View Full Version : Upcoming deer season?

August 4, 1999, 05:45 PM
With the '99 deer season approaching, I was curious as to what type of firearm/muzzleloader the members of TFL would be using this year. (make, model, cal., cartridge used)

Prsonally, I plan on using Ruger BlackHawks in both .41 Magnum (handloads) and .45LC (undecided), a Benelli M1 12ga w/ 2 3/4" Breneke slugs and possibly a Savage 340A in .30-30 w/ federal 170gr Nosler Partitions.

August 4, 1999, 06:01 PM
My Dad, brother, and I will all three be using .270's. IMHO The PERFECT round for deer. Dad's hunted with his for almost 20 years, and calls her "The Meatstick" cause she's filled many freezers. Mine was inherited from my Great-great Uncle C. I'd be willing to bet that rifle has taken more deer than most folks have seen. I call her "Buster". Last season I took 2 nine point bucks, 2 does, and 3 Turkeys with her. My brother is a lefty, and finally bought himself a left handed model last week.

We shoot 130 grn Core-Lokt, cause it's cheap, effective, and always readily available.

If I get a close shot, I may try the .45 (Sig P220) this year.

Long Path
August 5, 1999, 05:05 AM
Depends on whether I get my Springfield back from the 'smithy in time for me to get a load worked up in .35 Whelen. Otherwise, it's probably just the .300 Win Mag from a high butte, and my Gold Cup for shots under 25 yds. For walking and stalking, I'll probably borrow a M-94 that a friend has that will honestly throw 1.5" groups with its peepsights.

Perhaps a .45 Colt Mountain Revolver for fun. (also borrowed.)

August 5, 1999, 11:37 AM
Depends for me as well. The company I work has a ranch south of Sonora in Sutton and Edwards counties, and employees are allowed to hunt on it. You put your name in and generally you will be selected for a hunt. The hunts are 3 days each; I believe there are 2 per week during the entire TX regular season. The guides that work there are great cooks, really know the area well, and are patient and helpful. I'll be taking my Ruger M77 .25-06, which is plenty of medicine for the whitetail deer and feral pigs in that part of the world. I'll also bring the old Remington 870 out to the blind in case a flock of turkey come around my feeder. Unfortunately, handguns are a no-no (oil leases and company policy).
Failing a company-sponsored hunt, an old friend in Alpine has a place out near Sierra Blanca. If this becomes part of the plan, I'll need to do some rifle shopping- he's taken mulies there and has seen elk on the ranch. I'll be looking for a mid-priced .30-06 such as a USRA Model 70 Classic or Remington 700. I'd also definitely be bringing my 6.5 inch 629 PowerPort along.

Art Eatman
August 5, 1999, 03:37 PM
ckurts: Elk are by permit only, and TP&W give out very few.

I'm a .30-'06 fan, but I'd think the .25-'06 with a whatever-heavier bullet is available would work on desert mulies. You'll be lucky to see one which would field-dress to 200 pounds. 150, yeah...

Walkin' huntin', or riding around?

Later, Art

August 5, 1999, 06:46 PM
Thanks for the info on elk permits, Art. I was under the impression that they were classed as exotic game like the Axis deer or those nasty aoudad.
The company ranch thing is stillhunting. The guides take you out to the blind about 1/2 hour before 1st light, and pick you up at about 10:30. After lunch, you go out about 1:30-2:00 PM and they pick you up a little after dark. You are discouraged from straying too far from your blind, as it is rumored that us city folk may have some trouble telling one canyon from the next....
If I get to go to my buddy's Hudspeth County place, it would be a walkin' and drivin' hunt. Lo, these many years have past since I been on horseback and I've never hunted from horseback in my life so a ridin' hunt is probably out for me. My friend has a "desert war buggy" made from an old VW chassis with big multi-ply knobby tires filled with never-flat "camel" goop. I know that lechuguilla can penetrate 3/8ths inch mild steel plate covered in Kevlar and rubber attracts mesquite thorns but supposedly there are abundant trails on the land and he keeps to those.
As far as .25-06 versus .30-06 goes, I'm only trying to justify another rifle acquisition to my wife. FYI, I've hunted with the M77 for 5 years now and have always used 120 grain Remingtons, although I hope to begin reloading soon.

