Ok, so I have been trying to get up with someone to try deer hunting. I finally found someone and he happens to even have his own land to hunt on. Reason I want to go with someone is to learn. I can kill the thing, but then what? So hopefully when this deer season comes around I'll be learning.
Here's my question to the seasoned hunters on the board. I have two weapons to choose from: my Swiss K31 or my camo finish Benelli Super Nova. I had considered dragging them both along, but I can't see me making it very far with both of them slung over my shoulders. So I need to choose one. If it was your choice, which would you take, the shotgun or the rifle? The rifle is fairly heavy and already dinged up with a decent sized load (am having a fairly tough time finding a sling that not only fits but fits well enough that I can carry it comfortably for a long time). The shotgun is lighter, has the camo finish, has a 26" barrel, and can do up to 3 1/2" loads (although I cannot handle them, I learned, so I won't be putting 3 1/2" loads in my shotgun again). It also has a sling. Which would you drag off into the woods with you?
If it were me I wouldn't even consider the K31 Swiss unless I was going to be setting in a tree stand or in a blind.(to heavey). If your shotgun is set up for slugs you could use that for deer. If not I would stay with birds,squirrels, or bunny busting. Good luck.
Which one is legal to use in your state? Have you thought about taking a Hunter Ed class before you hunt?
Try some Remington Managed recoil loads. They should have a buckshot load you can handle. They also have slug in the lineup. Give those a try.
Both are as long as we stay out during black powder season which I will most gladly do. I can use my revolver if I wanted to, although I really don't want to. And I'm hoping to take the class if I can find one that is within my price range and doesn't sound like the concealed carry class, which has been the most common and biggest complaint I've heard about the classes in this area.
Originally Posted by 2400
Indeed, both are legal during gun season (sometimes called rifle season). I know zero about your rifle, but if you go this route be sure and load it with a quality deer load such as a soft point. Depending on the hunting you will do your shotgun may be a fair choice.
I suspect that you'll be hunting from a stand or blind, in which case slugs are your best option. To effectively use slugs you'll need "rifle" sights on your shotgun. Buckshot is ideal for deer at close range, but if you plan on taking a shot much over 35 yards it's not much good.
Far more versatile IMO, you can use it from close range to as far out as your rifle is capable. A good load (bullet) is key...it DOES make a difference. You want something with moderately fast expansion.
I hunt with a rifle - normally my 30-06 BAR. The only reason I can see to hunt with a shotgun is if you're on the ground taking close to medium range shots.
Well...where do I start. Is your shotgun barrel rifled? Those are more accurate out to distance compared to a smooth barrel. I use (with success) a 12 guage, Remington 870, rifled barrel, shooting 2 3/4 Remington Premier Coppersolid HP Sabot slugs, sighted-in out to 50 yards. I've also used a S&W 629 44 magnum. I didn't care for pistol hunting because I wore ear plugs and found I couldn't really hear the "sounds" of the woods. Personally, assuming your weapon of choice is appropriate and legal, the little odds and ends will make you a successful hunter, ie., use of a scent killer, proper gear to remain active in the woods for hours which includes numerous items. I've learned a lot over the years...from walking around looking for deer (hey deer, come over here) to becoming stealthy and blending into the woods...hunting the hunted.
if your shotgun is 3" mag 00Buck is good to 50 yards are a little more.
Most hunter saftey courses are offered for free or a nominal fee. Check with your state fish and game for a list of them in your area.
Once you take that then I would ask your mentor if you will be stand hunting or moving. I don't know much about the rifle but if it is heavy then stand hunting is an option. If you decide on the shotgun and I'm guessing the bbl is a smoothbore then you need to see what is legal to use as some states have buckshot restrictions. I prefer slugs and the previously mentioned reduced recoil type is an excellent suggestion. Once you decide what you are going to use then go to the range and get so you are profficient enough for a clean kill. Whatever you determine your accurate range is, then stick to that range with your shots while hunting. You owe the animal nothing less.
Good luck. Most of those situations wind up with the rookie taking a 10 pointer and then they have to find someplace else to hunt the next season.
SuckLead: Ma'am, what happened. Your decision and experiences while out and about.
First things first....
Watch someone field-clean (gut) a deer before you take up hunting them. You're going to have to do that immediately after getting one.
What will you do with the meat when it's processed?
Who will process it for you?
How will you get it there?
Do you know how to SAFELY gut and clean it. (Urine, bile, etc. will destroy your animal)?
How will you be hunting? (On the move, from a stand)
Have you scouted your area? Where are the deer? Where do they move when? Where/when do they eat? Where do they sleep? Beds, scrapes?
THEN choose the weapon.
An inefficient kill is not a humane kill. Good deer rifles are designed to kill with a "hydrostatic shock" priciple, shooting a very fast light bullet. Shotguns are fine, especially where rifles are restricted, but rifles are better.
You wouldn't take a bolt-action rifle into a combat zone. You shouldn't take a self-defense weapon into the woods...
Don't shoot a person you don't intend to kill. Don't shoot an animal you don't intend to eat....
That said... Have fun. Hunting is a great sport.
Sucklead: Have you gone yet? we're waiting to hear about your first kill!!! Just shot a doe here in Ct this weekend.
No, I haven't. I've been invited to Maine to hunt deer and maybe bear, but that will be next season. Considering I'll have to drive, and that means through NJ and NY, I'll probably leave my own guns home and borrow one of his. But he's going to teach me most of what I need to know so after that I can start hunting on my own. I don't feel comfortable going out alone, at least not my first few times. I want to learn how to do it properly so I don't end up ruining the meat and having the animal die for nothing.
Originally Posted by 220combat
Here is an after thought, your deer hunt does not end after you have killed it, IT HAS JUST BEGAN. Killing it is the easy part, field dressing/skinning/quartering/etc. is the fun part. Your mentor should be able to properly teach you all of it. You, as a hunter should know how to do this, and as you hunt more, the more seasoned hunters will teach you some tricks of the trade on how to do the above quickly and efficiently.
I still hunt deer, but only the trophy kind, I leave the meat harvesting to my son and nephews. I have done my fair share of gutting/field dressing/etc. Now, I would dove hunt or bird hunt anytime. Atleast my hunt is not over after firing just one shot.
I disagree. If I were hunting I'd want a sidearm for SHTF scenarios. It's faster to point and faster to fire than a hunting rifle, and a few .45s in the right place will make most predators you'd find in American hunting grounds think twice about hunter stew for supper. It would not be my primary weapon though, which I think was your point.
Originally Posted by JeffWard
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