View Full Version : moving to the mountains

December 1, 2008, 02:44 PM
I will be moving my family to the mountians in nc due to job transfer in july 09 my friend that live in the same town we are going (elkin) said the best way to kill deer there is the bow but with a gun he prefers the 20 gauge slug.
how does it perform and is it worth checking in to.

December 1, 2008, 04:24 PM
I took my first deer at the age of 13 with a 20ga slug. I used a modified choke which prevents the slug from wobbling as it leaves the barrel. If I were you I would definately check into a 20ga.

December 1, 2008, 05:06 PM
I live in the North Carolina mountains, near Marshall.
The best way to kill a deer around here is with a rifle. Why in the world would someone prefer a 20 gauge shotgun over a 30-06?

December 2, 2008, 02:07 PM
i was just told that is what he prefers and i should check on it i think it is more of a personal choice.

December 2, 2008, 04:14 PM
YoYo,some places mandate shotgun only hunting,but all the gamelands in WNC allow rifles I think.Western North Carolina is darn near all game lands and finding a place to hunt is easy.Do yourself a favor and get a rifle,a .243 would be a good choice if you are new to rifles due to mild recoil and good variety and availability of ammunition.Simonkenton,I used to have a girlfriend thats family owned 1200 acres of farmland up on Doe branch near Big Pine creek,and on Indian Grave gap road near Walnut, that was some good hunting up there.My favorite public hunting land was on flattop mountian around Souix in Yancy county.Western NC is a hunters and trout fishermans paradise.Good luck in your hunting YoYo.

December 2, 2008, 07:32 PM
Doe Branch is 10 miles from my house.
I haven't been up there yet but on Saturday I had dinner with a guy who lives up there. He invited me over so I will be seeing Doe Branch in a few weeks.
This really is beautiful country. We are overrun with turkeys.
I must say the deer hunting is disappointing. In central Georgia I was shooting 9 or 10 deer every year, up here, I have killed 3 deer in 5 years.
I do own 48 acres, my scheme is to plant 2 acres in deer clover from Whitetail Institute, I could start nailing 4 or 5 a year once I do that.
Unfortunately I could not care less about turkey hunting, I did shoot one out the bedroom window with my muzzleloader 3 years ago.

Dr. Strangelove
December 2, 2008, 07:52 PM
You need a Hawken, 50 caliber or better to be a mountain man.

I'm from Hendersonville, south of where you're going. I think your friend is referring to the fact that most of your shots will be at short range. There are places to shoot long range, but; by and large, your shots will be 100 yds or less (way less) and there's some pretty thick cover up there (laurel thickets). XM21 makes a good case for the .243, most WNC deer are about the size of greyhounds (well, they run smaller on average than here in GA anyway!), just watch the thick brush. A 30-30 makes a fine WNC deer rifle, the short overall length and big slow bullet makes for a good brush gun.

Answering your original question, 20ga would be fine, but if I was buying a shotgun, I'd be more apt to purchase a 12ga. You can always use lighter loads if you want and have the capability of the full power 12ga loads when you want/need them.

December 2, 2008, 08:24 PM
I have about 15 acres in the piedmont area east of Hickory, it's mostly farmland and can grow some good sized deer. Most of my land was missed by the furniture industry and has mature hardwoods. Across the road the guy plants about 50 acres for cattle feed twice a year and their are orchards all around me. Some farmers pull 'nuisance tags', don't hunt and just want the deer gone.

Make a lot of friends when you get there and you'll find some hotspots.

December 2, 2008, 08:32 PM
You are right, Dr. Strangelove, a .50 Hawken for a Mountain Man, you couldn't go no better.
That was one of my favorite movies, Jeremiah Johnson, just watched it again the other day.
As a matter of fact I have killed 6 deer with that rifle, and it is perfect for hunting in these mountains. As you say, the brush is unbelievably thick.
On my 48 acres the longest shot is 75 yards, and that is only because I maintain shooting lanes with the chain saw.
I would still be hunting with my Hawken up here but my eyesight is nicht so gut, I have to use a scope.
So I have a Savage muzzleloader with a 3-9 scope.
I am playing around with my eyeglasses, I still hope I can hunt some more with my Hawken. Great deer killer. Never tried it on an elk like Jeremiah did but I guess it would work.

Dr. Strangelove
December 2, 2008, 09:05 PM
Well simonkenton, you sound like a great hunter and a fine figure of a man. That's all anyone needs to now for now.
I hope you find many bear, beaver, and other critters worth cash money when skinned.

December 3, 2008, 01:40 PM
There you go!
I even have gotten my girlfriend to appreciate Jeremiah Johnson.
I stand up, thump my chest, and say, "Mighty Hunter!"
And I point to her.
She says "Yes."
Then I say "Fine Figure of a Man."
I nudge her, she says "Yes."
I say, "That is all you need to know."