August 5, 1999, 10:03 PM
I use the same weapon on antelope, deer, and elk. A Hoyt Defiant Supreme compound bow at 62 lbs. with Easton 2312 arrows and Rocket broadheads. Firearms are for wimps...

August 6, 1999, 12:30 PM
I've used my son's Rem. Model 7 in 7mm-08 for the last three years (he's now almost 5!). This year, I plan to use my new Marlin 1895G Guide Gun in 45-70.

Good Luck!


Art Eatman
August 6, 1999, 07:47 PM
ckurts: If you do the Hudspeth hunt, here're a few mule deer tips: The bigger bucks tend to hang out on the down-wind crest of ridges, near saddles. That way, they can see or hear anything coming up from below, or smell or hear anything coming over the ridge.

So, you walk along a ridge, near the down-wind crest, and keep an especially sharp lookout as you approach a saddle with its thicker brush.

Does and little bucks, when spooked, may run just any old direction. A "real" buck might start off down hill and/or down wind, but he's gonna want to go uphill, upwind. Sometimes you can cut the circle on him.

If you see a group of deer, don't watch the does and yearlings. That's not what you're there for. Look around them, into the brush.

You'd be amazed how big a buck can hide behind your hat. When walking cross-country, regularly look behind you. They'll freeze behind a bush, let you go by, and then stand behind their bush and stare at you. Mule deer are lazy and spend a lot of time doing nothing at all. They aren't agressive breeders, and don't get real excited about does unless it's miserably cold. I've seen 1-1/2" of tallow under a hide; think about how much chousing around you would do in 40-50 degree weather while wearing a down jacket...So, it's easy to walk right on by a nice trophy.

But your buddy probably already knows all this, and he for-sure knows the terrain.

By the way, a lot of the whitetail north and northwest of Uvalde behave in much the same fashion, although they do have the whitetail snoopiness.

Have fun!


Long Path
August 9, 1999, 10:19 PM
All the bucks I've been seeng N. of Uvalde have been moseying down the trail, except for the BIG huge ones, which were hanging out in th brush BEHIND the does. Good advice, Art.

BTW, MY hunting guide for Texas doesn't even list elk as a game animal anymore, even by permit. I think those days are over. What did we have? 4? 5 counties with a few elk?

CKurts: I know you know darned well that there really isn't a dadgummed thing in the state of TX that a .25-06 and a partition 120 grain bullet won't kill! :) Mulies fall just FINE for 'em. Mulies actually fall just fine for my .257 Rbts with 100 grain spitzers, too, but I'm moving up the 117g Game King.

August 11, 1999, 08:16 AM
Thanks, Art. The Sierra Blanca hunt is kind of a long shot, my buddy and I never seem to be able to hook up at the same time. You sure seem to know a lot about that area and hunting it, though.
Long Path and others, I've now heard 5 different things about elk in Texas. I've got another old bud that works for Texas P&W- I'll check it out with him. I don't believe he's and enforcement type, he's a biologist, but he should know and I'll let you all know what I find out. BTW, there was supposedly a remnant of an introduced elk herd in the Glass Mountains (Brewster and Pecos counties) when I last lived out that way in the late '80s.
And doggone it, Long Path, yes I got the .25-06 because of its reputation as the perfect west Texas and Hill Country hunting rifle (oops, now I done it). I WANT a Remington 700 in .30-06 but I won't be able to get one if my wife reads over my shoulder that I don't need one! :) Friends like you is why I have to do my posting at work, in violation of rules I'm supposed to help enforce :) :)

August 11, 1999, 10:49 AM
If we don't get some more hunters in this area, I'll probably be taking my deer with my Olds, again!!! Darn things breed like rabbits.


Paul B.
August 11, 1999, 03:30 PM
.35 Whelan for elk. 7x57 for deer. Got to get away from using the 06 all the time. I'll wear it out, LOL.
Paul B.

