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Anyone hunt deer using only iron sights?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by IndianaMatt, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. IndianaMatt


    Jul 8, 2008
    Back in the Good Olde Days, there were no 12x scopes. Back in those days, a man had to feed his family using a rifle with ordinary fixed iron sights.

    Does anyone still hunt this way? Taking aside for a moment the ethical implications of assuming more risk when you shoot at an animal, it seems this would bring a very big element of "fair chase" back to the sport.
  2. K1500


    Feb 17, 2011
    Yes, with both rifle and handgun.

  3. IndianaMatt


    Jul 8, 2008
    Any major hits or misses hunting this way?
  4. alwaysshootin


    Nov 14, 2005
    Muzzle loader, and pistol, and yes I've had misses. Never really a clear miss per say, if I were trying to hit the sapling I didn't see with the naked eye. That's happened 3 or 4 times that I can remember. Scopes really help seeing small trees that for some reason I seem to hit often. The last time I did that, was five seasons ago, shot at a buck around 50 yards, with my muzzle loader, could not believe I missed. Walked up to where he was standing, and no sign of a hit. Walked back, and about half way between him, and I, was a sapling bent in half. Lifted it up to upright, and there was a perfect round hole about 2/3's of the way through the tree!:crying: When you are concentrating on a spot to shoot on the deer, it's easy to not see the trees for the forest.
  5. K1500


    Feb 17, 2011
    Yep, both hits and misses, but misses are more informative. I missed a deer with a 6.5" S&W 629 Classic once. It was a shot across a small draw, maybe 30-40 yards. It was about 5 minutes into legal shooting light. I could see the deer, backstop, and sights well. At the shot, the deer looked up perplexed at the loud noise and then sauntered out of there. It was a clean miss (I checked). What I couldn't see in the low light were the small sticks of an intervening tree. Sure enough, I clipped one with my XTP. That's the excuse I'm running with anyway, as it was a pretty easy shot otherwise.
  6. alwaysshootin


    Nov 14, 2005
    I will also tell you this about pistol scopes, from experience! First light, seeing a nice buck, at about 40 yards standing broadside, and put the Redhawk up, topped with a Leupold scope, at least 10x's, and cannot, find the deer in the scope, and it was only a 2 power. Now when I use a scope, it's 0 power with a red dot!
  7. quinnt


    Jan 26, 2005
    New Hampshire
    muzzleloader, pistol, and rifle. Shotgun has a 0x red dot on it, next rifle will have a small scope.
  8. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002
    Only thing in the gun safe with a scope, is the Ruger and the Remington 7mm rem mag, because we do a great deal of long range prairie shooting, and off the canyon rims behind the house.. I do not use them on levers, or hog legs or muzzle loaders. Nor sight pins on a recurve or long bow. I am and old dude who likes to stay simple. It works real well for me... :supergrin:

    No one take this as offfense... :wavey:

    Bless you old boys and good hunting...

  9. IndianaMatt


    Jul 8, 2008
    Wow, this is like some serious outdoorsman philosophy.
  10. alwaysshootin


    Nov 14, 2005
    Yes it's something I take real serious!
  11. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    I shoot iron sights on my Win Model 94 30/30. I shoot iron sights on my .50 cal. muzzleloader. I shoot iron sights on my 12 ga. slug gun. Everything else has a scope.

    The 30/30 aims as easily as I point my finger. That may be because I have carried it for years as my sons grew up and I used as a back-up in case they missed. (they never did)

    The slug gun shoots low. I've learned to use Kentucky windage to hit what I want.

    The muzzleloader is fun to hunt with and its accuracy continues to surprise after all these years.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  12. I sot with Peer sights and glad for them and my scope rifles. Anything that makes your AIM more straight and accurate is a blessing.

    To say the ole'den days they used iron sights , but I betcha a dollar they would glady take a scope or reddot was available. Just like we evolve to use better technology & tools, I highly doubt the massive would revert back to iron only sights.
  13. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    Took my first few deer with a scoped .243 Winchester but the most recent two deer with an open sighted Dan Wesson Razorback in 10mm. I don't really have any plans to go back to ANYTHING with a scope. My primary deer gun has changed from the Razorback to my new (open sighted) Fusion longslide 10mm. The only long gun I might use in the future would be a nice open sighted lever-action in .30-30 or .44 mag.

    I prefer to keep deer hunting close and using other skills to git em'
  14. walt cowan

    walt cowan

    Feb 18, 2005
    the thing with iron sights is...low light. for years i hunted with iron sights on everything from shoutguns to rifles. legal hunting time in maryland is 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset. my iron sights were pretty much useless durring both those times. other than that they worked 95% of the time. rain, snow, ice and woods trash took the other 5%.
  15. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    I can't recall ever firing on an animal with a scoped centerfire rifle or shotgun. I've taken some squirrels and bird with a scoped .22, but that's about it. Deer have all been iron sight shotgun and fowl were the same. I'd like to try
  16. nickE10mm

    nickE10mm F.S.F.O.S.

    Apr 13, 2004
    Wichita, KS
    Very true, and something most will fail to realize. I have to keep potential shots REAL CLOSE during those times.
  17. fwiw anybodu hunting with a 12x scope for deer at normal deer range is serious hamper. More so for a handgun. I more accuaret at 2x than 4x for handguns on paper targets.

    Now at early light, the scopes win hands down over iron scope with identifying the target as far as I'm concern.
  18. c01

    c01 Crazy Eye

    Feb 18, 2010
    I use irons with levers and handguns. No misses but as mentioned above the dusk/dawn thing is rough on both.

  19. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Now that I think about it, I've always used a low power scope. :dunno:

    I've only shot three deer in my life, though.

    Turkey and upland birds are a different story. :supergrin:
  20. FPS


    Jul 15, 2005
    I hunt deer in Vermont with a Winchester lever action and open sights. Typical distance in the thick mountainous woods of Vermont is 100yds.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011