I can not begin to address this topic in any kind of meaningful detail. I harvested my first deer in the 1960’s with a bow and arrow hunting on public property in a area with a deer population estimate of 3 per sq. mile. I probably harvested 300+ with a bow before I ever killed one with a firearm, and it was a flintlock. As far as weapons go the first simple fact is a bullet kills by massive damage and a arrow kills by blood loss. Some hits by a arrow can be fatal where the same hit by a bullet would not and the reverse is also true. The point being you need to understand a deer’s anatomy and be able to place your shot correctly. Of course before that shot you have to locate a legal deer. With todays high density deer population that is much easier to do than in the past. However, I still run into people who ‘hunt’ whole seasons and never see a legal deer. I’ve put countless hours in becoming a very proficient deer hunter. Last season I spent a total of 2.5 hours 'hunting to harvest the two bucks my wife and I needed to resupply our venison needs. I then spent some 12 hours, starting with field dressing, and ending with vac. packed meat packages. Don’t misunderstand I’m not trying to discourage you. In fact I strongly support your desire to learn. I would suggest you start reading everything you can get your hands on about how to deer hunt and also how to hunting ethically. Then spend some preseason time in the woods looking for deer sign that you have read about. Learn what the deer eat and when , where they like to bed down, their normal travel routes, etc. If you’re sincere in your approach you will likely meet a experienced hunter who will help guide you through your early hunts. Good luck!
@William220 is correct, Not enough room on this page to teach you. Find an experienced hunter to mentor you. Check out You Tube, lots of vids on hunting, cleaning and processing game and the equipment needed. Good luck.
That being said I would recommend the .308 also in an AR, it will take any game in your area.
Without knowing what environment you will be hunting in your first time (desert, forest, etc.) I will throw this out there; sectional density is even more important at longer ranges, i.e., greater than 300 yards. Sectional density of bullets is often overlooked, but very important we hunters understand it. Yes, accuracy/shot placement is very important, but it’s not going to matter if at 300 yards the bullet doesn’t create a wound channel affecting a vital organ.
Took my first deer with a .58 caliber rifled musket, a la civil war infantry. He walked out at about 25 hrs and collapsed 10 feet from where I shot him. Hunting with a muzzleloader will really make you focus on shot placement. Around here the a average shot at a whitetail is usually 75 yds or less, though some farm fields are big enough to stretch out as much as several hundred yards. These days the problem is finding private land that isn’t closed to hunting or leased out to a group of hunters, usually from out of state. There are a few public lands available but they are crowded and dangerous.
I think it is time for some facts. The .224 Valkyrie due to its size does not offer much in realm of bullet expansion. Next at what range are you going to try to bring down you deer?
The .224 Valkyrie has a average bullet speed of 2700 FPS(feet per second) at the muzzel the bullet has 1457 Lb Ft of force.
The .308 Springfield round has a bullet weight of 150 Grains the Valkyrie bullet weight is around 90 Grains
The .308 leaves the muzzel at around 2822 FPS. with a force of 2822 Lb Ft. The .308 bullet is designed to expand making a large wound channel and a faster kill.
In my opinion since you are new at this hunting thing you amy want to give yourself the best possible advantange. Go with the .308. If you like the AR platform go with an AR 10.
Just an opinion.
I’ll go a little different route here, buy a standard AR. Then, buy a 350 legend upper, and magazines. Another option, if you have a shotgun already, is slugs. Slug guns are good, out to 125-150 yards, with the right slugs. I’m hoping to put together an AR pistol in 350 legend, for this years Illinois deer season.
I want to say that I really appreciate all of the responses. I know I have a lot to learn, and you guys are helping me a lot. Thank you very much.
I’m not a hunter, but I have a couple friends in the Midwest that do or take deer meat in trade for some services. I was wondering if you have heard anything about the sickness that has been appearing in Midwestern deer that is dangerous for humans. Has it gone away? I heard this was an issue a couple years ago.
CWD Presentation - Kelly Straka and Chad Stewart
Occurrence | Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) | Prion Disease | CDC
The first thing you should do is take a Hunter Education course. Then take the bowhunting version, even if you don’t intend to hunt with a bow… because that course teaches more field craft and tracking.