Long Path
August 12, 1999, 01:17 AM
Gotcha. For the record, "THE .25-06 IS INADEQUATE FOR W. TEXAS DEER HUNTING."


Paul B: what's your fave load for .35 Whelen? I'm about to have one myself! 24" barrel, 8.5 lb rifle.

Paul B.
August 12, 1999, 11:26 AM
Long Path. I've just gotten started working up loads for the .35 Whelan. Bullet of choice? 250 Speer spitzer. 53.0 gr. 4895 seems to duplicate factory, but I have not chronographed the load yet. This load is OK in my rifle, but start a bit lower to be safe. Groups run about 1.25 to 1.5 inches, but this is with a 9 pound trigger pull. Damn those liability lawyers. I think a better trigger pull would tighten those up some. The rifle is a stock Ruger 77. I found it at a gun show, and was so shocked that it was the Whelan I didn't even dicker price. Fortunately for me, I knew the guy and had bought from him before, so he gave me a break on the price.
I have another .35 Whelan, a custom job on an Oberndorf Mauser action, Jack O'Conner classic stock with Fleur de Lis checkering. About the only thing old Jack would have disliked about it, is the forend tip and grip cap are politically incorrect. Elephant ivory. The rifle was made in 1935, and the only upgrades the last owner had done was put a model 70 type safety on it and mount a scope. I paid some serious money (for me) for that one. I'm afraid to take it out, because I'll probably put some beauty marks on it. Sure is pretty though.
At 8.5 pounds, your rifle should not kick too bad. My Ruger in a Ramline(I like synthetics) runs about 7.5 pounds and the Mauser a bit lighter. I don't find the recoil objectionable, although it is more than the 30-06 puts out.
I think the .35 Whelan is underloaded by the factory, as they originally put it in the Semi-auto and pump guns. They did that to the .280 Remington too, if you remember.
BTW. I don't have much use for the 200 gr. bullet in the Whelan. Seems like when you can find ammo anymore, all they have is 200 gr. stuff. I don't know why, but I have the feeling that bullet will come apart and ruin a lot of meat.
It's a good thing that brass can be made from 30-06. I have heard rumors that Remington may drop the Whelan.
Let me know how your works out. E-mail me anytime and we can compare notes.
Paul B.

Long Path
August 12, 1999, 07:46 PM
Wow! Okay, you've got me really psyched for my rebore, now! I've been looking at a 225 g. Sierra Spitzer, which has a B.C. that is about equal to the 150 grain .308 spitzer.

I'm reboring my old Springfield, and this ought to really bring some new life into it. Probably this will just be a backup rifle, for the most part, but... what fun! Even more fun to think of 5 Whelen loads with a 225 at 2500 each, all on stripper clips for a rapid reload!
Honestly, I'm going to have to get up to CO more often!
When I went this last time, I couldn't find a bare patch to set up on to overlook a canyon but once or twice, and then the ground was obscured by trees, so my .300 Sendero was sort of out of place. Most shots that I would have had were under 120 yds, or even under 90 yards. Iron sights and a heavy bullet looked to be in order. I'm also going to get rid of that heavy walnut monte carlo stock that someone put this Springield in a long time ago, and probably put it in a Zytel, or some such. Then comes the decision as to whether to make it handier and knock 2-4" off the current 24" barrel.

Gawd, I love this stuff....!

Al Thompson
August 12, 1999, 08:02 PM
Hey Longpath - who are you looking at to get the rebore? I've thought about this a time or two.

This year, as with others, I'm looking at a
70 Stainless Classic in .30-06, Vari-XIII 2.5 x 8, H-S Precision stock. 165 Ballistic Tip over 59 grains of 4350..



"Hear the voices in my head, swear to God it sounds like
they're snoring." -Harvey Danger, "Flagpole Sitta

David Schmidbauer
August 12, 1999, 08:15 PM
The first couple/three deer with be taken with my Accuracy International AWP using a Federal 150 grain high-shok soft point. I'll be hunting from a stand with my back to a stream in front of some fairly steep wooded hills and rolling pasture out in front which is surrounded by woods. Pasture shots can range from danger close to 300 yards without having to shoot into the surrounding woods.

