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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first year hunting big game. I've done my fair share of small game hunting (ie, squirrel, rabbit, etc). I just got my big game license a few weeks ago and I am currently using a .243 Win right now. Though, I am looking in to getting a Remington Model 770 but I can't decide whether or not to get the .270 Win or the .300 Win Mag. Anyone have any un-biased opinions on what caliber would be best for me? I've got approximately 75 acres that I can hunt on. Some of it being swampy and trees close together, and the rest being hilly and, still, trees rather close together. Should probably also be noted that I am currently not using a scope, either. I had a nice 7-pointer pop out in front of me a few days ago, about 20 yards away. And with the trees so clustered together, I think a scope would just inhibit a good, clear shot. I'll pretty much take any suggestions at this point. Happy Hunting!
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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A .300 mag is a pretty big step up from a .243. Recoil may be more than you'd like.

To me a .270 seems a natural progression. However, if you don't have any open land to shoot it on, it's sorta wasted. Sounds like a place I'd take one of my Marlins to be honest.

A low powered scope can help, not hurt, shooting through timber. Maybe a 2x or 3x. Just a thought.
 

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A 270 would be a good choice as would the 308. The 308 has an advantage of heavier bullets and larger diameter.

Hope you're younger, as most of us old timers need a scope. I might suggest a 1-4 x Leupold, it is small and comes up faster than sights as there is nothing to align, and often time in thickets the front sight (even if a fire-glow) will momentarily get lost in the brush.

My recommendation would be a 308 (also a shorter action) with a 20 inch barrel and a 1-4x Leupold scope, no regrets.
 

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The 270 would be great if you have access to any open fields, powerline cuts, etc, where you can shoot at longer ranges.
In the woods, there is no need for a flat trajectory cartridge like a 243 or 270, although they will work just fine.
For woods hunting, where the range will rarely exceed 75 yards, think a larger diameter bullet, and not necessarily a higher velocity. The 308 that has been mentioned would be excellent.
A 300 Mag is far more cartridge than is needed for deer.
I use both peep sighted rifles and rifles with low power scopes in the woods. The big advantage to a low power scope is that you get a slight edge at finding a hole in the brush to shoot through- the trick in woods hunting is to avoid having the bullet hit a stick, or even a leaf, on the way to the deer.
 

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new rifle

take a look at the new ruger american hunter, Every one i know that has one , Loves it, accurate. better made than the remi 770. But the other guy is right, if you hunt big woods with heavy cover, I'd go with a marlin in 30/30/ . I had one in 1963, my dad got me when i first started hunting , adderondacks, catskills. You couldn't beat the rifle for speed and accuracy at those distances. ypu can also get a marlin lever gun in 30 cal now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Most of where I'm hunting is in the thickets with a few, small openings in the trees. But, I also have access to more open terrain along the powerline trails. It just seems that the deer are moving more frequently up in the sticks rather than along the powerlines. And yes, Harry, I am younger; 26 in just over a week. I've got some vacation time coming up here soon, what a better birthday present to myself than getting my first deer. Also, any suggestions on any calls/rattles/sprays that may work to my advantage at this point in the season? I used some Tink's #69 Doe-In-Rut the last couple times I went out and it produced nothing. I put it in a variety of spots from where I sit and let the wind carry it. Maybe I'm just being impatient? I took a set of antlers out with me yesterday and rattled for awhile, to no avail, didn't get anything. I've been looking in to the Extinguisher Deer Call, too, any thoughts about it?
 

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I also live in ny (Norwich) with the area you discribed I would hold off and keep the 243 great deer rifle, although so is the 270. But I look at it like this if ya don't need it don't buy it. I would keep the 243 and buy a good climbing stand to get above the swamp. Just my opinion. Good luck
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Rattling is probably not going to be very effective unless the does in in heat. See if you can find out when that happens in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree with you, Mr. Clemens, I love my .243. It's accurate as all ****. A stand does sound like a pretty good idea. Maybe I'll go out and scout some of the land I haven't gotten a chance to walk yet. And, again, thank you, MikeG. I just asked my gf's dad yesterday and he said it's not the right time to be rattling right now.
 

