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Old December 4, 2012, 10:19 PM   #26
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I do have a foid. I have handguns. Ive been thru a firearms class and actually have a firearms card that is required for security guard and police officers. Neither of which I am at the moment. im in the western burbs.

I do know that one of the deer that got this year was about 235yrds.
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Old December 4, 2012, 11:00 PM   #27
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I'd recommend one of the pre-packaged deals like the Savage Axis or Marlin XL7. Already has a bore sighted scope 3-9x40 on it so you'll spend a lot less time zeroing it. They are meant for the beginner hunter/rifleman.
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Old December 5, 2012, 07:20 AM   #28
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I live in Mich. and hunt both the UP and LP. I use a Weatherby Vanguard in .270 Win with a VX2 3x9x40. It covers any situation I may encounter and kills deer with authority. Find a 130gr load it likes and practice in the off season. You could do a lot worse than this setup.
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Old December 5, 2012, 10:58 AM   #29
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+1 on a 260 Rem if you can find one. I prefer the short action of the 260, also I like the minimal recoil. If you ask me, the 260 does not get the credit it deserves. I got one in a Ruger M77 Mk II several years ago and topped it with a 3-9 Sightron scope. In my opinion the ultimate deer gun for out to 400 yards!
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:15 AM   #30
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One more recommendation for a bolt action. Win 70, used pre-lock Rem 700, or new Savage 14. For caliber, any previously mentioned will work, but I'd seriously consider 243, 260 rem, or 7-08. For a scope, I'd put a Weaver 2-10 on it. You'll find having a 2x low is more useful than the higher power.

The package rifles usually come with a crappy Chinese scope. Avoid them.
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:30 AM   #31
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I hunt in upper Wis often, and the UP occasionally.

Great way to make a bad impression with people up there is to show up with an AR type of rifle!

If you're sitting in deer blinds (huts as you call them), you'll most likely be sitting all day and not making drives and such.
So quick follow up shots on moving deer may not be the most important. In that case, a bolt may work fine.

Now, if you're going for style points with the family and the deer camp (never a bad thing), if you show up with a Savage 99 or Win 88, you'll receive some smiles for sure.
If there's older hunters there, they may have the same gun, or 'remember when' they or family members had them at deer camp.
308's can be found somewhat reasonably. If you have lots of cash to spend, go for the full monty of classic style and find a 358 Win in either gun.

Either gun in 358 just oozes style and classic caliber. Nice handling deer gun with quick follow ups. The 358 hits like the hammer of Thor on deer (and most anything).

I'm a huge 358 fan, my favorite caliber of all time.

The above, or a Rem 7600 pump is never a bad choice for midwest deer hunting. I would choose either before any bolt.

Best of luck on your trip!

Last edited by Black Frog; December 5, 2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:43 AM   #32
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If you've never hunted or shot a rifle, sit with someone who has and either borrow their gun if a shot is offered under strict guidance or take a camera and observe. Learn the ropes through shooting at targets with a .22 then progress upwards as your skill level increases. Going out and buying a high powered rifle to impress the In Laws is wrong and irresponsible. You may very well be a natural and be able to process things when that deer steps out but I doubt it. Shooting a live animal in the proper location so as not to wound it and making a clean harvest is no easy feat the first time out. You'll thank yourself later for being an observer and learning things the right way if you happen to like it. Conversely you will never want to hunt again if you wound one an lose it to die a slow and agonizing death and that new $1,000+ purchase will be a reminder of a mistake.

Just my honest opinion. There is a reason that I take my son's with me to learn, not shoot. This is no way lessens the experience but makes you more responsible and appreciative of what you do.
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Old December 5, 2012, 01:49 PM   #33
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I'm with everybody else that says:

1. Get a decent bolt rifle in something between .243 and .30-06. Caliber choice is really not that critical. Its far more important to have a decent rifle and be familiar with it.

2.Get a decent (at least mid-level) 3x9 scope and have it professionally mounted.

3. Buy a box of cheap winchester, remington or federal shells in the same bullet weight you'll be shooting at deer. That's usually going to be somewhere in the middle of the ranges of bullet weights available for the caliber of rifle you choose.

4. Sight your rifle in 2" high at 100 yards.

5. Then buy several boxes of ammunition from different manufacturers, you might want to also try some different bullet weights. Shoot them to see which gives you the best groups.

6. Go buy four or five more boxes of the ammunition that performs best in your rifle.

7. Shoot all but one box through your rifle in practice at different ranges. You'll know how to use and clean the rifle when you're done and you'll know where it hits when you do your job as shooter.

