I’m choosing to write about what gun is “best” for deer hunting because it’s a fun topic to write about. Let’s just let me talk how I talk and say, “It depends on your purpose.” I’m not a smart person, but I think like a mathematician at time. We need to define and assume that the purpose is to kill the deer not miss the deer, not wound the deer, etc. What other factors do we need to throw out there? Let’s assume this is a Kentucky deer hunt and you’re not hunting out west. Let’s also assume you can afford a typical middle-class gun and you don’t have an unlimited budget that would allow you to purchase a laser guided weapon from a satellite you own orbiting the earth. Let’s just assume this is a straight forward question being asked by deer camp buddies at the campfire!
My wife might ask what her options are for western Kentucky deer hunting. We would offer an array of the following: 243, 273, 30-30, 300 win mag, 30-06, 7mm – So my answer to all of these would be, “Yes. Yes. And yes.” The reality is the best gun to have is the one you have in your hands. The gun you own and the gun that shoots straight. There is no right answer for the best KY deer hunting gun. Kentucky deer hunting tends to require shots averaging 75 yards if I had to guess. The type of modern rifle you use also depends on the size of person you are or how little you flinch when you pull the trigger. 30-30 is a typical old timers gun, a woman’s gun and a kids gun. A 243 is a bit of an oddball caliber along with the 273. The 7mm and 300 winchester magnum are guns that require someone willing to shoot a big gun, but by no means is that much power is needed. 30-06 is the class whitetail hunting deer rifle that would get the most votes for the best gun for deer hunting.
The 6.5 creedmoor was left off the list for a reason, only real shooters care about this gun. It’s cool. It’s most accurate if you’re judging from “God’s” point of view where parts per million factors into your “common sense” thinking. It’s the latest and greatest many would say. It would be interesting to see what outfitters would say and ask them what they have in their arsenal. My hunch is every single one would universally have a 30-06. I have two myself. I don’t match the ammo to the guns. I’ll shoot 1 bullet a year through a 30-06. If it’s within 1 inch of the center, that’s all I shoot. Now I do a lot of testing of what match ammo works the best through my AR 10, 223 bolt and 6.5. Anything above a 1 inch MOA is unacceptable when it comes to my target shooting standards. Accurate shooting ultimately will come down to how much money you have when you start expecting the ½ MOA results. This level of shooting is simply not needing on a typical Kentucky trophy deer hunt.