Then consider starting small… as in small game hunting… get an inexpensive shotgun and sit in the woods to shoot squirrels. It will teach you a lot about patience and the habits of animals. And you can learn about things like field dressing and preparing game on a small scale.
Lots of great opinions and suggestions!! Many moons ago I started with open sight .270, then progressed to scope. My mentor was a 30-06 dude, and harvested many animals. I have been tempted to stray from the .270 to something else and even a different brand other than my Winchester. Then with sad eyes I examine my tool, and the game I have harvested, and the fun I had hunting with my mrs and family, so then I say “ok old friend, Ill keep ya!” I guess I am old school…LOL
KevinM stated about taking a hunters ed course. Def recommend!
Hey Kevin! Where the heck have you been? Glad to your face again! Still have your Hawaiian shirts? LOL
Been eyeing the browning xbolt, then I cant decide on what caliber…could be a new friend. I am a lefty and shoot a right handed long gun. Then, just the other day I took out my Winchester, then the old school syndrome kicked in…we got our licenses for the fall hunt…and I will take my .270 on the fall elk/deer hunt. Darn old school!
Not enough room on this page to teach you. Find an experienced hunter to mentor you.
This. Don’t hunt alone. Find someone who will allow you to tag along and teach you. Don’t be offended if you’re unharmed the first time out and doing some of the dirty work. Sometimes you have to paint the fence and sand the floor before you can compete in the karate competition.
Great point, Kevin.
I started out teaching my boys with squirrel hunting and a . 22 scoped rifle.
You will learn woodcraft, stalking, spotting, patience and marksmanship this way.
And if you can go out and head shoot 3-4 squirrels in a day, the deer will be no problem.
My understanding is that CWD will never go away. The prions that cause it aren’t technically alive, and nothing in nature will kill them. Happy thought for the day.
We haven’t seen any CWD in my neck of the woods, yet.
Influenza has never gone away, either. We’ve just gotten used to it. We’ll have to do the same with COVID, because we can’t all hide under our beds indefinitely. I have to think we’ll learn more, adjust our behaviors to our new knowledge, learn effective treatments (preventative and post-infectious), and life will go on.
Either that, or it’ll be full-on zombie apocalypse. But probably the former.
Scout, go out into the woods and look. Find deer, where are they? What is the weather like? Learn to track. What kind of terrain are you hunting in? open prairie, deep woods, mountains? This changes your hunting method. What kind of deer are you hunting? Blacktail, White tail, mule deer, can you recognize them? What are the hunting rules? Antler point system has what is legal to shoot. what are the boundaries? Where can you hunt and what is off limits? Deer know these things! Can you navigate yourself and not get lost? Getting lost sucks but, it has initiated some good hunting for me! Before you grab a gun and go out chasing your tail in the woods, get out there and be as familiar with your environment as you can get. Not only will this help you survive well, but it will help you subdue your game and appreciate the moment. Scouting areas will give you the advantage of knowing how the deer move, where they usually hang out at what time of the day. Hunting is not just going to the store to get your meat, it is more of an adventure and a story you will tell your friends.
There’s a ton of good advice here and none of it seems to be wrong, just a lot of different ways.
A couple things, a .223 round will kill a deer and drop it right where you shoot it. Every deer I have ever shot dropped in place and that was with .223. Some with a bolt some with an AR. My bolt has a longer barrel which makes it more accurate and an expensive 4x12 Leopold scope. You’re only going to be firing 1 round at it anyway.
The second thing, if you’re thinking of meat and deer, that does you know good now. They are out of season. You’ll have to wait until fall or winter. If you need meat now you’ll starve. Thus Dawn’s fishing comment. Unless… you’re in the market for hogs. They are open season year round. The same goes for my hunting hog experiences. 1 shot drop, or as I call it, “a spinner”, and that once again is with a .223. The furthest I have ever had to … go look… for an animal was actually last month. I hit a hog and it went about 15 yards before it dropped and spun.
What state are you in, or where do you plan to hunt?
Some of the best advise on here was to find a friend who has hunted before and can mentor you. You’ll have a lot of fun with them while hunting. Or, pay to go hunting and pay a bit extra for a guided hunt and field dressing. You can watch and learn this way. We don’t charge a lot for guided hunts vs. “there’s a stand, there’s the feeder” text when you’re done and we’ll come get you.