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After deer season and the first 3/4 day rain the "Swamp Ceawlers" drift to my place in The Hammock. They eat venison stew, etc for about 3 days. The first day is for showing off any new guns, horns, tree stands, etc. This is followed by some pretty good analysis of past hunts, rifles, and cartridges. Most shoot autos or pumps, with me trailing along with single shots ( and sometimes a 7400 in .280) and most feel that a boltgun is a single shot with a box hanging on it. In the general type of woods in the Southeast..These boys have to shoot accurate and fast, sometimes "reshoot"!!
Game can run to smaller deer to large deer(in the more nortern range0 to some large (400 pound) Spanish hogs. The Southeast has a long ( Aug 15 in SC) and liberal bag ( 2 per day, no season limit) on deer, Hogs on private land are not classed as game. This group killed 42 legal deer this year in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida! It's intering to look at the guns and ammo.....30-06 Spring/180 RN, .308 Win/180 RN, .300 Savage/180 RN, .35 Rem/200RN and me with .280/150 BT and .30-06,180 BT. The rifles run a few BAR's, Rem. 7400's and 760's, Savage 99 in .330 Savage and .308's and one M14 in .308. As for handguns...Ruger SBH's and two S&W 686's in .357 Mag ( with Rem 180's) and these boys are good! Most handload their SBH with hard cast 250/255 grainers @ 1200/1300 fps.All of these seem pretty "Plain Jane", but there is something to learn from it! These are pretty big boys, all over six feet, except little Hank! You say we don't have "big gun"! Well, Gentleman....I invite you to come down here and face a 400 pound "Tusker" in these swamps were closing distance is measured in feet, not yards...or be wading( up to your butt in cold water) from one island to another, and step stradle a 12 foot "LeZard Grande"! I get a certain rash, you know where, when I hear people talk about our "Little Game" in the South...Most who say that have never hunted the real South!
What is my point in all of this...Well, I see a lot of recommendations to new hunters that border on the absurd! They are started off with "cannons" that maybe only 1% can handle! Is there something "Macho" with "Overkill?" We tell them a .357 Mag. with heavey bullets is a "Wimp"  Really?
I believe in "big" bullets that knock big holes and let a lot of blood out, air in ...but like Col. Whelen once said..He had never killed anythig 140% dead.
So...Let's think a little when we advised these new hunters on their arms and ammo. We have enough frustrated, would be African Hunters, pouring out BS in the magazines..without us following suit! The new hunters that come aboard this forum, have bypassed the BS and want reasonable answers.
I don't think one would want to tell the Swamp Crawlers that they are shooting "wimp" guns...You might end up as bait on their trot lines!
Best regards from the Hammock....James
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