December 3, 2008, 01:55 PM
She says "Yes."
I nudge her, she says "Yes."

So that's what Mrs. Grymster is saying! I guess it just sounds like "yur an idiot". :)

December 3, 2008, 02:15 PM
I live in east TN and if western NC is anything like here I might suggest using a slingshot. It is the only thing you can shoot here without hitting a yankee transplant.

The deer on this side of this side of the mountains are few and far between. The whitetail hunters here travel to middle or west TN to hunt.

December 3, 2008, 02:37 PM
Yes there are more Yankee transplants here in the NC mountains than deer.
Hard core deer hunters around here travel to South Carolina or Georgia to hunt.

December 3, 2008, 07:04 PM
the deer in elkin have gotten so thick they opened season in the city limits.
my friend has deer and coyoats in the back yard 24/7 365. there are two bucks there a 6 point and an 8 that are black with white faces

December 3, 2008, 11:10 PM
Jeremiah johnson? My favorite film! I think my wife uses the same Indian recipes Jeremiah's wife does!I always like the line "Was it indians that did this to you" the reply being "Well it twerent Mormons!!":D:D

December 4, 2008, 09:12 PM
Watch your topknot!

December 6, 2008, 07:44 AM
Forget the 20 GA. and get a good rifle like a 30.06 or similar caliber. Theres places in those mountains that would make a mountain goat struggle.
simonkenton, I have been there done that. I have hunted the area you live in for years ( lived there all my life and I have to say this mountain man will die there). It can be some of the most challenging whitetail deer hunting in the US due to its rough terrain and lack of food sources. To kill a buck in that area is a major accomplishment for sure. I have hunted for weeks and never seen the first Buck and froze my rear off. I have to admit though deer are showing up in areas where they were not in years ago. It could be due to the migration of new people moving onto the moutian tops, pushing them around. Are you native to that area? I have to say that I rarely hunt Madison County anymore and travel to the eastern part of the state to do my deer killing. And you mentioned doe branch, yea I have stomped those mountains out before along with Mills Ridge, Max Patch and Rich Mountain. I stopped hunting public lands years ago and try to stay on private land.

December 6, 2008, 08:50 AM
I am a Georgia boy, and I have lived in Madison County for 12 years. I built a little log cabin on top of a mountain, with my bare hands, and a stone fireplace as well. I have 7 mile views to the west, of the French Broad River and some mountains, and 27 mile views to the east of Mount Mitchell.
This little cabin is a castle, and I am the king!
I am right where Little Pine Rd crosses the French Broad River.
Deer hunting has improved up here in 12 years, and it does have to do with the outsiders coming in.
You go 5 miles down Little Pine, you have The Preserve at Little Pine. This is an 1,800 acre gated community. A 2 acre lot costs $550,000.
Of course no deer hunting there.
So, fifteen years ago, any mountain boy who wanted just went up to that mountaintop wilderness and shot deer. Like the rest of the county, not much deer up there back then.
But for ten years deer hunting has been prohibited. The deer know they are safe, they are proliferating in that 3 square mile tract. Plus, the homeowners have flower beds that deer eat. Also, I bet many of the Yankee millionaires in The Preserve buy 50 pound sacks of corn at Ingles to feed their "pet" deer.
Plus, they have acres of pasture for their riding stables, I know Bambi is munching on that hay.
So the Preserve cranks out deer, and when it gets too crowded there, they come down to my place and I shoot them.
There is another Preserve just like that up towards Walnut, right on the river, and I believe there are several others in the county.
Plus, many of the immigrants are Yankees, city people who dislike hunting. They buy 20 acres but won't hunt, and won't let anyone else hunt there. So a bunch of mini wildlife preserves are springing up.
So, ironically, the more people who move into Madison County, the better the deer hunting gets.

December 6, 2008, 09:00 AM
Yep. I lived in that area for quite a while as well.
It's true that the hunting is better in Georgia, but not because there aren't deer. It's because you can't just sit in a soybean field and shoot deer as they get up to eat. You actually need some skill to kill either trophy bucks or a large number of deer in WNC.

Archery works great. I'm an avid bowhunter and haven't rifle hunted in years.
However, the laundry list of rifles people use is as long as anywhere else. From Hawkens to ultra-mega-superduper-i really mean it magnums the whole field is covered by someone.

I killed my first deer with a 7 mauser years ago. 30-30 has probably put more deer down in WNC than anything. 30-06 as well.

20 gauge? Sure. The deer aren't that large in the mountains and don't need a cannon like the ones in GA and Ohio.

Oh, and I'm a native North Carolinian, but moved from the WNC area because of the transplants driving up land prices and depressing wages. So, no I'm not a yankee.