8. Show up in deer camp with something you have confidence in using, shooting and hitting with.

9. Standby for the quiet acceptance and appreciation that will be yours, and be thankful you didn't bring an AR that would make everybody else look funny at you.

added in edit: +1 to the guy who said buy and use a .22 a lot before you go. Rifle shooting and marksmanship =/= handgun shooting and marksmanship.
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Old December 5, 2012, 03:09 PM   #34
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Most has already been said on this topic. I own a Remington 700 in .243 with a Leupold 3-9 scope and think it's a great rifle - for your whole lifetime. If I was planning on shooting it at 200# deer I'd consider a .270 also, but a .243 with 100 grain bullets will get the job done just fine too.

Buying a .22 first and shooting it is a good option. However, I believe that instead you could just get a .243 as a first rifle. The kick is not bad, most people wouldn't flinch with it. I believe that if you were to take the money you'd spend on your .22 rifle and instead just buy more .243 or .270 ammo and have 300-500 rounds down the barrel you'd be better served.

The worst thing you could do is not have practiced enough with your deer rifle.
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Old December 5, 2012, 07:04 PM   #35
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I'm going to chime in too. First, you said hunting rifle without appearing to be a noob or out of place. It should be a bolt or lever action.

Second, you said deer hunting, so that usually means 6mm or larger.

Third, distance mentioned seemed to be 200 yds +. That leaves out the 30-30 and 45-70 (45-70 has the trajectory of a mortar round), plus the pistol rounds.

Fourth, You are new to rifle shooting and more than likely recoil sensitive. That narrows down your selection quite a bit. You will probably want something with a little less than the 308. More than likely 243 or 260 remington.

The 260 does have a bit of an advantage of energy down range and no one would really fault you for that choice.

So, here is my selection for you. Savage mod #11/111 package (decent 3-9 scope) in 260 remington. Savage is known for their out of the box accuracy and decent price.

This will serve you well for a lifetime. Later you might want to reload ammunition. Although 260 ammo isn't quite as cheap as 243, it still isn't bad.
If you do decide to reload, 260 can be made from 243,260,7-08, 308, and 7.62x51 cases.

There, that's my .02 and the reasons for its selection.
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:23 AM   #36
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bambam, now that you've answered a few questions I and others asked, I'll chime in again, echoing what others have said to a large degree and will reiterate starting off with a good .22 for initial safety & marksmanship skills and the overall enjoyment and confidence they bring to the table.

Take a Hunter Safety Class of course.

Hopefully do some squirrel or bunny hunting with the aforementioned .22lr. Helps with developing an eye for moving targets that are pretty small, or small targets that are still, both can be hard to find due to their coloring... which as you'll find out, deer hunting share and have much the same issues, albeit a slightly larger target, but you'll be shooting at a 6"-8" vital zone on old Bambi anywhere from 15 yds away to a football field or two apparently. Read up and learn about the animals a bit. Always helps to know where to place the bullet.

Others here have given excellent advice on bolt action vs lever vs semi and choice of caliber and glass, so I'll defer as there is little I could add that differs.

I will say this... as a kid I learned to shoot my Dad's 1903 Springfield which I liken to a 12 ga in terms of felt recoil. Recoil is not a problem per se, when one has developed good habits. For the amount of moola you would have put down on an AR in .308 w/ optics, you could conceivably buy a .22, a 12 or 20 ga and a used or new .30-06 plus some good glass for the .22 and 06 and with that trio you'd be set for pretty much anything that walks or flies and tastes good.

I hope you learn to love hunting as much as I and others do. Even if you get skunked (and you will), it's not about the kill, more about the love of nature and being outdoors. It's certainly a different pace than city living with its fast paced movement. Some critters, like deer, tend to move slowly until they need to boogie and boy howdy can they scamper. You can pass on shots and should at times. (the old confidence in yourself and your rifle thing)

Hunting for your rifle... enjoy the stalk, learn more about your quarry. You're already asking the right questions and being steered in the right direction by good people who know. Go slow at first until you find the one. There's a lot of choices available, each has their own quirks, fans and foibles. What is right and tastes good for me isn't always what you want or need or suits your tastes.

But the it for firearm or critter, that IS the thing. Good companionship always makes it better.

and be safe...
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington, January 8, 1790, First State of the Union Address
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:17 AM   #37
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I would buy used if you dont plan on hunting alot. All my guns were pre-owned and they work very well. Get yourself a cheap 30-06, or even a good cheap Mossberg 500. Not sure if buckshot is legal in your state or if you can use shotgun on private. But a decent shotgun with a 4x scope and a box of slugs or buckshot should do you well.
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:45 AM   #38
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I hunted in northern Michigan with a pump action Remington rifle in 35 caliber that worked well for me. My hunting buddies all had 30-30 carbines. Longest shot for me was approx 75 yards in heavy timber and swampy country.

