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Old January 24, 2012, 02:03 PM   #1
Wyoredman
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SKS for antelope? Why?

Being winter and nine months untill hunting season starts again here in Wyoming, I have been rflecting on last years' hunts.

All these memories got me thinking about a fella I ran into while pronghorn hunting last season. This gentelman was from out of state and was hunting with an old SKS. I know for a fact that he had spent $575 on his licenses and who knows how much on the trip to Wyoming. It seemed odd to me that he did not have a hunting rifle. At first thought I just assumed he couldn't afford a hunting rifle, but then a good cheap used rifle chambered in a hunting caliber can be purchased for nearly the same price as a SKS.

I guess it kind of seems like he was using the wrong tool. Like a carpenter using a hatchet to frame a house. It would get the job done, but a framing hammer would be much more suited to the task at hand.

What are your feelings about using SKS/AK type rifles for hunting?
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Old January 24, 2012, 02:09 PM   #2
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Dead is dead.
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Old January 24, 2012, 02:15 PM   #3
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For the wide open hunting of Wyoming I would choose something else.
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Old January 24, 2012, 02:21 PM   #4
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It isn't the wrong tool if you are aware of, and use it within its limitations.

I hunt Pronghorn with anything that tickles my fancy. Last year, I had a Russian SKS and an M38 (7.62x54R) along for the ride. Other years have seen an 1895 Krag (.30-40 Krag), a 20 ga shotgun with slugs, and/or a Marlin 336 (.30-30). Every year sees a .44 Mag Super Blackhawk.

If you know how to use it, understand the limitations, and get the job done... it isn't the wrong tool.

This year, I'm taking a .444 Marlin on the Antelope hunt. ...but I'm planning to only use the Blackhawk to fill my tags.

I was taught that Antelope hunting required a good long-range rifle. Over time, experience showed me otherwise. Not only do I hunt in the plains now (I grew up hunting speed goats in the hills), but my average kill shot is about 100 yards.


As for the SKS...
I hesitate to approve of the rifle, but I did hunt with one, myself. Mine was very accurate (it was a Russian, after all), but I know it was an exception. I have taken most of my Antelope with a .270 Winchester. I'll stick to my statement above, though: If you know how to use it, understand the limitations, and get the job done... it isn't the wrong tool.
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Old January 24, 2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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It wouldn't be anywhere near my 1st choice, but lots of guys prefer to hunt with guns that are far from ideal. Some guys like the challenge and hunt them with muzzle loaders, bows, handguns, etc. As long as he was happy, I'm happy.

I take a different attitude when asked about choosing a gun for SD,or hunting something that could eat me. I want only the best. But most hunting is for fun, and I have no problems with folks using whatever brings them pleasure.
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Old January 24, 2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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Two guesses:

1) He was out to prove something to somebody, such as "The SKS is capable of taking any game in North America." or some such. In that case, I'd like to see the video of when he tries to tackle the Grizzly.

2) He is trying to handicap himself..... some use a bow.... hell, I saw a video this AM of a teenaged girl that took a 200 lb wild boar ......with a SPEAR.
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Old January 24, 2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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How'd it work out for him? If he got what he came for, then it was probably good enough.
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Old January 24, 2012, 03:01 PM   #8
Wyoredman
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I don't know how it work out for him.

I do have to say that I don't care that he was using that particular rifle, it just seemed a bit odd to me. Not many people in Wyoming use that type of weapon for hunting.

I also have to say that the guy seemed to be nice enough gentelman when we met but he did seem a bit out of place in the Wyoming high desert.

Maybe he didn't know any different?

Just a curiosity.
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Old January 24, 2012, 05:19 PM   #9
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I used to think using a bow was odd,but now I understand
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Old January 24, 2012, 06:07 PM   #10
Daryl
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I've killed a couple of nice antelope bucks with my bow. Can't see how an SKS wouldn't do well enough, used within it's limitations.

Over the years, I've killed some various game animals with what might be considered unconventional weapons. Stuff like javalinas with a .40 S&W and such.

As long as the shooter can hit their target at the range they shoot to, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old January 26, 2012, 09:08 PM   #11
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An SKS wouldn't be my first choice either but that isn't to say it can't get the job done. I've killed antelope at 300 yards but I've also killed them at 10 yards.

If the gentleman knows his limitations and sticks within them, I see no problem using an SKS or an AK. The 7.62x39 will certainly drop an antelope if the shooter can make the shot he is taking.
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Old January 29, 2012, 12:23 AM   #12
johnwilliamson062
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An SKS is inherently much more accurate than an AK and plenty powerful. If you got a good one or did a little tweaking on one you could easily make 100 yard shots with one. Probably from a bit longer range actually.
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Old January 30, 2012, 02:17 AM   #13
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I'm not the end all be all on pronghorn hunting but pronghorn "should be" a prairie animal. prairie hunting requires the ability to make very long shots out to 500 yards, I just dont think 7.62x39 has that ability. with that said, if you've found a way to get within 250 yards of said animals(within 150 preferable) I don't foresee any problems at all.
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Old January 30, 2012, 09:21 AM   #14
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Going the other direction: On my one and only antelope hunt, I figured ahead of time that my '06 was probably an "overkill" choice. However, I was much more "married up with it" than any of my other rifles. More likely to make a precise hit. And, sure enough, I did.

