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I think I did put it on here a few years ago but a good friend shot at a roe buck and thought he had missed. Came back to the car looking very sorry for himself. I took my viszla out to the spot and my dog immediately went into track mode before I could put on the tracking leash so we trotted along behind him. He turned into some thick stuff and a few moments latter I heard him growling and puffing. When I got to him there was a very dead roe buck, perfect shot big exit hole 120yrds from the point of impact.

Pleased you had a good blood trail and that is why I always insist that a big exit hole is essential, but there again with the above example there was no blood trail we could see but my dog could smell.
Gotta love a Vizsla! My youngest is only 11 months old but is showing promise on the bird field, and I may very well also use him for tracking bigger game. As I'm sure you know, they were bred to hunt anything that walks or flies, and then come home and be your best buddy.
 

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Check-fire, partner...

Oh I'm not as dumb as you might think. The answer is to use the proper heavy bullet just as you would use the proper light bullet in this way you don't have to chase any animals. In fact not chasing animals is exactly why I use heavy bullets, and I always shoot through what would be center line just behind the front leg if the animal is broadside.
No personal attack was intended.
 

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Good Point

I see it as only being one issue. The guy who owns the land has specified the bullet weight he wants used on his land. Fair enough. If I want to go hunt on his land, I follow his rules.
In following this thread I didn't even think about weather it's a club rule or just a suggestion, Like if your house was on fire I'd suggest you get out. Hunted a friends property once that his rule was nothing but a 30-30 for deer on his place. The club rules will prevail on this.
 

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Stick with what you know.
It's really a non issue.

Shoot straight and collect meat
 

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Ha!!! we go through this every year on here!
Old school guys and folks that hunt Africa insist on shooting animal through the front shoulders claiming it's the only way to kill big game and it wastes almost no meat, they never acknowledge that a missed shot farther back than intended results in animals traveling long distances before dyeing. The guys in Africa don't care because they have trackers at there disposal that can usually find them. BTW any shot through the front shoulder wastes lots of meat unless you like eating around bullet holes. These guys prefer close shots because they shoot the slow moving heavy for caliber bullets that have poor trajectories.

The other school insists that high velocity medium weight bullets and cartridges are the only thing that works on game, they avoid the front shoulder like the plague because there light/medium bullets have a high failure rate when hitting front leg bones. Most of them have never hunted Africa where much of the game has a very different chest than American game, the leg sits farther back on the body and there's less ribcage behind the shoulder. African game in general is said to be tougher to kill because there are many more predators and they have evolved into tougher creatures than on this continent.

Both schools of thought are probably right, both methods work but I have no intention of ever hunting Africa so I'll stick to my little 7mm's with 140's and 150's that kill like lightning on chest shots and ruin no meat.

This is a typical bullet performance from a 140 ballistic tip from a 7-08, nice hole going in big hole going out, deer expires in seconds, no meat ruined, chest cavity is a much larger target than the front shoulder on the whitetail deer.
 

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280 is awesome !!

While I didn't read every post, and what I'm about to say is redundant, here goes !!
I used to have a Remington 7400 in 280 Rem that would group under an inch @ 100 and 3" @ 200.
It dumped 2 Wyoming Pronghorns @ 125 and 175 yards with Speer 130 grn SPBT's @ about 2800 fps out of the barrel,
and several deer in the 130#-160# range with 150 grn Remington Core Lokt's @ 2600fps, within 90-150 yards.
They were all taken with my handloads, and most were anchored in their tracks. The 280 is very under rated in my opinion,
and a solid performer. Some day I'll build an ultralight sporter in that caliber, as the Remington 7400 was just too heavy !! :D
 

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Great idea, I went the same route...

you might want to consider going to a 7-08, as short barrels are bad enough without "long cases".
 

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Amazing train of thought...

Kevinbear wrote:

Old school guys and folks that hunt Africa insist on shooting animal through the front shoulders claiming it's the only way to kill big game and it wastes almost no meat, they never acknowledge that a missed shot farther back than intended results in animals traveling long distances before dyeing.


Illogical train of thought there, Kevin. Exactly why shots are NOT taken farther back than the low shoulder. Lung shots do not work on local animals because they travel long distance with that. We do heart shots through muscle and bone with heavy bullets and very little meat damage.


The guys in Africa don't care because they have trackers at there disposal that can usually find them.


Wow, Kevin, that surely is a very wild statement with no basis. I believe the guys in Africa indeed care more about wounding than anywhere else and exactly the reason why we shoot into the heart and not behind it. When hunting we use trackers to FIND live game. Wounding and tracking wounded game is very rare for any local hunter. Hunters who are known to a land owner hunt on their own. By law no foreign hunter is allowed to hunt on their own. Kevin, pse tell me which guys in Africa did you hunt with and observed this funny behaviour you mention?

BTW any shot through the front shoulder wastes lots of meat unless you like eating around bullet holes.


Indeed not so. Look at my photos. We normally eat right into the wound channel as the photos will show. YES, when shot with 150gr from a .300 Win Mag at 120 yards there is a terrible meat spoilage but we do not do that - we use a .308W or .30-06 or .303 Brit or 7x57 or 7x64 Brenneke with bullets in the 180gr class that make clean shots through the shoulder - and a dead animal in its tracks or within 30-50 yards.

We shoot close shots (70-200 yards, depending on the terrain) because we prefer to stalk as close as we can which is part of our hunting ethic and because we can.

My friend I am so sorry to say that your post is fraught with assumptions and speculation and no facts so I have to respond.
 

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Unless they are crossing the deer with buffalo no whitetail is any tougher than another, they may just be bigger. Ive seen some pretty big ones dropped with 30-30's in my northern location. I say use the gun you have confidence in and make a good shot.

