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Hunters in the great plains states, your rifle

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by noway, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. noway

    noway

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    For anybody that have hunted open areas where game animals where out in the open but beyound 100yards, what do you use? or describe your setup for hunting deer or antelope animals ? ( caliber/scope/etc....)

    basically if you had todo it all over or just one gun for this type of hunting what would you buy ?

    I'm think about what I want in my next rifle for such type of hunting where you have alot of distance between you and the game animal.
     
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    My current is a Winchester 70 in 6.5-06, 6x scope. I own some and see a lot of .25, 7mm and .30's though. I'm not really sure caliber matters all that much. A buddy of mine has dropped near everything out here, including bison, with a 7mm mag.

    If I had to do it all over the first thing I would buy is a pair of top of the line binoculars and a top of the line spotting scope. Scope for long glassing and binos that travel easily for stalking. I currently have a 10x and smaller 8x. Both great glass. My 10x has a 3x adapter that turns it into a 30x for use off a tripod. I'm considering an 70-80mm spotting scope to replace the larger binos though. Since I've gotten the 8x I don't use the 10x as binos very often.

    It will cost a lot of money. I have about $3200 wrapped up in them. But I spent more because I didn't start at the top and I'm sure I missed out with lesser optics.

    A good rifle in any reasonable caliber that you can shoot 3-400 yards with is more than enough IMHO. I like it all much closer if I can get it. You can't get a shot though if you don't know where they are. The concentrations are low and there is a lot of country to cover. Great optics, a good horse, good boots and a good rifle, in that order.

    [​IMG]

    I spotted this group on the hill about 550 yards west of my place just a few weeks ago. I put the sneak on them and this photo was taken at about 75 yards, with a 3x zoom on my camera. I probably could have gotten closer, but there wasn't a good way to get over the fence without spooking them. It's hard to see but the one just behind the ocotillo is a buck. Not a lot of mass on the rack, decent body, but if it was in season he'd be in my freezer. There's not much cover out here. Just low mesquite and brush. The wind was in my favor though. I whistled at them to get them to look. They never figured me out and just ambled across the hill occassionally looking back.

    You surely can take super long shots, but most of the time it's unecessary. YMMV.
     

  3. 357glocker

    357glocker

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    I'm in Nebraska and hunt in the southeast part of the state mostly. The land I hunt has the opportunity for me to shoot about 200yrds but the longest shot I have taken is @90yrds. My 7mmRemMag has worked great for me and if someday a deer steps out at that 200yrd mark, I am confident I will be gutting a deer within the half hour. It is mounted with a Nichols 3x9x40. I keep the magnification set on 6x as it seems to be perfect for even the close 15yrd shots and enough to clearly see a 200yrd target.
     
  4. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    Noway,

    On the grass lands of the Oklahoma plains, where shots can be waaay out there, i use a 7mm rem mag, also the 6.5X55 is a very good choice.
    Scope is a Leopould scope up to 12X. As "mpol777," suggested, a very good pair of binoculars , and a good spotting scope is a 'must have.'

    Also to quote him again, most any good flat shooting caliber will do for ya, i just use the 7mm rem mag as my "almost everything" gun. ;f

    BTW, think on this, that 45LC hogleg of yours will take a lope just fine, so don't get the idea that 'all' your shots "have to be" at extreme distances. But with the hogleg, a water hole dug out, or hide away, or tremendous concealment tactics, obviously are key, that helps no matter what you use, more so on the "very" sparse range with hardly any cover etc...


    Have fun
    Stay safe!


    CanyonMan
     
  5. noway

    noway

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    thanks for the advice so far, as far as spotting scopes or binoculars, I'm assuming you use this to spot/identify the game. So what power in either do you use?


    Also where do you drop the line at for caliber ? would a remington 260 be fine or a 6.5x55 ?

    {BTW, think on this, that 45LC hogleg of yours will take a lope just fine, so don't get the idea that 'all' your shots "have to be" at extreme distances.}

    Man I never could phantom stalking a Plains game to get within handgun distances. That right their would be a challenge ;)
     
  6. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    I've found the 8x binos are good for all things I use binos for. The range there is about 1.5-2 miles, give or take. You can surely spot game much farther, but if you want to count points and judge size, you need more power. That's where the spotting scope comes in. You can glass longer ranger and get more detail. 20-30x is enough out here. You can see really dang far with those 60x telescope types, but the atmosphere distortion comes into play. You can also see too far. Just because you can see a bear on the side of a hill doesn't mean you ride 40 miles to go get it.

