Here are the Favorite Deer Guns of Outdoor Pros, Part 1
Bob McNally 11.02.15
If you want to upgrade your deer hunting rifle, do it now. Sporting good stores throughout the nation are offering great discount prices on hunting gear (check their newspaper ads), because whitetail hunting is underway.
While almost any modern center-fire rifle can be used to collect deer, there are certain rifle-caliber-scope set-ups that get the job done with remarkable efficiency.
The following well-known sportsmen have learned from long experience what works best on whitetails, and each of them owns a number of different high-power guns. Yet each has his special, favorite deer rifle chosen for specific reasons. Here are their current picks for gun, caliber, ammunition, and scope.
Kevin Van Dam, Top Bass Tournament Winner, avid and long-experienced Michigan deer hunter
Firearm: Remington Alaskan Wilderness Rifle
Caliber: 7mm Ultra Mag
Ammunition: Remington 150GR “Swift Scirrocco”
Scope: Swarovski 2.5x10x50mm
Special Tweaking: He had a gunsmith work the trigger to 2.75 pounds of pull, with no creep.
Comments: “Some guys like to have different guns for different hunts, but I have much confidence in having one gun to hunt whitetails everywhere. I hunt in South Texas where 300 yards is not a long shot and this gun and load will shoot 3-inch groups at that distance. I like this set up because I can carry it all day in rough terrain; take it anywhere and know I can count on it no matter how cold or how big the deer are; get on a running deer at close range or shoot a deer down a long sendero. I have a shooting range that I can practice different field positions out to 400 yards. Practice shooting gives me the confidence in this gun.”
Larry Weishuhn, World of Whitetail TV host, deer biologist
Firearm: Thompson/Center Encore Pistol, 15-inch barrel
Caliber: .308 Winchester
Ammunition: Winchester 168-grain Ballistic SilverTip
Scope: Nikon Encore 2.5-8X 28 EER M BDC
Special Tweaking: Weishuhn uses a factory gun, just as it was bought across the counter. He employs BOG Gear Red Legged Devil shooting sticks, which helps pistol accuracy.
Comments: “One of the best pistol bucks I’ve taken I hunted for three years on a ranch about 20 miles from my home. I was sitting on the ground next to a tall mesquite tree. He appeared at 175 yards, walked almost across a 20-yard wide open area, then stopped right long enough for me to take him. He dropped in his tracks.”
Bill Jordan, RealTree television co-host
Firearm: Thompson/Center “Encore”
Caliber: Federal .280
Ammunition: 140-grain, Nosler Partician Bullet
Special Tweaking: Muzzle porting and three pounds of trigger pull for a crisp, quick fire when on target.
Comments: “I like consistency. I eat at the same restaurants, eat the same food, and use the same .280 I’ve shot for years, because it works on everything in North America except maybe big bears. It’s a great deer caliber, for giant Canada whitetails to smaller body deer in the Deep South.”
Jackie Bushman, BuckMasters TV
Rifle: Remington 700 BDL
Caliber: .300 Winchester Magnum
Ammunition: Federal Premium Trophy Tip 180-grain
Scope: Nikon/Buckmasters 4×12
Special Tweaking: Bushman likes a 3-pound trigger squeeze, and his rifle has muzzle-porting for reduced recoil.
Comments: “I started with a .270, which took care of all my needs while hunting in most of the South. I switched to a 7mm when I began hunting out West and had longer shots. But my all-time favorite is the .300 Magnum, because it provides everything I need wherever I hunt.”