Bill Jordan, RealTree television co-host Firearm: Thompson/Center Encore Caliber: Federal .280 Ammunition: 140-grain, Nosler Partician Bullet Scope: Nikon Special Tweaks: 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 the big bears. It's a great deer caliber for giant Canada whitetails to smaller body deer in the Deep South.". Outdoor Life Online Editor
Dick Kirby, Quaker Boy Game Calls Rifle: Remington 700 Caliber: 7mm Magnum Ammunition: Federal Fusion, 150 grain. Scope: Nikon Monarch 2.5x10x50 Special Tweaks: “My rifle has been customized for accuracy by the great Kenny Jarret, which includes a stainless steel barrel, synthetic stock, glass bedding, a very light trigger pull and a muzzle brake for light recoil.” Comments: “This is an outstanding long-range rifle that hits dead on at 200 yards, and only 4 inches high at 100 yards. Deer are anchored when hit.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
Babe Winkelman, Outdoor Secrets TV host Rifle: Browning A-Bolt Caliber: .300 WSM Ammunition: Winchester 150-grain Ballistic Silvertip Scope: Nikon with BDC reticle Special Tweaks: “I use a Simms barrel de-resonator that helps reduce recoil, and allows a quick, accurate follow-up shot if needed.” Comments: “This short magnum caliber has light recoil, but only drops 2 inches at 200 yards when sighted at 100 yards. Too many hunters overlook the importance of a high-quality rifle sling. It makes carrying a rifle all day, easy, and when used to “wrap” around your arms and elbows, long shots are simple to make because you’re rock-steady.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
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 Tweaks: “I like a 3-pound trigger squeeze, and my rifle has muzzle porting for reduced recoil.” Comments: “I started with a .270, which took care of all my needs while hunting in my home state of Alabama. I switched to a 7mm we began hunting out West and had longer shots. But my all-time favorite is the .300 Magnum, because it provides everything I need.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
Jimmy Primos, Primos Game Calls, The Truth television Firearm: Thompson/Center “Pro Hunter,” Thumb Hole stock Caliber: .280 Ammunition: Winchester 140-grain Accubond bullet Scope: Nikon 2.5x10x50, with BDC Reticle Special Tweaks: “I love my thumbhole stock because I can really get rock steady with it for long-range shooting.” Comments: “The .280 is an outstanding cartridge for long-range whitetail hunting, that has terrific knock-down power way out there. I use factory ammunition, and make sure I use the same lot of hunting cartridges I practice with at the range, which makes a big difference when trying a long shot at a heavy-racked buck.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
Dan Moultrie, Moultrie Game Feeders Firearm: Weatherby Vanguard Caliber: .270 Weatherby Magnum Ammunition: 150-grain pointed soft point. Scope: Swarovski 2.5×10, 30mm tube and a 42mm objective end (best for light gathering ability), heavy duplex crosshairs, EAW rings and mounts. “The heavy duplex crosshairs are excellent for low-light, long-range shooting in Texas and on green fields of the South. This scope is set low to the rifle, to keep the shooter’s cheek tight to the stock for accurate shooting.” Special Tweaks: “Sling is important, it’s a heavy gun, and a quality sling is vital so it doesn’t cut into your shoulder.” Comments: “I’ve seen a zillion deer killed, many by my 30.06 in a Browning semi-auto (BAR). But most of my buck hunting is now done at long range. I went to the .270 for this reason, liked it, then heard about the Weatherby .270 as a flatter-shooting and harder-hitting round– which it is. I wanted a little slower bullet with more wallop, so I went to a 150-grain model, which for me is an ideal combination.” “When it hits a buck, it’s down for good, and this rifle can really reach out and touch ’em– a real AT&T; gun. In Alabama, I’ve tested this a lot, since we can take a deer a day. I¿ve made a number of 400-yard deer shots, and out West I anchored an animal at a measured 575 yards with this rifle.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
