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Whitetail Deer

30/06 trajectories

I'm on a deer lease in Florida that already costs enough that my wife would kill me if a I bought a second, smaller-caliber rifle to harvest does. We've got a strict and effective Quality Deer Management, and this year each hunter was required to take four does. Plus, I've owned this gun for years and it is so much like a part of me that I lose confidence when I shoot anything else. The place is mostly cypress swamp, so I use 130-grain slugs in a Model 70 30/06 for bucks. I don't want to lose an animal. You can imagine what those rounds do to does, which I prefer to head shoot. But the rounds absolutely destroy the heads, including the jaw bones, which we must turn in to a biologist. I'd like to carry some 110-grain round, but wonder how much the trajectory will differ between 110-grain slugs and 130-grain slugs? At the range, there doesn't seem to be much difference, but shooting down from a stand, would the light bullets rise more? Most of the shooting is pretty close range.

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from bighunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

as mel gibson says, aim small miss small

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from bighunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

200 all the way!

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from KingDog wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I shot a buck in the head back in October from about 20 yards away. 30.06 180 grain Remington Core-Lokt. Very little damage to the head yet effective. He was shot and wounded by someone on a neighboring piece of property. When I walked up on him he kept trying to get up but couldn't. After much struggling he finally just laid there in the upright position as if to say "I'm ready, go ahead and shoot".

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from paul 6616 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

ive been using 165 gr btsp for years.i shot a buck this year at 420 yards through the lungs and it only ran 20 yards. last year i shot 340yards and the same thing.head shots are a low % shot you shouldnt take them

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from guitarman1978 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

look, bullet placement is paramount. head shot ARE STUPID! the deer's head is the part of the body that moves the most. a responsible, and ethical hunter, will do their best to put whatever slug through the heart. IT IS YOUR RESPONSILITY TO KNOW WHERE YOUR BULLET HITS. my doe this year was a 90 yd through the heart w/ a 165gr lt mg sst. she did not get up. use the appropriate load for the appropriate game. don't ruin good meat. know where your bullet lands... hit'em in the heart. save your meat, and make the humane kill.

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from Lee Miller1978 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I agree with the use of 180 Grain leads on deer sized game and larger but the difference in trajectory at 100 yards is 4-5" higherwhen your grain is changed to a 150 grain lead

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from bighunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

its not a big deal but id go for a vital shot.... heart lungs in that area

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from Kody wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

No shortage of good advice here. Lothar's first comments seemed right on target to me. It is kind of unusual to most of us who shoot whitetail and mule deer with 30 caliber bullets from .308, 30-06 and 300 Win Magnums to find someone using a light 130 gr bullet and considering using a 110 gr. I didn't know that was a common factory load in 30=06. It must be available in your area as it is unlikely you are loading your own. Your loading manual would have steered you away from using these bullets for that purpose. I can see using it on a little blacktail sized deer but other than a Barnes copper bullet I would not expect it to perform well in that weight. Regardless, step up to a 150 or 165 gr load and target one of the bigger killing areas.. not the head. Check out one of the Winchester or Remington catalogs as they are a great free source of info on bullets.

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from bighunter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

ive got to tell you way to go if your shooten in the head thats a much hareder shot that the regular vitals and if your that good of shot just shootum in there vitals

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from Snake69 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

1st, any chng in bullet wt/style will usually = chng in pt of impact. 2nd,I think any 3006 rnd is going to cause hvy dmg to head. I hunt in LA,cypress/hardwood swamp, sloughs,water = hard tracking of wnded deer. Mst of my shots are max 100yds, usually less. (zeroed dead on@100) I take neck shots,less meat dmg & prop. done drops animal in tracks. Longer shots,(pipeline rt of way-max 300yds) just behind shoulder thru ribs. Much depends on level of alert in animal. Alert, stressed deer is HARD to drop in tracks w/rib shot. Devlp your tracking skills and KNOW equip. & shooter limits. We may not all be a Carlos Hathcock BUT we CAN all be ethical hunters. By the way I use Rem .30-06 180gr PSP in T/C Prohunter w/Leup 4.5X14 (trying to be a 1 gun hunter)

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from Aaron1991 wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

personaly i use 150gr. cor-lok in my 30-06 it dont ruin much meat & it puts em down

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from 6phunter wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

After more than 40 years of hunting with the 30.06 i have tried a wide variety of bullet types,even though the 180 to 220 grains will defintietly pute'm down they are not neccesary for taking deer, i've shot the 110 grains in hollow points the expansion is quick but you lose some penetration,the ballistic difference is negligeble for hunting purposes,Herbie 57 is right on target with 165grain, I hope to discourage you from taking head shots on deer ,sooner or later one will suffer when he could have been taken with a behind the shoulder shot, it sounds like to me you want to impress others on youre Q,D,M BY TAKING THOSE SHOTS,respect the game you hunt a sure kill is better than taking a chance of leaving a wounded deer in the woods without a jaw,

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from Ridgerunner N.Ga. wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

whether it be 30.06 or .308 I like winchester ballistic silvertips in 168 gr. Also have had good results with federal fusion in 165 gr. heart/lung/ribs is the way to go if you can get it. I get pass-thru's with an excellent blood trail. the deer is dead on its feet.