    I sit up on my hill and watch the BP and illegals play cat and mouse with my 8x. If something good looks like it's going down I can check it out with my 30x. It's about 10 miles from my place to Old Mexico. Kind of like COPS without any commercials. ;f

    It's not just spotting, but seeing whether or not it's worth going over there. That photo above had one antlered buck out of 14 deer. If you only have an antlered deer tag and he wasn't in the group, you could spend hours climbing over ridges only to find out there's nothing there you can shoot. Or if you're the trophy type, you need to see clear enough to know if it's a 'winner' or not.

    Black or brown blobs on a hillside with poor glass means a lot of wasted time and effort. THAT is the difference between $300 binos and $1000 binos. You can spend all day chasing down something you don't want and all that savings goes right out the window.
     
  7. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    I don't know about the perverbial "line" to draw Noway. I would really say that 243 and up will be fine. Again, if one can be taken with a pistol and a bow and arrow, it can be taken with a 243.

    I had a very dear friend who is dead now, but took a world class lope with his long bow, he was a very good hunter, and very "game wise." I have taken some very nice game with the recurve as well, and although, YES, most lope hunts can be 'long range affairs,' do not under estimate your self, or your ability with the hogleg, or anything, for that matter. First step in success, is confidence. Man your shooting Forida bucks at 10/15 feet Hoss, so hey, Get R' Done!

    You would be surprised how well you can do on the plains with VERY GOOD concealment, and much patients, and practice.

    Just look at the "AVATAR" i have. There ain't much to hind behind in West Texas either, unless you find a fence post! ;f

    Yes the 6.5X55 is fine, and as i said, IMHO, i 'would not' go below 243, but would 'rather have,' 270, 7mm mag. If i do spot a "trophy"
    waaaaay out there with my nice high power scope, ;f and i can take the shot, i would like 'enough juice' to kill him. That is why i just stuck with the 7mag, as my everything gun. But these other calibers will work well also using good sense and knowing your range limitations.

    And + 1 on the "optics" advice from "mpol777." i really liked this part....."You can also see too far. Just because you can see a bear on the side of a hill doesn't mean you ride 40 miles to go get it."

    LOL... Exactly!


    CanyonMan
     
  8. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    My setup was (sold it) a Tikka Whitetail Hunter Stainless Synthetic in 7mm-08 topped with a Tasco Target/Varmint 2.5-10x42 MD scope. That was the best scope I had ever owned. $61 and it out did a lot of other scopes I had on that rifle. For binos, I use Steiner Predator 12x40. Work pretty good, but cause eye strain for me after several minutes. For really open areas, I use a beat up Winchester 15-45x spotting scope. I didn't have a bipod, but frequently used my pack as a rest.

    I sight in for Point Blank Range method on all my rifles and have a chart taped to the stock for drops beyond PBR. My limit is when I hold on the animal's back the bullet drops to the bottom edge of vitals and that is my maximum shot distance. A hold any higher and it is hard to reference anything for hold off. My longest single (kill) shot on game was 416 yards on a coyote. My average shot on big game is closer to 60 yards. Coyotes average about 150-160 yards.
     
  9. tjpet

    tjpet

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    Bolt gun in .270WCF topped with a 6x40 scope in low, Redfield-style mounts. Sight in 3" high @ 100 yards with 130grn. ammo. You're good-to-go out to a bit over 300 yards with a center chest hold.

    You'll glass at least twice as much as you walk. Therefore, your binocs should start at Zeiss and work up from there. Cheap glass gives headaches. Leave the K-Mart Focal brand at home. My personal favorite - Leica. Initial investment is high but you'll get a lifetime of use out of them. And so will your kids and grandkids. A 10x40 setup is fine.

    I don't use a spotting scope much anymore.

    Western plains hunting usually affords plenty of time and cover to get close to your quarry. I've lived in the West for over 30 years and have only taken shots in excess or 250 yards a few times. Most have been in the 125-175 range.
     