Plan to bring plenty of warm clothing and a compass. It's easy to get turned around in unfamilar country.

Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:52 PM   #39
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Well, this last page has changed the conversation quite a bit, but I still want to ask something based on this quote. . .BTW, I could have quoted 4 - 5 posts of similar material. . .
I agree with everyone here so far get a Winchester model 70 chambered in .270 Win(warning this recoils quite a bit for someone not used to hunting weight bolt actions)
I started hunting at age 12 with a Winchester made 1917 Enfield which had been "sporterized" by my dad, grandfather and a local gunsmith. It has a 4x Weaver of 50's - 60's vintage on it. I killed a lot of deer with that rifle and an Elk too.


If I were hunting deer or smaller game only at 0 - 300 yards, I would have something smaller lighter and with minimal recoil. 20 years ago, the 243 Win had a bad rep for killing deer, but I would gues this was with the ol' $5 - $8 /box bullets of the day. Nowadays, with a newfangled super bullet properly matched to the 243 Win's velocity, I think it would be a super rifle.

260 fit's that role well also.

Also, if I wasn't likely to get a 15 yard shot, but I might go as far as 300 at the outside, a standard 6x is a super optic. Sure, you won't be able to tell cool stories about pulling up on a 25 yd deer at 12x or missing a chance at a 100 yd deer moving from 3x to 9x, but who cares. . .It is about putting meat on the table and getting a rack hanging out of the back of the truck.

Last, there was a post about being a good sportsman and being ethical. Yes, this is important. I probably wouldn't cry if one got away from me, but I'm the type who knows how far I can shoot and puts the bullet on the mark or darn close. Killed this year's deer with a slug through the heart. I also had a bad day at about 15 where I got on a good doe antelope and shot her. She must of stepped or I just screwed up. She was about 100 yards away. I chased her down to the last shot of ammo I had. . .I finally got a "good" 300 shot with her stopped and put a kill shot in her. It does feel bad, but hunting is about knowing your limits, working within them and getting the job done when things go wrong.
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Old December 7, 2012, 08:43 PM   #40
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alrite fella i would like to put my $.02 into the fray. as if you aren't probably confused enough as everybody has a different opinion. so, my opinion based on cost effectiveness and also NOT sacrificing quality in the least would be a weatherby vanguard series 2 in either .308 win,personal fav of mine, or 7mm-08. both of these are short actions which will save you a quarter of a pound from a long action. scope: i agree on the 3-9x40mm in either a leupold vx2 or a redfield which is made by leupold. get a regular duplex reticule so you won't be confused with so many lines and hold-over points. rings and mounts: leupold dual dovetail 2 piece bases with dd leupold rings. ammo: a good premium mid-weight bullet for caliber nosler partition. sight-in at 100 yards 2" high so should be dead on at 200 and around 8" low at 300 which all you would have to do is hold at the top of the back at 300 right on or right behind the front shoulder and squeeze the trigger. this set-up should be around $800-900 depending if you find a deal or two.
good luck and let us know what you decide and how it performs,
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Old December 8, 2012, 01:44 AM   #41
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Scorch got it right. Talk to your father in law. He will think better of you. and you will get a lot of brownie points.

You will also find out what he thinks of you. If he recommends an ultramag that will kick the double hockey sticks out of you. You may want to reconsider your decision to go hunting with him.
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Old December 8, 2012, 02:10 AM   #42
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alright stop the presses...

I would like to apologize if I missed it because I only glanced though this thread but are you a current resident of chicago? if you you are then you are going to be severely reduced in options for AR15s


Cook County has an assault weapons ban in place and though it is completely idiotic and a gross infringement of your 2nd amendment rights, you are still subject to it's laws. even if you never use the gun while in cook county you may still not possess a semi automatic rifle with

a muzzle break(flash hider)
a collapsable stock/telescoping stock
a magazine capacity greater than....either 5 or 10 rounds, I can never keep it straight but much lower than your standard 30 round magazine.

I don't recall all of the criteria but those are the major points right there so if you do want to get an AR15 you will have to get a neutered version that is AWB Compliant. I would go with the other guys that say to get a good lever action rifle like a Ruger M77, Remington 700, winchester 70 or Weatherby Vanguard. all of those rifles are going to be cheaper in the long run are are available in more calibers more suited to hunting rather than self defense.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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Old December 8, 2012, 10:04 AM   #43
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In your situation, I'd talk to the father-in-law but you might also suggest some of the options described above that you are considering. If I we in your shoes, is probably be looking at a Savage Weather Warrior, an Winchester Extreme Weather, a Tikka T3 lite in stainless or a stainless steel Browning BLR (I like the straight grip). Whatever you choose, the 22 practice rifle is a great recommendation and I highly recommend you make sure you know the proper care and maintenance to keep the rifle in new condition. (I once loaned a shotgun to a friend for a 1 week hunting trip and by the time I got it back it already had rust on it).