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from remingtom3006 wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

I agree a 165 Grain is a good slug to take deer, it is a knock down shot, minimal meat damage, Heart Lung best, A head shot light grain is a definate damage shot. light loads OK for some things but stick with a full load for hunting and practice. Use what you would hunt with at range or checking sights while in deer camp. Works for me.

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from herbie57_57 wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

You must be a pretty good shot to head shoot deer on a consistent basis. I shoot 165 gr bullets through my .30/o6 which is what most of the ballistic charts I've seen say are ideal for the caliber. A good lung shot damages very little meat. I shot a doe in the chest and the round went up through the chest cavity and along the spine and only lost half of one backstrap.

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from Lothar wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

Bowman,

Traditional heart/lung shot right behind the shoulder. I like to poke holes in as many vital organs as possible. I don't like head shots generally. The body offers a larger target area.

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from elkslayer wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

The 30-06 is fine for any sized deer. The best case senario is a behind the shoulder shot. If you just put the bullet throught the ribs you only lose what little meat is between the ribs. I normally hunt deer with a .243 but this year used my new 30-06 which I bought for elk but wanted to try out. I never shoot through the shoulder with either rifle it damages to much shoulder meat. just put it throught the ribs and any caliber will do minimal damage.

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from The Bowman wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

Lothar? Where do you generally like to shoot your deer-sized animals? High or right-behind the shoulder.

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from Lothar wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

First off, I think the destruction you're seeing is caused by light bullets. I too love my 30/06. I have had it for years and have taken Roe Deer, Whitetails, Mulies, and Elk with it. I generally use 180 grain bullets for everything.

Lighter bullets go faster and are made for varmints, not deer-sized animals. They tend to expand easier on animals with lighter skeletal structure. As such, they upset more severely on a deer skull causing more dramatic wound characteristics. A heavier bullet will penetrate a doe skull through-and-through with very little expansion.

As for trajectory, there shouldn't be more than an inch or so of difference stepping up in bullet weight at the range you shoot in a cypress swamp.

My opinion: Try a 150 to 180 grain bullet and see what happens.

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from 6phunter wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

After more than 40 years of hunting with the 30.06 i have tried a wide variety of bullet types,even though the 180 to 220 grains will defintietly pute'm down they are not neccesary for taking deer, i've shot the 110 grains in hollow points the expansion is quick but you lose some penetration,the ballistic difference is negligeble for hunting purposes,Herbie 57 is right on target with 165grain, I hope to discourage you from taking head shots on deer ,sooner or later one will suffer when he could have been taken with a behind the shoulder shot, it sounds like to me you want to impress others on youre Q,D,M BY TAKING THOSE SHOTS,respect the game you hunt a sure kill is better than taking a chance of leaving a wounded deer in the woods without a jaw,

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from Lothar wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

First off, I think the destruction you're seeing is caused by light bullets. I too love my 30/06. I have had it for years and have taken Roe Deer, Whitetails, Mulies, and Elk with it. I generally use 180 grain bullets for everything.

Lighter bullets go faster and are made for varmints, not deer-sized animals. They tend to expand easier on animals with lighter skeletal structure. As such, they upset more severely on a deer skull causing more dramatic wound characteristics. A heavier bullet will penetrate a doe skull through-and-through with very little expansion.

As for trajectory, there shouldn't be more than an inch or so of difference stepping up in bullet weight at the range you shoot in a cypress swamp.