  10. CCF

    CCF

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    I don't mean to butt into noway's thread, but I was wondering if the 30-06 is considered a flat shooter. Also, what is the ballistic difference of a 65-grain bullet versus that of a 220-grain bullet out of a 30-06?

    BTW, I want to learn about ballistics & such. Can anyone recommend websites &/or books?
     
  11. noway

    noway

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    I don't think you will find a 65grain bullet for a 30-06 unless you mean 165grain and that was a typo on your behalf ;)

    As a flat shooter goes with a BT base bullet like those from sierra match king you can shoot a 30-06 out to 400-500yards and maybe more if you have the right scope,setup etc... It has the same potential as the 308win and with bullets into the 2XX gr range. The 165-180 are very popular in the competition world as far as bullets go, and you need the right bbl twirst for the longer bullets.

    I have 2 30-06 but was looking at getting something smaller for a plains rifle. maybe in the 6mm range or 270weatherby. I kinda want something that can do over 3100fps out of a 24" bbl.
     
  12. CCF

    CCF

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    No typo, LOL. I thought I read somewhere on this site where somebody said you could load the .30-06 down to 65 grains. Then again, I very well could be mistaken. :)

    BTW, what is the effective load range of a .30-06 (bullet weight from lowest effective grain to highest effective grain)?
     
  13. noway

    noway

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    not sure what your going after, It all depends on your bullets design more so than the weight.

    It common for the heavier bullets to withstand wind drift and BoatTails bullets provide a higher BC so the bullet is more streamline and travels faster at the same distance than a none BT bullet design. Not sure what you are getting at but the bullet is what determines the effective or let's say max range. 300-400 is good & typical in most field rifle for the 30-06, 500-600 yards also. After that I would say the bullet type, bbl stiff, and if you can accomendate bullet drop correct ( trajectory ), than it's not uncommon for for target shooters to hit targets at 1000yards and even more with the 30-06 and all of this is from a load launch at the muzzle @ 2800fps.

    ;)
     
  14. CCF

    CCF

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    I guess I'm just wanting to know the limits of the .30-06. More for curiosity than anything else. I do have lots of things to learn, though (I'm getting back into hunting). I appreciate the info. :thumbsup:
     
  15. noway

    noway

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    Good information so far. I just came from an informal meeting held by a a private club that has alot of long range shooters. One thing that was mention for field vrs target shooting where distance are set and known vrs unkwn, how do you guys acquire distance out on the plain? Do you use the tools of a laser rangefinder or mil-dot scopes?


    I have a new bbl on order for a rifle buildup and I'm guessing it will be my plains gun and depending on performance and recoil I might just make it my all around shooter ;)
     
  16. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Combo of the two. Mil dot to estimate if I had time and LRF to confirm.

    I had a chart of the various measurements of deer and coyote in areas that would give good, fast measurements: chest width, bottom of chest to top of back, front legs to rump, nose to back of head.

    At the distances where the bullet would match up with a mil dot (explained below) the dot range would be listed. So if at my second dot, the chest would be x mils in width. Bracket the animal, if it is x mils, animal is B yards away. Use second dot and squeeze trigger. Seems a little complicated at first, but I got it to work for me after some field practice. Range, chart, send it.

    At distances past PBR, the mil dots would mark yardage for drop. So if PBR was however many yards at crosshair intersection, the first dot down was A yards, the second dot down was B yards, the third dot was C yards, and so on. The dots were my hold over. If the animal was at B yards away, hold second dot on chest and send it. Worked for me.

    Everyone has their own system that works for them. The above worked for me.
     
  17. noway

    noway

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    Thanks have you known anybody who used these sheperd scopes? and just how good do they hold up in the field ?
     
  18. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Sorry, I haven't. I've only seen their ads and scopes in Cabela's and hunting mags. I don't like cluttered reticles. The most clutter I will allow is a mil dot or the Boone & Crocket/Varmint reticles from Leupold. Simplicity is effective. The Horus Vision reticles are supposed to be some of the best ranging reticles, but you have to look through all that garbage just to see your target. No thanks.

    Here's some more crazy reticles: LINK





    [​IMG]
     
  19. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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  20. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    Does that reticle come with instructions and a graphing calculator? ;g I'd probably need to start the calculations now for a hunt this fall with that thing.

    Damn right.