After the meat is in the freezer I'll then try my hand with a Shiloh Sharps .45-110 (if I get a load worked up that I'm happy with) or my .454 Casull (hoping to mount a scope on it this year but at something like $150 for the mount....) or maybe if the right bullet becomes available my AR (would limit shots to short range "precision" shots).

Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"

[This message has been edited by David Schmidbauer (edited August 12, 1999).]

Long Path
August 13, 1999, 04:45 AM
Gizmo: I found this guy on the 'net. http://www.z-hat.com

His email is: [email protected]

Cost is $230, complete, and he'll take half up front.

Nice thing is, you don't have to use an FFL to mail it-- it's for "repair work."

This guy also will set you up in some interesting wildcats, like his "Hawk" series. He has a .358 Hawk that seems to do everything the Whelen will do, but 150 fps faster. He details a 200 grainer at 2857 fps! Better, how 'bout a 250 at 2728?!?! Says it's also built on the '06 case, just uses different shoulder geometry to get more efficiency. Says pressures are measured as well within safe parameters. He'll also sell the dies for it... :) Love to see a good capitalist!


[This message has been edited by Long Path (edited August 13, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Long Path (edited August 13, 1999).]

Futo Inu
August 13, 1999, 05:31 PM
LoneStar, do you use a reduced load in 270 for turkeys?

August 14, 1999, 12:28 AM
Savage Model 99C in .308 Win. Have been using the Winchester Silvertip 180 grain, but can't find it anymore. Heard rumor that it's been discontinued. Anybody know about that?

Thinking about replacing that round (if I have to) with the Federal Premium High Energy 180 gr bear claw or partition bullet.

“The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals. ... It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.” -Alexander Addison, 1789

Paul B.
August 14, 1999, 12:41 PM
Deanf. I don't know about the .300 Savage round being discontinued, but several months back I posted somewhere, that Olin Corp. (Owners of the Winchester name) dropped quite a few rounds from their inventory. The 7x57 Mauser, .358 Win. and .458 Win. Mag. among them. Yes! Right! Even the mighty .458 has bitten the Olin dust. They have also discontinued about 7 or 8 of their ball powder line, including the relatively new WMR. I can remember these, because I shoot two of the above mentioned rounds, and Use the .458 brass to make up a wildcat round I play with. (.375x338 Mag. It's easier to form from .458 brass.)
I sent Winchester an E-mail complaining about this matter, and they said that this ammo would be produced on a "seasonal" basis and your dealer could order it from two of their distributors. I may still have the addresses in my files, but am not sure. E-mail me and I'll try to find them, if you want them.
Paul B.

Rob Pincus
August 15, 1999, 07:04 PM
I'll be using a lot of weapons this year, as usual. Last year I took deer or hog with at least 5 different weapons. This year, I may double that. I am including Hog in this, since I often go on hunts that allow me to take both at the same time.
I am starting early next week in SC (see other topic) and should go strong on Whitetail until the end of Jan. Several hunts I go on are charity/promtional deals where the meat is donated to local programs which distribute the meat to those who need it. I will be hunting in at least 6 different states.

I may not get a chance to take game with all of these, but I intend to give it a good college try:

.460 Rowland 1911
S&W 629 Power Port .44 mag (Winchester Partition Gold)
10mm RT Glock 20 (Winchester SilverTips)

Benelli M1 (Brenneke Slugs)
Rem 870 (leftover Activ Slugs)

Blaser R-93 7mm mag (Ballistic Silver Tips)
Steyr Scout .308 (BSTs or Failsafes, as appropriate)

Knight DISC rifle

165 lb. Horton Hunter XL

Knife: (for hogs ;))
Custom blade by Chuck Stapel, approx 8".

Art Eatman
August 19, 1999, 04:30 PM
Gee, Rob, why don't you find a tree limb, wait for a deer, and drop down on him with your knife?

According to Mr. Burroughs, Tarzan did it this way... :)

As usual, Art