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Viscera. Just my thought after 50+ years of deer hunting, and I still hunt 3 states for about 40+ days of deer hunting a year (retired now).

Calls and scent are a waste of money...they are designed to attract hunters; the only time they work on deer is on TV programs promoting them.

The best way to get a deer is pre-season scouting. Deer are fairly routine animals, same routes dayly and even pass it on from mother to fawn. I hunt some places where I 've seen deer most every day for 20+ years.

Scouting during the season can be productive if you don't have preseason time, but it cuts into hunting and you will probably 'bounce' a lot of deer changing their routine. I've hunted every day this week, and stay in my stand for about 45-60 minutes after close of hours, just to see what is prowling. I keep my binoculars out of my pack during this late time as it gathers light. This week I saw a 10 pointer within 20 yards of my archery treestand about 30 minutes too late.
 

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First of all, welcome to the forum and to the brotherhood of deer hunters! Although I'm not a big fan of the .243, history has told us it works very well for some. What type action is your present .243? As for a new rifle, I like a lot of the advice thus far. My first thoughts would also be to a .270 or .308, or even a basic lever action 30-30. Sounds like your type of cover is not conducive to long-range shots (those in excess of 200 yards). As far as not wanting a scope, I'm with Harry on this one and anyone who buys a quality scope in proper magnification, mounts it properly and learns to shoot it with both eyes open, will shoot better with it at low power, no matter what the range or cover. Most who say that scopes do not work as well either used a scope to powerful, not properly mounted or of poor quality. The already mentioned Leupold 1-4x20 in either VX1 or VX2 version or, at a lower price break, a Weaver V3 1-3x20 will be much better for any use than typical irons.

One last comment. The rifle you mentioned, Rem 770, is not known to be a really good quality rifle. No way to rebarrel or even buy a new wood stock for it and lots of plastic parts. There is simply no line of aftermarket accessories for such a "basic" rifle. In a similar price range, I'd recommend you look towards a Marlin X7 or a Ruger American as both are noted to be of very good value/$$. Also you might look to buy a nice used M700, M77 or similar firearm, known to be quality rifles. There are many out there for $300-$400.

Good Luck and I hope you get yourself some venison this season!!
 

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Everybody had given you excellent advise. I think the 243 will still serve you well and I would defiently mount a low power variable scope from the 1x to 4 or 5 x. If you want to buy a new rifle, I would go to a store and see which one feels right for you and is in your price range. Like someone mentioned a Marlin in either a 30-30 or 35Rem (35Rem my preference) would be ideal especially with a low power scope. You'd be amazed as to how you'll be able to find an opening within the trees/brush. If you are leaning to a bolt or pump, I would select either the 7mm-08, 270, 308 or 30-06. The least recoiling rifle would be the 7mm-08. With the others you would be hard press to distinguish between the others to tell the difference if you were blind folded.

Let us know what you have decided on.
 

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Most has been discussion of pretty fast small cartridges. Just to stur your interest. You might consider a 44 mag rifle. i have a Marlin 44 mag rifle with a 2-5x post scope; comes up fast and I've killed lots of whitetails out to 145 yds with one shot. It is my walk-around gun in laurel. that and a 243 would make a nice pair???
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
First off, I just want to thank everyone for the advice, it's been very helpful! @Tnhunter, my .243 is a single shot break-action. Also, thanks for the heads-up on the Rem 770. @Edmehlig, my brother-in-law has a 7mm-08 and loves it. I guess I'll be heading to one of the local gun shops to "try on" a new hunting rifle sometime soon. :) @Harry, I get what you're saying about the calls and scents, I guess it's pretty much to each their own. I know a few people that have had great luck using calls/scents. Others. not so much. I actually found an app on my phone that's 9 different Whitetail calls, though I'm not sure of the legality of it in New York State as of yet. I did take it out with me a couple days ago and it kind of worked. I called in a nice little 4-pointer, though he wasn't close enough for me to take a shot, so I guess it kind of worked. Again, I just want to thank everyone for being so helpful!


Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Hunter1, I just looked at the new Ruger American Rifle. I think I just found my next gun that I'm going to be buying! Thanks for the info, buddy! :)
 
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