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Ideal gun for Indiana Deer?

Discussion in 'Indiana Whitetail Hunting' started by Doublegun, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. If you could put together what you consider to be the perfect gun for Indiana deer (shotgun or muzzleloader only) what would it be? Action (pump, semi), barrel length, rifled barrel/smooth bore, scope/open sights, wood/synthetic.

    Also, realistically how often do you get shots beyond 100 yards?

  2. I have never taken a shot over 100 yds. I also don't believe in the super muzzleloaders, I wish our muzzleloader season was traditional Front loading muzzleloaders, with no scopes.

    I like Triple fff Powerder and round balls
    If we have a rifle season then fine but muzzle loader season is for traditionalists

  3. Dock,

    I could not agree more. I have a .50 cal Hawken made by the late Roger Bruss of Union City, IN that is my idea of a muzzloader, which I load with 85 gr. of FFF behind a .490 round ball. To me, the new muzzloaders have no soul, although they can be accurate and deadly for deer.

    Come to think of it, that's pretty much my feelings about my old Wingmaster. That gun was THE slug gun to have when I bought it at the Sports Center in Winchester, IN in 1976. Loaded with the right slug I feel pretty confident that I can make meat out to 100-yards. However, these new high-tech guns like the Beretta 391 with a cantalever rifled barrel sure are tempting.

    What caliber PRB do you shoot?

  4. I have to disagree with you, I hunt with a Thompson Center Encore. I love it. It all boils down to this, No matter if its a flint lock or a new in-line...its ONE shot. And whats the big deal about a scope????? If we as hunters can obtain things to give us a better advantage to putting meat in the freezer and not eating tv diners, Im all for it. You say you have a Wingmaster, I bet the old timers with their single shots were turning up noses to the pump gun. We all want to bag a deer and if we can better our equipment, why not. If we didnt evolve we would all still be chucking flint tipped spears at deer and riding horses bareback.
    Big Nate
  5. I don't think anyone would disagree that the TC Encore is a great rifle. In fact, I have picked up several Omega's and been tempted to buy one. For me, it is not necessarily about buying a gun or other equipment that gives me a better advantage when it comes to putting meat in the freezer. For me how that meat gets there is half the fun. As tempted as I am to drop $350 to buy a rifled slug barrel for my synthetic Beretta 391 and top it with a Leupold VX II 1x-4x I would rather take a deer using either my trusty old 870 or my Hawken made by a friend.

    My question for the members of the board was/is a request for information based on experience. Are rifled barrels really that much better than a smooth bore for shots under 75-yards? Cleary in most situations a scope is preferable to open sights, but not necessarily in heavy brush or close quarters. You guys (and gals) in Indiana rely on shotguns a hell of a lot moree than do we up here in Michigan so I consider you all to be a reliable resource for information.

    Just to highlight how conflicted I am, my favorite gun for hunting grouse and woodcock is a 16 ga Parker SxS made in 1891 that has 30" damascus barrels. However, my bow is a Mathews LX fully tricked out.

    Anyway, your advice is appreciated.
  6. I have a 870 with a rifled slug barrel, it shoots 2-3 inch groups at 75 yards. My dad hunts with a smooth bore and will not hunt with any other gun. He can shoot just as well with it. I think that the one reason people like sabots and rifled barrels is the damage it causes to the deer. Ive shot quite a few deer with a smooth bore with regular slugs, but never have I seen such damage that a Remington Copper Solid does to deer. I shot a doe in the neck head on with a Copper Solid and the exit wound was just enormous. Some like rifled bores some like smooth, I like anything I can constantly hit the bullseye with.

    OH.....Damascus side by side....Sounds like a beauty, I would love to see that!. My favorite metal or finish is damascus, I have a few hand made knives with damascus blades. Bill Moran is the master of damascus, I wish I could afford one of his pieces.
  7. Savage 10ML-II smokeless muzzleloader with my Luepold 2x7x32 scope set up for zero at 75 yards with a 300 gn Hornady. This combination is less than minute of angle accurate and very hard hitting. Clean and efficient!!!
  8. I'd go for that as well Dock but the question was for basic deer gun...I'd hunt sidelock and open sights in a heart beat and save my modern muzzleloader for general firearm season...
  9. "but muzzle loader season is for traditionalists"

    Really? How in the world did I miss that in the regs? You have both firearms season and M/L season to shoot the M/L of YOUR choice. Why do you feel the need to dictate what I should or shouldn't be allowed to use?

