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Thread: NC deer hunting minimum caliber?

  1. #1

    Default NC deer hunting minimum caliber?

    I'm not interested in a debate on merits but I know plenty of the anglers here are hunters too.
    I did have a nice 308 at one time that was meant for deer just not got around to it and sold the gun.
    I was just looking at potential new centerfires and it occurred to me I may not know the regs.
    I always thought it had to be "bigger than .22" like .243 and up. I looked at some forums of varying ages and that really confused me. I looked at the digest and still not sure!
    I should say RIFLE caliber minimum.
    So what is it?


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  2. #2
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    Default NC deer hunting minimum caliber?

    Stu, I don't think North Carolina has any restrictions on rifle caliber for deer. Of course you want enough gun to ensure a clean kill.
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    Default NC deer hunting minimum caliber?

    NC doesn't have any caliber restrictions for rifles. According to state regs you can legally harvest a deer with any caliber rifle to include a .22. Individual counties do have their own regs and you can find those under the local laws section of the NC Wildlife Hunting Regs.
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  4. #4

    Default NC deer hunting minimum caliber?

    I couldn't find that there was one in black and white. Just kinda hard to believe. In my head or because of whatever ive heard over the years I'm thinking .243 and up.
    Some states not only have minimums but require certain bullet types, weights and case lengths and on and on. I couldn't believe ours is that simple and wide open.
    SO many variables/opinions when it comes to calibers. I enjoy talking about that part of it just don't want to start any fussing about it.




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    Default NC deer hunting minimum caliber?

    It is a recent change. The regs used to read any centerfire rifle, but was recently changed to allow rimfire as well.
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    Hey guys if you look in the regs manual on pg 42. for rifles there i for rifles there is no minimum caliber... for pistols the minimum .24 or larger.
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    go with the 243 you wont go wrong
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    Why are you looking at such a small caliber anyways? If you are looking for a caliber with minimal recoil look into .243, 30/30, or .308

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    Default Re: NC deer hunting minimum caliber?

    I say .223 is sufficient for deer. I know folks who use them with no trouble.

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    This could turn into a 10 page thread LOL The main objective no matter the caliber would be to make a nice, clean, and well placed shot on the animal. This is, in my opinion, more important than the caliber of the rifle.
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    The main thing I think to consider is where you will be hunting.
    If you are restricted to brushy areas nothing wrong with slug shotgun or fat caliber rifles.
    If you hunt area's with longer shot potential then whatever your preference.
    I use a 270 but most my shots are under 50 yards.
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    Lots of great options out there. I have a .243, .270 and a 7mm Mag. When I usually head out the door I grab my trusty .243. I've had it about 40 years and harvested loads of deer with it. (Remington 760 pump) I have taken a couple of deer with a .22 rim fire. I was squirrel hunting and a doe walked right up to me. I put a well placed bullet between the eyes and it was DRT. Done a couple like that.
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    Default Re: NC deer hunting minimum caliber?

    I have an old .218 Bee that I have wanted to try out on a deer. Just can't bring myself to try it

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  14. #14

    Default NC deer hunting minimum caliber?

    I think an experienced shooter knows what he can do within a certain degree of error. Aka judgement.
    I'm surprised though that there isn't a limit and that judgement is left to the hunter.
    I will spill the beans- what got me thinking on it is a T/C Encore in .223. Of course part of the attraction is that I can add barrels for practically every caliber out there so that could change. I like single shots and put accuracy over caliber every time. My NEF .17 has almost cut a few squirrels in 1/2.
    So with that gun- the .223- ( and the 4-16 x 50 mil dot on it) I see alot of potential use. Including deer with well placed shot and soft nose.


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    ive used a .17 to drop a beautiful 8 one year at 125 yards with one shot right below the ear
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