My opinion: Try a 150 to 180 grain bullet and see what happens.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from herbie57_57 wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

You must be a pretty good shot to head shoot deer on a consistent basis. I shoot 165 gr bullets through my .30/o6 which is what most of the ballistic charts I've seen say are ideal for the caliber. A good lung shot damages very little meat. I shot a doe in the chest and the round went up through the chest cavity and along the spine and only lost half of one backstrap.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from remingtom3006 wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

I agree a 165 Grain is a good slug to take deer, it is a knock down shot, minimal meat damage, Heart Lung best, A head shot light grain is a definate damage shot. light loads OK for some things but stick with a full load for hunting and practice. Use what you would hunt with at range or checking sights while in deer camp. Works for me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ridgerunner N.Ga. wrote 5 years 13 weeks ago

whether it be 30.06 or .308 I like winchester ballistic silvertips in 168 gr. Also have had good results with federal fusion in 165 gr. heart/lung/ribs is the way to go if you can get it. I get pass-thru's with an excellent blood trail. the deer is dead on its feet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Aaron1991 wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

personaly i use 150gr. cor-lok in my 30-06 it dont ruin much meat & it puts em down

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Snake69 wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

1st, any chng in bullet wt/style will usually = chng in pt of impact. 2nd,I think any 3006 rnd is going to cause hvy dmg to head. I hunt in LA,cypress/hardwood swamp, sloughs,water = hard tracking of wnded deer. Mst of my shots are max 100yds, usually less. (zeroed dead on@100) I take neck shots,less meat dmg & prop. done drops animal in tracks. Longer shots,(pipeline rt of way-max 300yds) just behind shoulder thru ribs. Much depends on level of alert in animal. Alert, stressed deer is HARD to drop in tracks w/rib shot. Devlp your tracking skills and KNOW equip. & shooter limits. We may not all be a Carlos Hathcock BUT we CAN all be ethical hunters. By the way I use Rem .30-06 180gr PSP in T/C Prohunter w/Leup 4.5X14 (trying to be a 1 gun hunter)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bighunter wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

ive got to tell you way to go if your shooten in the head thats a much hareder shot that the regular vitals and if your that good of shot just shootum in there vitals

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kody wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

No shortage of good advice here. Lothar's first comments seemed right on target to me. It is kind of unusual to most of us who shoot whitetail and mule deer with 30 caliber bullets from .308, 30-06 and 300 Win Magnums to find someone using a light 130 gr bullet and considering using a 110 gr. I didn't know that was a common factory load in 30=06. It must be available in your area as it is unlikely you are loading your own. Your loading manual would have steered you away from using these bullets for that purpose. I can see using it on a little blacktail sized deer but other than a Barnes copper bullet I would not expect it to perform well in that weight. Regardless, step up to a 150 or 165 gr load and target one of the bigger killing areas.. not the head. Check out one of the Winchester or Remington catalogs as they are a great free source of info on bullets.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bighunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

its not a big deal but id go for a vital shot.... heart lungs in that area

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from paul 6616 wrote 4 years 18 weeks ago

ive been using 165 gr btsp for years.i shot a buck this year at 420 yards through the lungs and it only ran 20 yards. last year i shot 340yards and the same thing.head shots are a low % shot you shouldnt take them

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from The Bowman wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

Lothar? Where do you generally like to shoot your deer-sized animals? High or right-behind the shoulder.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

The 30-06 is fine for any sized deer. The best case senario is a behind the shoulder shot. If you just put the bullet throught the ribs you only lose what little meat is between the ribs. I normally hunt deer with a .243 but this year used my new 30-06 which I bought for elk but wanted to try out. I never shoot through the shoulder with either rifle it damages to much shoulder meat. just put it throught the ribs and any caliber will do minimal damage.

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from Lothar wrote 5 years 14 weeks ago

Bowman,

Traditional heart/lung shot right behind the shoulder. I like to poke holes in as many vital organs as possible. I don't like head shots generally. The body offers a larger target area.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lee Miller1978 wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

I agree with the use of 180 Grain leads on deer sized game and larger but the difference in trajectory at 100 yards is 4-5" higherwhen your grain is changed to a 150 grain lead

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from guitarman1978 wrote 4 years 19 weeks ago

look, bullet placement is paramount. head shot ARE STUPID! the deer's head is the part of the body that moves the most. a responsible, and ethical hunter, will do their best to put whatever slug through the heart. IT IS YOUR RESPONSILITY TO KNOW WHERE YOUR BULLET HITS. my doe this year was a 90 yd through the heart w/ a 165gr lt mg sst. she did not get up. use the appropriate load for the appropriate game. don't ruin good meat. know where your bullet lands... hit'em in the heart. save your meat, and make the humane kill.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from KingDog wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

I shot a buck in the head back in October from about 20 yards away. 30.06 180 grain Remington Core-Lokt. Very little damage to the head yet effective. He was shot and wounded by someone on a neighboring piece of property. When I walked up on him he kept trying to get up but couldn't. After much struggling he finally just laid there in the upright position as if to say "I'm ready, go ahead and shoot".

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bighunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

200 all the way!

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from bighunter wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

as mel gibson says, aim small miss small

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