    I shoot a Knight Disc with a Nikon 3-9 Monarch scope. 150 grais of Trip 7 behind a 245 grain Spitzer Boattail. I can shoot 1.5" groups at 150 yards and have no problem killing a deer at that distance. I've done it plenty of times. For me it's the perfect Indiana gun.
  10. In response to Doublegun's original question, I feel a semiauto action in 12ga. with a slug barrel (smooth bore is fine), with a scope. The scope doesn't need to be any stronger than 4x, and a 2.5x is actually ideal.

    My reasoning is that the majority of deer are shot at shorter distances, well under 100 yards, and in many cases, the deer are taken in the woods, or along grassy knolls where there can be brush & bush. Hence, the reason for the low power scope. The purpose of the scope is to gather light, and provide a good aim during the low light situations, again, when a majority of deer are taken. Low power scopes are not effected so much by brush or limbs that can hinder higher power scopes. Low power scopes also allow a more flexible aim, where higher power scopes require a more steady hold.

    My ideal deer gun is a 12 ga. Remington 1100 with a 20" smooth bore slug barrel with a 1.5x - 5x Simmons Whitetailer scope. Without a scope, I would not have been able to take the 8-point I got this year. I watched this buck for nearly 30 minutes before I could get a decent shot. It had gotten dark enough that with open sites, I doubt I could have made an accurate shot.

    In the name of good hunting and ethics, a sportsman should use equipment that provides a good clean kill, so the game does not suffer. Regardless of what you are using, you are expected to have practiced to ensure your equipment is in good working order and you have learned what your limits are as to making an accurate shot.
    -Dan- ;)

    P.S. I wanted to say that the only reason I selected a semiauto is because it absorbs a lot of the recoil. I have a small frame, and my old Mossberg 500 kicked like a dang mule. Of coarse, you never feel the kick when shooting at a deer. Therefore, I don't think the action is as critical as the gauge & scope requirements.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2005
  11. billkay, I prefur shooting one of the most advanced muzzleloaders you can buy and have it setup with a Ziess Conquest 3.5x10x50. This gun has very few peers in the market place and can flat out cut cloverleaf groups at 100 yards... I will use it for all my gun hunting in Indiana. However, I do see advantages to a primitive season as it opens up more opportunities to hunt. I'm not in favor of taking time out of other primary seasons but adding more time in December. Like when regular ML season goes out have the remainder of the late bow season be primitive only ML's....Any thoughts? We share regular ML season with late bow don't we?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2005
  12. Looks like a nerve has been struck between traditionalist and modern users. I prefer my Knight wolverine. so i'm a wrong in assuming that the traditionalist still use good ole black powder too and not the substitutes? if you are going old school then are you really going old school? Break out the buckskins and the black powder? traditional M/L hunting done only in hand made skins without any modern equipment including metal treestands and steps and ladders? Where is the line to seperate traditional from modern?
  13. Actually, there are states that have decided that muzzle loading means traditional. If you look at Pennsylvania, you have to use a flint lock. While Colorado will let you use an inline you have to shoot with iron sights (possibly not even fiber optics) and scopes are prohoibited. There are strict limitations on the projectile, as well. The trend has been for states to recognize that modern inlines shoot more like rifles than traditional black powder.

    Personally, I would like to see the muzzloading season to be more traditional (cap and ball or flinter) because I believe that was the original intent when the season was created. If hunters want to use modern inlines then they can be used in the regular firearms season.
  14. Where someone draws the line between traditional and modern is probably a little different for everybody. When I hunt with my muzzleloader I shoot real black powder behind pillow ticking and a roundball. I wear wool and leather boots and I hunt from the ground. Other than Indiana's original inhabitants I doubt that many of the first settlers in Indiana wore buckskins. I also believe that by the time Indiana was settled the era of the flint lock was pretty much over and most firearms were using a precussion cap. I am not a historian but I believe that is probably the case. I do have a friend in Indiana who actually moves into a teepee for deer season and keeps it pretty traditional.