December 6, 2008, 11:04 AM
Central Georgia is simply crawling with deer. The NC mountains have, by comparison, very few deer.
I hunted in central Georgia for 14 years, and I was killing 8 or 9 a year. I didn't hunt soybean fields, I hunted the thick woods and swamps.
I have hunted NC for 5 years, and have killed 3 deer, although the 8 point I killed last year was the biggest deer I have ever killed, field dressed at 205 pounds. I killed over 80 Georgia deer, and they averaged 110 pounds field dressed.
A good measure of the deer population is how many road kills you see. I lived 12 miles out of town in Georgia, and on a drive to town on that country road, you usually saw a fresh road kill every time you made the drive, especially in the fall. On that one road alone, in 6 years, I saw at least a hundred dead deer, could well have been 2 or 3 hundred, no use in counting, after a while.
I live way out in the woods in NC.
In 12 years I have seen 4 road kill deer.
Hell it was not uncommon for me to see 4 fresh road kill deer in one day in Georgia.

December 6, 2008, 05:22 PM
You actually need some skill to kill either trophy bucks or a large number of deer

^^^ That is why the push for big rifles.

Why a 30-06? heck i ma thinking .50 bmg. Then you need no stalking skills or hunting skills for that matter. Heck you dont even need camo or a shower. :p
While we are at it, quit using the hunting word and sub in killing:cool:

A 20 will do the job just fine, unless you need to shoot way over yonder. This Year I took my little buck at 65 yards with an H&R Ultra Slug(single shot) He went 30 yards and expired. Visit GO2GBO.com read thru the H&R NEF section and you will several reasons for a single and a 20. Good luck.


December 10, 2008, 03:35 PM
I've been eyeing the inexpensive ($235.00 @ Dick's sporting) laminate 870 pump in 20ga. It's light and compact. Add a rifled barrel, scope and sling for an all around good gun. You could hunt any bird, small game species or deer in N.C. with that gun. The remington copper solid slug in 20ga. is a 260 grain chunk of copper moving out at 2000fps. No slouch out to 100yards.

You must drop down into the piedmont/farmland region of N.C. to find the big population numbers. I've hunted yancey county quite a few times and sometimes went days without seeing deer. The area i hunt in central N.C. is overrun with deer to the point of last day of the season being a doe cull day. The farm we hunt had 5 hunters who dropped 6 does the last evening of the last day. Seeing 20+ a day in seperate groups would be common and i saw well over 50 on opening day of rifle. Almost all were does in the fields, early morning and just before sunset.

December 10, 2008, 04:36 PM
Remington copper slugs 20 gauge, $15.05 for a box of 5
Remington 150 gr core lokt 30-06, $18.50 for a box of 20

Johnny Reb I will take your word that this copper slug is good to a hundred.
Let's say it is good to 150 yards.
The 30-06 is good out to 300 yards.

If you want ammo that costs more than 3 times as much, and is good for half the distance, then get the 20 gauge by all means.

December 10, 2008, 06:38 PM
No doubt the 06' is the all around winner if it's being compared to any 20ga. load. YoYo never mentioned a rifle though and since i myself live in a shotgun only county in N.C., i thought i'd put in my 2pence concerning the gauge he was mentioning.

In Charlotte, i hunt with a mossburg 695 bolt 12ga. using the 360gr. coppersolid. 5 shells drop 5 deer unless you miss or lose them inbetween seasons. $10.00 at a local store for a box. No big deal and the knockdown power is impressive. If they allowed rifle i'd of course be using one.

If you are considering a single do it all weapon, a 20ga. pump would be 2nd only to a 12, imo..J.R.

December 10, 2008, 07:58 PM
Wait a minute, you are hunting in a shotgun only county in North Carolina?
I have hunted all over central Georgia, and in coastal S. Carolina, and in the NC mountains quite a bit. I never heard of a shotgun only zone down here in Dixie.
I thought they only had that rule up in Yankee land.
Well, if it is shotgun only the 20 gauge would look pretty good to me.

Where is this rifle-free zone? Do they allow muzzleloaders? How many such areas are here in North Carolina?

Anyway I do enjoy going to the range and burning up 20 shots, heck I might even burn up 30.
At $3 a pop that would get pretty expensive.

In fact I often take one of my military surplus rifles, shooting ammo I bought for 4 cents a round, that is some cheap bangs for the buck.

December 10, 2008, 08:07 PM
Probably not many counties in N.C. are shotgun only but "Mecklenburg" definitely is. It's made up mostly of transplanted folks from up north so i guess that law came down with them. Kinda dumb law as they allow us a normal archery season, a weeklong muzzleloader and then your choice of a shotgun/pistol session where you would be fine to use your 30-06 encore pistol as the law just dictates a pistol with a barrel length of more than 6 inch's. I actually did use a T/C contender 30-30 but found i really preferred the feel of a long gun for deer. So i found that for the areas i hunt, the mossy 695 does the trick. J.R.