Stacer Helton, Skinners Guide Service, Sandersville, Georgia Firearm: Custom-built gun by Dale Story in Wyoming, on a Remington Model 700 bolt action Caliber: 7mm STW Ammunition: Hand-loaded 140-grain Ballistic Tip bullets, muzzle velocity of 3560 feet per second. Scope: Zeiss 3×9, Z-plex crosshairs Special Tweaks: Adjusted to 2.5-pound trigger squeeze Comments: “I’ve tried them all for whitetails, and I don’t think there’s a better deer caliber available than the 7mm STW. It’s incredible for long-range shooting, unbelievably accurate. I have it sighted to hit 2 inches high at 100 yards, and at 400 yards I just settle the crosshairs along the back line above the kill zone.” “Ballistically, the 7mm STW is awesome. Often the animal’s entire chest area has contusions from damage inflicted by the 140-grain Ballistic Tip as it passes through. Frequently the bullet does not exit a deer, thus expending all energy inside the animal, to make for a quick, clean, humane kill– even at ranges well beyond 200 yards.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
Tom Matthews is on the right Tom Matthews, Avery Outdoors, Memphis, Tenn. Firearm: Remington Model 700, bolt action Caliber: 300 Winchester Magnum Ammunition: 180-grain Winchester Partisan Gold Scope: Leupold 4.5×14, 50mm standard crosshairs. Special Tweaks: Barrel glassed, because of greatly varying temperatures, especially in Canada. Custom muzzle-brake by Phil Colley for a quick, accurate second shot if necessary. Lightened trigger squeeze, but not a hair trigger. Comments: “This is my Canada deer rifle. Those are huge bucks, at long range, and I want the very best, something I’m confident with. I know I can take any deer within 300 yards with this rifle. Confidence is what it’s all about. That meant a lot when I dumped a 275-pound Saskatchewan buck whose rack grossed 177 2/8-inches. That buck hit the ground like a piano fell on his back.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
David Blanton, RealTree Television co-host Firearm: Thompson/Center “Pro Hunter” Muzzleloader Caliber: .50 caliber Ammunition: 150 Grains of Pyrodex pellets, 250 grain bullet Scope: Nikon Omega with BDC reticle Special Tweaks: Ported barrel which reduces recoil and cools barrel; a light trigger pull of about three pounds; and a good sling that helps in carrying the gun and also in accurate shooting. Comments: “I like the special challenge of muzzleloading, and because for most of our television footage we try to get very close to deer for shooting, it makes sense. I also like the separate seasons offered for muzzleloaders, and the increased opportunity that it allows me. Muzzleloading also has constant innovation taking place, and I change things regularly with my gun and set-up. Right now the .50 with 250-grain bullet has remarkable whitetail knock-down power.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
Ernie Calandrelli, Quaker Boy Game Calls Rifle: Remington Model 760 pump Caliber: 30.06 Ammunition: 165-grain Federal Premium Scope: 3×9 Redfield Widefield scope, duplex crosshairs, Weaver Mounts Special Tweaks: “It’s a stock rifle that I’ve had for more than 20 years (bought scope from a pawn shop in Alabama). Also have a Butler Creek neoprene sling so it doesn’t slip, and the Butler Creek “Bikini Scope covers” to keep rain, dirt and leaves out of the optics.” Comments: “I’m a Northeast hunter, so I like fast-handling carbine-style rifles that handle well in the brush where most of our whitetails are found. My carbine also has a detachable magazine, which makes loading and unloading quick and safe, and I can easily carry an extra cartridge magazine during a drive. The gun is extremely accurate out to 200 yards and more. I’ve used it in Canada, Texas, all over the country, and it’s served me well.” Outdoor Life Online Editor
Will Primos, The Truth TV show, Primos Game Calls Rifle: Thompson Center Icon Caliber: 30TC Ammunition: Hornady 150 grain “Super Shock Tip” Scope: Nikon 3x9x40 with BDC reticle Special Tweaks: None Comments: “I love the BDC because it takes all the guesswork out of range estimation. I hunt almost exclusively with a bow, but for herd control I take a lot of deer with a gun, and this relatively new caliber is awesome.” Outdoor Life Online Editor

Here’s what some of the most successful deer hunters in America are armed with this season. By Bob McNally.