Wisdom from the Masters please!

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.


Woodchuck and muskrat… poor man’s surf and turf…mmmmm…mmmmmm good!!!


As far as using a rifle chambered in .224 for deer, I believe that depends on where you are hunting. If you are hunting in FL, that round will more than likely cause enough damage to do the trick. If you are hunting by Lake Superior, the deer are going to be bigger and a bigger round is going to give you a more ethical kill. The energy of the round you are firing will give you a hint that it CAN kill a deer, but is it going to kill them quickly? You need to look at bullet shape, energy, and bullet weight.

A lot of states also have adult mentor programs where you can go with somebody and learn how to hunt. Like @Fizbin said, if you are down south where hogs are, that is a great way to start hunting.


What is the grain size of bullet you are using for ammo? curious.

I’ve also used their VamintExpress

I am not a hunter, but on many of the other firearms forums I frequent I spend quite a bit of time in the ammunition sections.

It seems people’s opinions of .223 for deer hunting depends on where they are. Southern deer are closer to 100lbs and Northern deer can reach upwards of 300lbs. .223 hunting projectiles seem to excel in that 100-200lbs range and < 200yards (gee, I wonder why…).

If your quarry is larger, or the distance greater, or your state requires it (afaik -> Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia) then a larger caliber projectile would be warranted.

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@Harvey, Yep I agree, everyone has their favorites. I’m glad there are so many choices.

I’ve hit hogs with 12g Sabot rounds and that just gets kinda messy.
Don’t even ask what happens to a racoon with a 50cal sabot! :flushed:

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