I figure that if a fella is all married up with some particular rifle, he likely can do things with it that sorta startle the casual observer...
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Old January 30, 2012, 02:57 PM   #15
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It did do that! Startle me, that is!
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Old January 31, 2012, 12:29 PM   #16
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To each his own but on my budget there is no way I'm gonna pay the fees and associated travel costs for an out of state hunt and use an SKS, capable or not. Heck, I wouldn't even use one on an in-state hunt. My time spent in the woods is valuable and success is part of the experience. I no longer feel no need to handicap myself with a handgun or crappy rifle for the sake of fair play. Now that's not to say I won't use a muzzle loader if the season requires it or a handgun if there was a handgun only season or even an SKS if some clown thought up a special SKS only season but I'll only get so many shots a critters in my life, I'll use the best tool for the job and then let the chips fall where they may.

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Old January 31, 2012, 12:59 PM   #17
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To each his own but on my budget there is no way I'm gonna pay the fees and associated travel costs for an out of state hunt and use an SKS, capable or not. Heck, I wouldn't even use one on an in-state hunt.
Correct me if I'm wrong, LK, but IIRC, Iowegians are not allowed to hunt game with a centerfire rifle...... there's seasons for ML, shotgun and handgun, but no rifle season......
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:10 PM   #18
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Correct me if I'm wrong, LK, but IIRC, Iowegians are not allowed to hunt game with a centerfire rifle...... there's seasons for ML, shotgun and handgun, but no rifle season......
We do have a January anterless season for rifles in the southern 2 tiers of counties. Hoping that they'll start letting us use pistol caliber guns statewide for deer in the future but not holding my breath. Other than that "game" is a broad term. Centerfires are fine for all other game in Iowa.

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Old January 31, 2012, 01:15 PM   #19
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Centerfires are fine for all other game in Iowa.


What "game" (as opposed to varmits) is legal to shoot with a centerfire rifle in Iowa?

I did not know of the anlerless late season in the southern tiers.... learn somethin', occasionally......
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Old January 31, 2012, 01:30 PM   #20
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I would not even consider an SKS for antelope. Actually I would not have an SKS.
Having said that if I were to see a great trophy at 400-500 yards using an SKS I would get ill. Hunting was a serious matter to me, and to use junk guns would not ever be acceptable. I liked the outdoors and scenery, but I was hunting basically to take game.

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Old January 31, 2012, 01:33 PM   #21
L_Killkenny
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What "game" (as opposed to varmits) is legal to shoot with a centerfire rifle in Iowa?
Predators, furbearers, varmints, small game, maybe even pheasants. Don't ask me why you'd want to centerfire a pheasant but I don't think it's illegal.

Off limits to all rifles including rimfires: Muskrat, Beaver, Turkey, Geese, Duck (I think), maybe a couple more I didn't think of.

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Old January 31, 2012, 03:56 PM   #22
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SKS are usually just as accurate as a 30/30 Winchester 94 or Marlin 336, and I doubt there would be too much talk against using those old favorites for pronghorn. All three are exceedingly common hunting rifles in the east. There was some talk during the 90s, when SKS cost about $90 or so and were prolific in every gunshow, that the SKS might displace the lever action 30/30 as the most common woods rifle in the east due to the low cost and availability of cheap ammunition.
So from that perspective, I don't see why an SKS wouldn't work for shots under 300yds.
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Old January 31, 2012, 04:43 PM   #23
L_Killkenny
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Never seen an SKS as accurate as the average Winchester or Marlin .30-30, don't see anyone here or anywhere for that matter touting them as a great or even good choice for an out of state antelope hunt and popular in the east? How many antelope do they have in the east? BTW, you're 14" low at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero.

LK

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Old January 31, 2012, 08:12 PM   #24
jimbob86
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Never seen an SKS as accurate as the average Winchester or Marlin .30-30
Challenge Accepted.

It may take awhile due to shortage of funds, but I am intrigued....

I also submit to you that, while a 4MOA rifle is considered atrocious 'round here, it would be more than adequate for antelope to 150 yards: 4MOA @150 yards is aproximately 6" dispersion from POA, no? Assuming the shooter does his part, 6" in any direction from the center of a speed goats chest would result in a fatal sucking chest wound..... those enormous lungs are wonderful at putting the speed in the speedgoat, but they also make a large target, too....
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Old February 1, 2012, 07:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Never seen an SKS as accurate as the average Winchester or Marlin .30-30
You must have some stupendous Winchesters or Marlins out in Iowa. Out here, groups under 2" at 100yds with any of the 3 are cause for celebration. On a good day, my Winchester is a 3MOA gun at close range-just about the same as an average SKS.

Quote:
BTW, you're 14" low at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero.
This rainbow trajectory issue is no doubt why no antelope were killed prior to the advent of the 30/30 in the 1890s, and why to this day none fall to muzzleloaders.

Is the SKS a great gun for antelope-no one is claiming that. Is it adequate? Sure! Is it powerful enough? Most certainly. We may not have antelope in the east, but I know they fall down dead just the same as whitetails and any other thin skinned game of that weight.
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