The Best Big-Game Calibers | Outdoor Life

The Best Big-Game Calibers

Whitetail

Whitetail

Minimum Caliber
.243 Win., 6mm Rem.

Recommended
.250 Savage, .257 Roberts, .25/06, .260 Rem., .270 Win., 7mm/08 Rem., .280 Rem., .30/30, .308 Win., .30/06, .35 Rem.

Jim's Favorite
.260 Rem.

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Mule Deer

Mule Deer

Minimum Caliber
.250 Savage, .257 Roberts

Recommended
.25/06, .260 Rem., .270 Win., 7mm/08 Rem., .280 Rem., .308 Win., .30/06

Jim's Favorite
.280 Rem.

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Caribou

Caribou

Minimum Caliber
.25/06, .260 Rem., 7mm/08 Rem.

Recommended
.270 Win., .280 Rem., .308 Win., .30/06, any of the 7mm or .300 magnums

Jim's Favorite
7x57 and .280 Rem.

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Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat

Minimum Caliber
.257 Wby. Mag.

Recommended
.270 Win., .280 Rem., .30/06, any of the .270, 7mm or .300 magnums

Jim's Favorite
.270 Win. and .280 Rem.

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Sheep

Sheep

Minimum Caliber
.25/06, .257 Wby. Mag.

Recommended
.270 Win., .280 Rem., .30/06, any of the .270, 7mm or .300 magnums

Jim's Favorite
.280 Rem.

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Elk

Elk

Minimum Caliber
.25/06, .260 Rem., 7mm/08 Rem., .308 Win.

Recommended
.270 Win., .280 Rem., .30/06, any of the 7mm, .300, or .338 magnums, .325 Win., .338 Win. Mag.

Jim's Favorite
.338 Win. Mag.

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Moose

Moose

Minimum Caliber
.270 Win., .280 Rem., .308 Win.

Recommended
.30/06, any of the 7mm, .300 or .338 magnums, .325 Win.

Jim's Favorite
.338 Win. Mag.

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Black Bear

Black Bear

Minimum Caliber
.30/30 Win.

Recommended
.270 Win., .280 Rem., .308 Win., .30/06, .338 Fed., .35 Rem., .444 Marlin, .45/70

Jim's Favorite
.308 Win.

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Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear

Minimum Caliber
.30/06 (with 180-gr. or heavier premium bullets)

Recommended
.300 and .338 magnums, .340 Wby. Mag., .375 H&H; Mag.

Jim's Favorite
.338 Win. Mag. (with .250-gr. bullets)

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Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear

Minimum Caliber
.30/06 (with 180-gr. or heavier premium bullets)

Recommended
.300 and .338 magnums, .340 Wby. Mag., .375 H&H; Mag.

Jim's Favorite
.338 Win. Mag. (with .250-gr. bullets)

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Here are Jim Carmichel's picks for the minimum, recommended and best calibers for ten different big-game species. Are you using enough gun on your hunting trips? Find out.

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