Protect your investment shows that you understand it's value and should impress your father in law.
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Old December 8, 2012, 03:36 PM   #44
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Since your question is tangentially about scoring points and making a good impression on the father-in-law and others at deer camp, here is some non gun related advice:

Come prepared with proper clothing and gear. Don't be that guy trying to borrow essential gear from strangers because you did not plan ahead.

Help out whenever you can. Cook. Clean dishes. Collect firewood. Help set up camp. Help other's track, move and field dress their deer.

Use good judgement in the stand and only take ethical shots you are confident will result in a dead deer.

Never complain. Ever.

Listen respectfully to the old salts' stories and advice. Don't tell them they are damn fools, even if you think that is the case.

They may have some rituals or pranks in store for the new guy (that would be you). Be good natured and go along for the ride. Remember, years from now, you will be pulling the same pranks on the new guy.

Have fun.
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Old December 8, 2012, 04:19 PM   #45
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very good advice Joe . I've always like the term , suit up show up and shut up . I still say if it's going to be the only hunting rifle he owns he should go with a .270 . Great all around caliber .
Tolerate- allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that one does not necessarily like or agree with , without interference.
If you have some time IMO this is worth a listen/watch but it takes a few minutes to really get going . or a picture of Mohamed
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Old December 8, 2012, 06:01 PM   #46
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Bunches of great advice already given.

My 2 cents - a bolt action 30-06 or 270. I'd get a wood stocked one if you really want to impress but I wouldn't think anyone would frown upon a synthetic stocked bolt gun. Oh, and you cannot go wrong with a Remington 700. You can find ammo for either of these cartriges in any store that sells ammo.

Around here you would definitely turn off the old timers if you showed up with any caliber AR to deer hunt.

Would be great to start with a .22 of course, but if you can't afford all that, you'll be alright. I was taught to shoot on a .270 and I turned out fine. That was when I was 10. Dad didn't have a .22 or that's what he probably would have taught me with.

Best option ,like has already been mentioned, would be to have fil go shopping with you. Even better would be to have him help you sight in a scope and such.
Guys bond buy doing these kinds of activities.

Bottom line- follow the advice in this thread. It has been a great read for me and there is a lot of great advice here for the new hunter. Only thing I very slightly disagree with is some of the caliber recommendations. And that's only because some of them would be hard to find in a pinch.

Good luck!
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Old December 8, 2012, 06:09 PM   #47
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For a first rifle I would say the S&W 15-22 would be a good trainer for a centerfire AR later on.

For a deer rifle I would give the AR rifles in .300 Whisper a good look.
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Old December 9, 2012, 01:27 PM   #48
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im going to stay with the bolt action group but vote for the Ruger American Rifle in a .308, you can get it at walmart for under $500 bucks drop a decent Redfield scope on it and have a dang sweet gun for under $700 that you can carry around in the woods and rain and not worry about beating up expensive wood stocks (hey im cheap ) . the .308 is an excellent round that can match the .30-06 out to 300 yards in most bullet weights with less recoil for a beginner and it will serve you for years
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Old December 12, 2012, 12:21 PM   #49
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I've seen a Remington 700 BDL in (30-06) Walmart several times for about $777. I too would suggest the bolt action rifle. I have a BDL in .300 Remington Ultra Mag. Probably more pop than you need or want. Contrary to what others have said, I would absolutely avoid the synthetic and get a wood stock. Walnut and blued usually looks better to the old timers (And us youngsers that just appreciate good wood grain), and the heavier wood stock will absorb more of the felt recoil.
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Old December 12, 2012, 05:04 PM   #50
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Lots of good advice. Hard to sort it out.

Ask Dad what is popular up that way. Id bet 30-06 or 308s are very much so.

Get a good bolt gun (Savage w/ accutrigger or TIKKA ($600)) w/ lower power scope-2-7 or 3-9.

Shoot it a bit--150 rounds or more--not cheap but you will appreciate it before the hunt is over. Save the brass and find a reloader and let him help you reload to save $$.

Several others suggested a 308. In the UP most shots will be under 150 yards unless food plot or powerlines. Lots of woods and shorter ranges are the rule.
Ask Dad what ranges are prevelant.
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