View Full Version : Antelope Help?

March 21, 2009, 11:13 AM
I am going to apply for an antelope tag this year. This makes for a great reason to buy a new rifle. I do have several rifles that would work, but I haven't purchased a new rifle in many years.

I have been looking at getting one of those Savage package deals, you know the ones that you get the gun and a scope. I want either the .243 Winchester or the .25-06 chambering. I can't decide which.

Here is a special note for some of you. Yes, I know that Remingtons, Tikkas, Weatherbys, Rugers, and Winchesters are superior weapons. But please let me be foolish and get the Savage. Also, you are correct in stating that .270's, 30-06's, .300 magnums, and other cartridges would be better. But let me handicap myself with either a .243 or .25-06.

Now, for those of you with antelope experience. Which cartridge would you pick?

March 21, 2009, 11:43 AM
I would prefer the .25-06 for Antelope. (Used a .243 on last year's hunt.)

March 21, 2009, 12:28 PM
I've killed two antelope bucks with a bow, and two with a rifle.

Both with the rifle were shot with the same 7mm Rem Mag that I use for most other things. The longest shot with the rifle was 212 yards (standing broadside), the closest was about 80 yard (running wide open).

So, either would work fine for any of my antelope hunts. I'm a big fan of the .243, and that's likely what I'd use between the two you're choosing from. But, the 25-06 has a little more punch, and will give you a little more range if your shooting with the rifle you choose is sufficient.

But, what the heck, as long as your talking about going handicapped, I'd still go with the .243 Win. It's a great cartridge, and is more than capable of killing an antelope.


Flat Tire
March 21, 2009, 02:03 PM
What other calibers do you have? I try to fill all the voids so when I go on a hunt I will take a couple of rifles that will vary with bullet sizes and velocitys. Do you reload ?

March 21, 2009, 03:20 PM
Well first off let me say I wouldn't feel handicapped with either of your choices in cartridges. .243 Win and .25-06 are about as good as it gets for chasing Pronghorn on the plains. Killed my first one with a .243 Win and since have used several different rifles to do it last year I took my .338-06 and took a nice young doe at 200 yards with it.

As far as the Savage Package deals, I wouldn't buy one. All the ones I've seen come with scopes that I would want to replace real soon. Just buy a Savage in your flavor of cartridge, and put a decent scope on it, I think you will be happier.

March 21, 2009, 03:53 PM
With those package deals you usually don't get a good scope and unless you want all the hassle of blurry scopes just get the rifle and buy a good scope separately. but on the cartridge choice i would go with a .243 because they are pretty darn flat shooting and easy on the shoulder if you wanted to use it for more than the antelope hunting.

March 21, 2009, 04:13 PM
25-06 is a great Antelope caliber....have taken several and wouldn't hesitate to do so again. It's also a super prairie dog round, recoil is mild and good flat shooter.

March 21, 2009, 08:05 PM
I would recomend .240 Wby Mag which is a faster 6mm then most and pack's a good amount of energy to please even the most picky shooter, very deadly combo with the 85gr Sierra BTHP bullets.

roy reali
March 21, 2009, 08:38 PM
I think you typed too fast!;)

March 22, 2009, 12:51 AM
Either would work, and I have used both for goat. This year used a 270, and

it worked fine. Between the two I would vote 25-06, one of my favorate

cartidges. Bottom line for goat, flat shooting, and practice out to and past

200. Little buggers have really good eyes, and will see you long before you

see them. Won't try to talk you out of a savage, but put some good glass on

it, and practice, practice, practice. Good luck flyboy:cool:

March 22, 2009, 01:21 AM
Not a huge goat, but he was a challenge, took him at 320 with a 270 win.

Shot was quartering away, and the wife already scolded me for the tore up

shoulder in the pic. 130 grain hornady did the job. flyboy

March 22, 2009, 01:56 AM
I want either the .243 Winchester or the .25-06 chambering. I can't decide which.

Have you ever shot either? I'd start there, shoot both and see which feels better if possible. Personally I bought a CZ 550 American in 6.5x55 SE for pronghorn but I haven't got drawn yet (Arizona :rolleyes: )

.243 might be the better choice if availability and cost of ammo are important to you. With the mild recoil and affordable cost of ammo you could potentially get in more trigger time with a .243 and become more proficient with it. You should be able to find .243 ammo just about anywhere too since it's so common.

March 22, 2009, 01:59 AM
I have killed several with a 257 AI.No real ballistic difference from a 25-06.
I have never used a .243.The .257 works superbly.I use 115 gr Ballistic tips

March 22, 2009, 05:47 AM
Bottom line for goat, flat shooting, and practice out to and past

200. Little buggers have really good eyes, and will see you long before you

see them.

A hunter isn't likely to get close if visible, that's for sure.

I use low ground, following gullies, hills, and such to get close and have had no problems sneaking up on antelope. They don't pay that much attention to scent most of the time, and I'm not afraid to belly crawl in the grass.

The last antelope I shot was in Northern Az. I stalked 2 does and a decent buck for about 1 1/2 miles across open ground (no trees at all). I laid in the grass for 40 minutes watching the 2 does, which were laying down at 212 yards, but I couldn't locate the buck. He finally walked out of a gully to stand by the does, and none of them knew I was even in the country until I pulled the trigger. The does were still laying down 'till then.


