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Texas deer hunting with a .223

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by AMT380man, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. AMT380man

    AMT380man Republicrat

    Jan 14, 2005
    Is this a good idea? Can a .223 take down a deer, I mean is it a good idea?
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    On cous deer .223 is plenty. On other species, unless you have a reason to use it a little larger caliber (.243 or .260) would probably be much more reliable.

  3. AMT380man

    AMT380man Republicrat

    Jan 14, 2005
    Only think I would be going after would be White Tail.
  4. WunderDog


    Jan 23, 2005
    Why? A .223 will work on deer but using it really shifts a heavy burden into the shooter to produce exceptional shot placement. Unless you are a true marksman and are willing to pass up longer range or even slightly marginal shots, it could be irresponsible to use a .223. There are a huge number of other calibers out there that increase your margin for error dramatically and increase the likelihood of a clean, humane kill.
  5. TexAg


    Jun 26, 2004
    It will definitely work with a well placed shot, I've seen two Texas deer killed with .223 and they only went 10-20 yards. Yes you have to be accurate and place your shot well and not take overly long shots or shots through brush. You don't have to shoot sub 1 inch groups, but you don't want a marginal hit either ( which in my opinion you never want ). The good thing about the .223 is that it is a very flat shooter. The last deer I saw taken was a 110-130lb buck shot at about 30 yards, he went 15 yards and fell over, the bullet (I think it was a soft point) fragmented pretty badly and really tore up alot of lung tissue but still had enough mass in the base to create an exit wound too. If you've got something bigger I'd use it, unless its WAY bigger, but the .223's I've seen used were coyote guns first, and deer guns secondly (as in you're looking for coyotes but you see a deer you just can't pass up).
  6. PaP


    May 10, 2001
    Hixson TN USA
    It's funny you asked. Check out my previous post on my Texas hunt:

    I took that deer about 12:30 pm San Antonio time in early December when I was returning to look for a deer I thought I had missed that morning. That morning I took a shot at a deer at about 150 yards with my 7mm mag and was pretty sure that I had missed it, rushed the shot and lifted my head. The guide and I searched for about an hour and found no sign of blood, hair, broken limbs, deep tracks, etc. During lunch the ranch manager told us that he had been about a half mile away and heard the bullet hit. After lunch four of us returned to look again and came across the pictured deer which I took cleanly with one shot. The four of us looked again for the earlier deer for about an hour and found no sign of a hit.

    The deer I missed was sighted the next day feeding normally and I was glad to hear I had made a clean miss and not crippled it.

    The outfitter called just last week to tell me that another customer had killed the deer I missed. It was a nice 8 point which scored about 135 and included a through and through, left to right hole just underneath his spine, a little too far back.

    I was shooting a 7mm mag with a ballistic tip. It's easy to forget just how tough these whitetail's can be.
  7. water_daddy


    Mar 15, 2003
    A skilled marksman and hunter who does not mind passing up shots, perhaps. But I don't see the point, why limit your shots or take the chance for wounding animals. Please don't take it personal but I have a hard time giving an inquiring internet surfer the justification they seek to their uncertainty. "A man's gotta know his limitations".

    I recommend a .243 minimum, as I consider bullets < 100 gr to be too unpredictable should you strike heavy bone, muscle, or even leaves.
  8. tjpet


    May 14, 2001
    Utah-Idaho border
    If you're sitting in a stand, can shoot, and use the right ammo killing those small Texas WT's with a .223 should be a breeze.

    I like the WW 64grn. PP for deer (when I use a .223) and it kills the bigger Rocky Mt. mulies that live in these parts quickly and cleanly.
  9. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Like most on here have said...Yes, it will kill TX. deer. My brother has a sniper type outfit, tripod and all, rifle with a bull barrel, the works, man he is decked out. (223). He "only takes head shots," and he kills the deer out here on our West Texas ranch. (small bucks, and does).

    BUT... I think is is a nut... ;f

    He and i argue over this kind of thing. I told him this is an excellent varmit rig, and a very excellent Turkey getter! It really is, but IMHO, i would prefere to see bottom line a .243 It ain't a huge jump up, but it is a jump up.

    I do not want to hunt in such a way as he does, to limit my shots to "head shots only" and pass up things that are bigger and better, and just not in a hunting condition, senerio, to use that light a caliber. I'll be honest with ya here... When he goes out in the canyons behind the house for a "Mr. Big," "He takes his .270" ! :cool:

    What does that tell ya?

    Be careful.

  10. trapfan

    trapfan Got Glock?

    Sep 19, 2001
    Michigan, U.S.A
    As I have posted before a .223/5.56 will take deer but you must do your part as a hunter. Myself and family members have used the .223/5.56 since the mid to late sixty's to take many Whitetail deer and some Russian boars. My uncle even took a black bear with his .223 Remington. The key is "SHOT PLACEMENT". I have seen bucks run miles hit with 12 gage slugs that were not placed right. I have had great success while using a Colt AR15 Match HBAR with Winchester 64 grain Power Point rounds. Granted all my shots were inside 125 yards but here in Michigan that is all the distance that my hunting area allows. Neck and head shots as well as broad side spine and "arm pit" shots just behind the front shoulder work like strychnine. JMTCW....Trapfan
  11. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    For deer I believe .308 holes make great deer souls.........

  12. bachchoy

    bachchoy Bond

    Dec 28, 2003
    My Old Kentucky Home.
    get at least a .243
  13. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    What about using the "Extreme Shock Fang Face" ammo? You know the rds with Tungsten-NyTrilium particles in it?? With ammo like that a .22 would blow a deer in half!!!! ;Q

  14. 243winchester is normally considered the minimum round to harvest deer cleanly and humanely. Even with the .243, you have to let a few go due to angles and distance.
  15. AMT380man

    AMT380man Republicrat

    Jan 14, 2005
    Thank you for all of the help, the only reason I ask is because I do not have a deer rifle right now are really want an AR and I am looking for a justification. I think now I am going to steer clear of the AR because I am not a great shot and I am not going to mortally wound a deer just to have a nice gun. Thanks again guys.
  16. Sixgun_Symphony

    Sixgun_Symphony NRA4EVR

    Apr 16, 2002
    Hunting rifles do not cost too much, a good used "thutty-thutty" can be had for under $200 if you look around.
  17. Wildpony


    Jun 23, 2004
    DFW Texas
    The .223 is capable of harveting deer.

    That said I would only use it if I absolutely had no other (larger) rifle available.

    Someone probably already said that but I didnt feel like reading through all the other posts.

    If you take close shots and mind your shot placement it should work fine.
  18. XD40FAN


    Nov 6, 2004
    Reno/Sparks, NV
    Then get an AR10. Problem solved. ;f
  19. BillK@tcmhmrs.o


    May 13, 2004
    I don't abide hunting deer with a .223

    Too IFFY to leave a wounded critter if your not a marvelous shot.

    I'm originally from the Amarillo area, and in that part of the High Plains, it's not unusual to see mule deer. They are not your average Great Dane sized South Texas deer. I have to agree with the other writers to go with a 30-30 or .243

    A Texas lad needs a good deer rifle a whole lot more than some piece of 7.62 commie gun