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I heard from gun store guys that it is now illegal to hunt a deer with 223, is this true? I just read the big game hunting guide for 09 from Utah Wild Life people and all it said was that the ammunition needs to be a centerfire and expanding. Doesn't that mean that I can still use 223 expanding ammo to take a deer?
 

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Aedrick said:
I just read the big game hunting guide for 09 from Utah Wild Life people and all it said was that the ammunition needs to be a centerfire and expanding.
Those are the requirements. .223 is centerfire, so if you're using expanding bullets, you're legal.

Personally, I'd prefer something a little larger, but with good shot placement a .223 will take down a deer just fine.
 

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Some people see the minimum handgun caliber listed in the proclamation and confuse it for an outright minimum caliber... then those people always seem to infect others with their confusion... :fever:
 

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Obviously none of you have seen the latest in wildlife torso armor. 5.56 is what's needed now, with steel core ammo to get through the armor plate being sold to these deer! :ROFL:
 

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I hunted with a .223 once, never got to shoot at a deer with it. I usually hunt with my .338 win mag. :D I have known a lot of people that have shot deer with the .22-250! So if it has been done with a .22-250, why not then a .223, I like bigger calibers, but I guy I know that has lived up in Alaska said there are some eskimos in the northe that kill Polar Bears with the .223! Usually in a mini 14! He said that it is all shot placement, they get in close and head shoot them. :ack:
 

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Holly Cow! Get in close and head shoot a Polar Bear? Count me out! I would want a frieght train of a gun with a big scope on it so I could stay along way away from that sucker.
Many years ago I shot a deer with a 223 (70 grain bullet). My brother armed with a 30-30, shot at the same time. It went down with two holes in it, but we couldn't decide which wound was caused by the 223 or the 30-30. If you go that route, good shot placement is a must.

Scallywag
 

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In his book Death in the Dark Continent Capstick talkes about game control in some of the animal preserves. He would be required to harvest so many impalas a day as part of his job. He would do it with a 22mag put right behind the ear. Dropped them every time he put it where it counts. This coming from a guy that always had his 375H&H next to him when possible. I for one know that I am not able to "put it where it counts" when it counts. That is why I use a 300 winmag. That way I can put it where it almost counts.
 

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In Utah the regulations state:

R657-5-8. Prohibited Weapons
(1) A person may not use any weapon or device to take big game other than those expressly permitted in this rule.
(2) A person may not use:
(a) a firearm capable of being fired fully automatic; or
(b) any light enhancement device or aiming device that casts a beam of light.

R657-5-9. Rifles and Shotguns
(1) The following rifles and shotguns may be used to take big game:
(a) any rifle firing centerfire cartridges and expanding bullets; and
(b) a shotgun, 20 gauge or larger, firing only 00 or larger buckshot or slug ammunition.

R657-5-10. Handguns
(1) A handgun may be used to take deer and pronghorn, provided the handgun is a minimum of .24 caliber, fires a centerfire cartridge with an expanding bullet and develops 500 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
(2) A handgun may be used to take elk, moose, bison, bighorn sheep, and Rocky Mountain goat provided the handgun is a minimum of .24 caliber, fires a centerfire cartridge with an expanding bullet and develops 500 foot-pounds of energy at 100 yards.
Now what to ask yourself is how effective and how humane the kill will be. It's been said that even a little old .22LR will kill most anything if the shot placement is correct. I cannot guarantee that my shot placement is going to be perfect unless I'm near point blank. For that reason I would use "enough" gun and bullet to get the job done as quickly and humanely as possible even when the shot placement is less than perfect. High velocity, deep penetrating, hollow-points will help make up the difference when your shot is not right on the money. Personally I wouldn't use a .22LF round on anything larger than a jack rabbit and even then I would have to be 50 yards or less. I've killed many skunks, rats, gophers, badgers, etc. at my uncle's farm with a .22LF pump as a kid (prepare to run if you just wound the badger). I want my bullet to be near 2000 fps when it comes in contact with a larger animal to take advantage of the cavitation effect. You also have to add in the weight of the bullet for the penetration factor. My ultra-fast 4000 fps .22-250 will drop a coyote or smaller animal just fine but the 55 grains which I use probably wouldn't penetrate enough and create enough damage to drop an elk or deer humanely. A .223 is fast but not very heavy. Something like a 80 gr. .243 or larger would be needed to do that and even it's on the low end in my opinion. A .308 or larger is even better.

Yes, a .223 will "kill" a deer but it won't be as quick and humane as something more powerful. Deer move so fast after being hit that I doubt you would get a second or third shot to hit it even with a semi-auto .223. The distance between hit and drop is going to be a long walk with a .223 IMO.

Happy New Years and be careful out there.
 

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I would hunt with .375 Chey-tac if it wasn't too heavy! :lol2:

I am all about using enough gun, but you CAN hunt with a .223, doesn't mean that people SHOULD. :wink:
 

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knayrb said:
Deer move so fast after being hit that I doubt you would get a second or third shot to hit it even with a semi-auto .223. The distance between hit and drop is going to be a long walk with a .223 IMO.
Which brings up the biggest issue with hunting with "light" calibers for the game: Not only will a deer move fast, and a great distance, small holes generally mean little external bleeding. That means not much blood trail to follow, which means that you may well lose the trail before you get to the end of the long walk.

Put that .223 right through the lungs or, even better, the heart, and it won't matter. Lung shots will give you lots of frothy pink blood to follow, and heart shots will stop the animal almost in its tracks. Braincase or spinal cord shots will obviously drop the animal in its tracks with any legal caliber. But put the .223 through large muscles or through the gut and you're going to get a long, slow death with little bleeding (on the plus side, if you DO find the animal, you won't ruin nearly as much meat with a .223 haunch shot as with, say, a .30-06). Hit a large bone with an 80 grain bullet and it may just lodge there, where a 150-grain bullet at good velocity (2000+ fps) will shatter a shoulder, hip, etc. That may not kill the animal quickly, but it will STOP it, allowing you to finish it humanely with a head shot.

And if you're going after elk, with their much more massive bodies, you need an even better stopper.

I would not recommend hunting mule deer with a .223. It's legal, it'll kill them, but a heavier cartridge will do a better job.
 

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I have had a 222 Rem for many moons. I have shot many a deer and one elk with it . Most were one shot kills. Most were brain shots. The only deer that got away was a lung shot. I followed a frothy blood trail for 1/2 mile and then lost it. I know I killed that deer too, but it irks me I couldn't find it. After that I never took another body shot with the 222.

The 222 and the 223 shoot the same bullet at comparible velocities. They are definitely light for big game.
Also, those small bullets lose steam quickly after 200 yards. I sure wouldn't recommend taking any 300 yard shots with a 222 or 223.

If you have the discipline and the skill to make brain shots, go for it. Otherwise I recommend a 30-06 for deer. The problem is that the light bullets travelling at around 3000 FPS expand and self destruct very quickly when they hit flesh. If you hit a deer in the front shoulder, all you will do is give it a bad limp. Yes, it will probably die a painful death, but it will run away.
If you have a quartering shot and put the little pill into the heart without hitting the shoulder, that would be effective, but if you can place a shot that good, you may as well shoot at the head.

Yes, they are legal, but probably not a good choice for deer. Excellent for small game and varmints.
 
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