Rifle Recommendation
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2018, 17:34:25 »
Regardless 30-30, .303, 7.62x39, .308, 30-06 all solid deer guns.

What's your opinion on the .270 recommended early by HB?
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