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Forum Index > Medium and large game hunting > Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners

Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners

28 Apr 2018
@ 04:29 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Hey Bryan - looking to develop a load for this coming whitetail season. Only problem is, I have never hunted them, so I have no idea what kind of body weights I'm looking at. Got a guesstimate for a large buck/doe or a normal buck/doe? With body weight, I can start development over the summer. (Got my new Sightron the other day, and itchin' to try it out.)

Replies

29 Apr 2018
@ 06:37 am (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners
Hi Paul:

I'm new here but I can give you some tips on this based on the calibers I use. You are provably looking at about a 200 lb animal. I've mostly hunted the Coues Whitetail which is smaller in size but I've also hunted Mule Deer for many years which is a bit larger than whitetails. I've hunted them mostly with a 7×08 using the 139 gr SST with 41gr of IMR 4064 and 140 gr partitions with 41.5 gr of the same 4064. I've also hunted them with a 7mm Rem Mag with 150 gr ballistic silvertips with 62 gr of IMR 4350 and 160 gr. Partitions with 59.5 gr of also 4350.

The groups on all these load are just under an inch at 100 meters, these are the loads that my Remington 700's like.

In about 3 weeks I will be hitting the range to try some new loads with other bullets so Ill have more options then. Hope this helps.

29 Apr 2018
@ 02:03 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners
Hi there Paul.

Whitetailed deer are not that large and not overly heavy bond either.
You did not mention the caliber you plan to use, but here in the Peace Subregion you can expect bucks to range in size from 170 to 225 pounds. Many older big deer would be in the upper range. This is not all that different from mule deer so your loads for them would suffice.

If you are hunting in areas where most of the bucks spend a lot of time in heavy cover, you might consider something like the .308 Win with a 1:10 twist using 180 grain round nose bullets. Here in our ares shots are normally from 200 on out to long range. I normally use a .308 for heavy bush and if hunting blinds in fields where you may have no idea where the animal will appear, I use my 7mm Rem Mag with 140 grain Sierras which it loves. Very effective. I have also used the 140 grain Nosler Accubonds as well and they do a fine job but at twice the cost.

One of my grand daughtrs shot a monster whitetail buck last fall at 200 yards with a .308 Win using a 180 grain Hornady SST. It was a bang/flop shot just like the big bull moose here brother shot with the same load.
29 Apr 2018
@ 02:05 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners
As to whitetailed does, many will range from 130 to 160 pounds and naturally are nowhere near robust as an adult male.
30 Apr 2018
@ 01:40 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners
Thanks, Bryan and Luis. Good info that is usable. The reference to my mule deer loads is a non-point. I am probably the only person on this forum that does not hunt deer (yet). Never have, but hope to change that this fall.

I've spent some time in your country Bryan, and have seen the herds. But to me, they were just in the way. (I took it personal that "those stupid deer" would take forever to get the hell off the road so I could go hunting!) That all changed when a friend gave us a roast to try. I now put whitetail in the "tied for second" place with moose. I will be heading into the McBride area this fall, and though it is slightly different conditions to your home turf, I figure the animals will be roughly the same size. So your numbers are a great help.

Not really sure what calibre I will take, probably two, just to cover all the bases. I was thinking of the 243Win and the 308 Norma (for the long shot chances). It all depends, of course, on how the load development goes. I may just end up taking the tried and true Mk ll 338.

30 Apr 2018
@ 11:41 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners
I shot a lot of wt deer with the .243 with no issues. Mostly from close out to 400 or so. Used 85 gr hpbt Sierras.

Your 308 Norma will do well for long shots but I would not recommend the .338 Win on WT deer if you want to mount the head and take home the meat.
They are just not that tough if you put the bullet where it should go.
01 May 2018
@ 03:17 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners
Thanks, Bryan. The 338 was a "just in case" if I don't get out to get a load built up.

Since the time I asked the original question, I have come across, coincidentally, two boxes of the Sierra 85s. So, good to know they work. But I also found that box of Wildcats. Those will probably be the first choice for load development. I threw some numbers into the Hornady calculator to see what came up, and the Wildcats may do the trick. Even though the numbers look good, still not to sure about the actual construction of the bullet.

My .243 will push a 105g A-MAX safely at 3250fps, so I used 3150fps and a BC of .550 as input variables, and it worked out to 850yards to the 1800fps wall. Energy at the wall was a little low (815fpe) so I will probably limit the range to around 700 yards just because of the unknown construction. This will still give good energy of just over 1000fpe. Of course, these are all hypothetical numbers until I actually build the load, but they give me an idea of what may be possible.

If and when I find a decent load, I'll probably have to build Nathan's newspaper/grass bullet test medium to see what's what.

Thanks for the info Bryan, it helps a lot.
03 May 2018
@ 08:20 pm (GMT)

Shawn Bevins

Re: Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners
We shoot quite a few whitetail here in upstate NY. Size range could be anything from 110 to 250 lbs. These are FAT farmland deer. Not very hard to kill but they will surprise you if a hit is marginal. Plenty of people use 22-250's 243's but they wouldn't be my first choice. If I can hunt over fields with 300+ yd shots, I use a 270 or a 7mm with 140grs or even a 264 mag. Under 300 yds in the hardwoods (more like < 150yds) I use my 257 Roberts with 115 gr partitions. These combinations work here. I find the farther I go north the larger the calibers get. I suspect that being in bear country might have something to do with that. Whatever combination you can shoot accurately should work. Nathan has a lot of good information in his books and his knowledge base.

I spend quite a bit of time in the woods and find many deer carcasses. Judging from my own experience as a bow hunter, those meat saver shots behind the shoulder can give a whitetail just enough time to get into cover if they don't drop on the spot. Tracking in the fall with red leaves on the ground can be very challenging. The whitetail's blood clots easy, the fat can plug wounds up very quick. Their will to live is quite amazing. In short.. I want them to expire where I hit them or within a few steps.
02 Jun 2018
@ 12:42 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners
Hey Bryan. Further to the earlier comment on the Sierra's. I loaded up a bunch for use as foulers on the last trip to the range. A nothing load, half way between lame and hot, no specific OAL, just jammed them together. Surprisingly, they shot very well. I'm thinking I will have to explore these little pills a bit further.
02 Jun 2018
@ 06:19 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Whitetail question for Bryan or other Northeners
They are good bullets.

Consider too what Shawn says. Keep your range in mind...under 300 is good, less is great.

These days I prefer my 7mm Rem Mag as elk and moose are open too and I do not want to shoot them with the .243 at all.
 

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