March 22, 2009, 07:46 AM
But please let me be foolish and get the Savage.

Nothing foolish about Savage. They make a great rifle but the package deal scopes and rings are pretty poor. I'd count on replacing the rings in the very least and likely the scope before you go on your hunting trip. You'd most likely be better off buying a non-package Savage and adding scope and rings.

I use a 7mm Rem Mag out west for antelope, but it is also my deer rifle back home. Antelope aren't typically tough animals so either a .243 or a 25.06 will work. For ease of finding ammo, I'd go .243.

Antelope have great eyes and great speed. You might get a close shot, but likely you'll take some long shots from 100 to 200 yards. Be prepared to spot and stalk and if the antelope see you, they are gone.

March 22, 2009, 08:51 AM
To answer your question..I have shot quite a few with my 25.06. They are not tough animals so either of your choices will work. The deciding factor for me would be a little more speed with a heavier bullet to buck the wind better. the 25.06 does that. Antelope hunting is not a long range game unless you want to make it into that. Of all goats I have shot the longest was 150 yards. That was after I shot at her 3 times at 65.(Kept shooting over her back) :rolleyes: Most were within a 100 yards.
We have been bow hunting them the last couple years with great success. Antelope is by far my favorite critter to hunt.

March 22, 2009, 09:36 AM
Thanks for all the responses.

I do reload, so I do have maximum flexibility as far as ammo goes.

I have some experience with the .25-06. Many, many years ago I bought a Ruger bolt action chambered for that round. It was my first "nice" gun purchase. I remember working up some loads and taking it to the range. I set up a target at 100 yards after initial sighting in. I sat at the bench, steadied the gun on the rest, and pulled the trigger. I could see that the shot was pretty close to where I wanted it to be. I reloaded and fired a second shot. As I looked through the scope, I could only see the first hole. I was baffled. Maybe I had jerked the shot. The third shot's hole couldn't be spotted either. I decided to wait for a cease fire and inspect the target up close.

As I approached the target all I could see is the one hole. I was mumbling all sorts of unprintable words to myself. But as I got really close to the target, the one hole was shaped kind of funny. When I reached the targwet stand, I saw that the one hole I was looking at was actually three bullets hitting the exact same spot. I removed that target and took it into the club house. The club posted it on their bulletin board. I did not measure that group, but it looked like it could have been made by one round from a .45-70. I have never repeated that feat.

As far as the .243 goes, I don't remember ever even shooting one. So I guesss if experience is a factor, then I should get the .25-06. Then again, I like novelty. That is also why I want the savage rifle, I have never owned one.

I will make my final decision in the next few weeks.

March 22, 2009, 09:56 AM
Either,,Last goat I got was w/ a .243. 100gr Hornaday through the heart.

March 22, 2009, 11:55 AM
Where I hunt it tends to be breezy (30 mph) alot, I would take the 25-06 just because it will buck the wind better. I use a .270 and have taken some long shots, the wind becomes a major factor. It really doesn't matter what your shooting as long as its legal and you know your load and your rifle.

March 22, 2009, 01:50 PM
I haven't shot a Prongie in a long time, but first off, they're small, so they don't take a lot to kill. You want to kill them quick because if they run, they are inedible. All of mine have been with a .257 or a .243 except one, with a .250 savage. All died within feet of being shot, except one, which ran for miles because I either pulled the shot back, or the wind gave it a push. Either way, that one became dog food after the first two attempts at eating it make me retch.

You want a good bullet, like a hunting BT from nosler, or a Sierra GK.

I think the 25-06 is too much powder space for the bore, and you end up with a lot more capacity than you need. I would suggest a .260 rem, a 7 mm 08 or a 257 as well as the .243 that you listed. The better BC of the .260 will give you a bit better wind resistance. THe closest I have ever gotten to Prongie when I had a gun and tag, was about 175, and that was lucky, most of teh shots were 225 to 275, which is about as far as I was willing to shoot then, now I might stretch that as I have more chances to shoot at 400 yards or more, and feel more confident about it.

.300 Weatherby Mag
March 22, 2009, 01:53 PM
Here is a special note for some of you. Yes, I know that Remingtons, Tikkas, Weatherbys, Rugers, and Winchesters are superior weapons. But please let me be foolish and get the Savage.

Why do you say that??? Most savages i've come into contact with drive tacks... I wouldn't buy one of the package deals though, the scopes are trash...

March 22, 2009, 03:03 PM
I said that to thwart the responders that seem to read not too well.:D

March 22, 2009, 05:49 PM

I mentioned something in my first post about you wanting to go handicapped, so go with the .243. I should clearify that statement by saying that I was being somewhat sarcastic; just as I think you were about the savage rifle. Savage rifles usually have some of the best shooting factory barrels of them all, and I speak as one who doesn't own a savage rifle (so I'm not talking in favor of what I own, but rather in favor of what I've seen).

Seriously, either cartridge will kill an antelope just fine. I love shooting the .243 though, so on that I may be biased. ;)


March 22, 2009, 11:59 PM
Hands down, the 25-06. It can be used for target, varmit, very effictive on deer and I have known a couple of elk to have been brought down very effectivly with it. I personally would not use it for elk unless it were at shorter distances (50 to about 150yds).