Last whitetail i got was a 200lb northern swamp deer near my camp and i used a 357mag open site gp100. Broke the shoulder and took out both lungs at 35yrds. Guess neither of us knew that pistol was too small but what did we know.
 

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Mus ..Kevin your both right in my view. I have said it before and I will say it again ...ALWAYS does not apply.

The best medicine for a clean kill is to learn to get close enough, don't panic, be patient and wait for the animal to present you with a perfect posture. Then pop one through that little dimple above the 'elbow'. All the main 'pistons' 'oil supply pipes' 'air filters' you name it are in line with that point and by using a proper size bullet at even reasonable speed which punches through and out the other side will kill that animal humanely and quickly.

Unfortunately in some States within the USA the seasons are so short and inexperienced hunters so desperate to get meat on the ground that wild, badly thought out shots are taken. Now, don't start shouting at me because I know from conversations on here that many/most of you don't fit in that category, but it exists. We have the same problem with shotgun shooting here. A gun misses a few birds and blames the cartridge, shot size, load etc etc., but very rarely themselves. They then start stuffing more shot into the case thinking it will improve their success rate.
 

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To the OP Use what you are comfortable with, a 280 with 120 is a LOT of gun for a deer, White Tail or Muleys. as someone said " They aren't TRex, a .22 LR will take em down given proper placement....
A small disagreement with Sus, Always does always work with a heart shot - they Always die. Maybe not drt but they do die and it is easier with lots of blood. I shot a goose once with one # 4 buck thru the heart, he flew nearly 1/2 mile before he fell out of the sky. Fortunately he stayed over the property I was shooting on so I was able to collect him. Same with a Muley, I watched thru my scope as my friend put a 130 .270 W thru the heart of one at 120 yds, saw the hair explode where the hit was. Took us over an hour to find him and that all started in the middle of an alfalfa field albeit at dusk. Piled up about 100 yes away in a small ravine. Holes in both sides but he didn't know he was dead.
I am at an age now when I miss I accept where the problem is, it is the guy looking at me from the bathroom mirror in the morning.
Every shot is a learning experience.
 

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To the OP Use what you are comfortable with, a 280 with 120 is a LOT of gun for a deer, White Tail or Muleys. as someone said " They aren't TRex, a .22 LR will take em down given proper placement....
A small disagreement with Sus, Always does always work with a heart shot - they Always die. Maybe not drt but they do die and it is easier with lots of blood. I shot a goose once with one # 4 buck thru the heart, he flew nearly 1/2 mile before he fell out of the sky. Fortunately he stayed over the property I was shooting on so I was able to collect him. Same with a Muley, I watched thru my scope as my friend put a 130 .270 W thru the heart of one at 120 yds, saw the hair explode where the hit was. Took us over an hour to find him and that all started in the middle of an alfalfa field albeit at dusk. Piled up about 100 yes away in a small ravine. Holes in both sides but he didn't know he was dead.
I am at an age now when I miss I accept where the problem is, it is the guy looking at me from the bathroom mirror in the morning.
Every shot is a learning experience.
Oh sure, let's all use 22 LR for deer... Not.
A 120gr out of a 280 just doesn't even make sense. Maybe out of a 7mm-08 for youth hunters?? Okay, but 140-160 is much better out of any .284
 

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On my only trip to SA, our PH advised my SIL and I to only shoot heart shots. Just like Musgrave man has often advised. We both used 06s with 180gr SST superformance. Deadly load, and for what it's worth I recommend it. All 6 animals we shot went down and out with one shot except for a black wildebeest that ran off a ways before my SIL could put it down for good. I've heard this is not unusual. The SST bullet recovered from a big kudu is so perfect looking it could be used in an ad. Finished weight was 169. Shots ranged from about 100 yds to 250 on a blesbok and a gemsbok.
Bob
 

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Oh sure, let's all use 22 LR for deer... Not.
A 120gr out of a 280 just doesn't even make sense. Maybe out of a 7mm-08 for youth hunters?? Okay, but 140-160 is much better out of any .284
There is a whole lot of "depends" attached to that statement. Coues deer? Cull hunts?

I agree that a 140-160 IS better...but that's not to say the 120 won't get the job done, in many situations.
 

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I'll come at this thread from a slightly different angle.
I hunted deer in NY state for most of my life, and in west central Georgia (also red clay country) for the last 30 years. Shot deer with quite a few different calibers- including the 280.
My experience is that NY deer (particularly Adirondack Mountain deer) on average run a good bit larger than Georgia deer.
I have not used the 120 BT in the 280 - my 280 likes the 140 BT.
I have not found Georgia deer any harder to kill than NY deer - if anything, the smaller Georgia deer might be easier to kill, just because of the size difference.
If you have a load that works, there's nothing special about Georgia deer that would require a change of load, IME.
The important factor is making a good shot - do that and most any deer caliber will work.
 

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The more I think about it, since the owner and older members all prefer and "suggest" a heavier bullet, I believe I would get one box of at least 140 gr ammo and use that the first couple of times you hunt there. That way, if something unexpected happens, they can't say "I told you so" or shun you, because you covered yourself and took their advice to use the heavier bullets.
After the first couple of times, then I might switch back to your favorite 120 gr loads and they will probably never know the difference. After you've been there a few years and are no longer the newbie there, you can let them in on the fact that you've successfully been killing their tough deer with your 120 gr loads for the last couple of years and they did just fine, lol. Maybe you can teach some old dogs some new tricks. :)
 

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Do what I do when I fly with handloads. Put them in factory boxes that people throw away. No one has never noticed that my Remington "44 mag" box of jacketed hollow points, is actually full of .44 Special cast bullet loads in Winchester brass.... ;)
 
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