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Hunting

Best Well Rounded Rifle Calibers for Survivalist

Hunting after SHTF teotwawki

What are some of the best rifle calibers for survivalist? These calibers should be able to fit a range of needs, including hunting wild game in a given area.

There is an old saying I sometimes like to quote, “Always use enough gun.” Because of that, smaller calibers such as the 223/5.56mm, 6mm, and the 243 Winchester should be excluded from the list.

Can small calibers take deer sized game? Sure they can. The question is how humane are they to use?

For my area here in Southeast Texas, the most common calibers are:

  1. 30-30 Winchester
  2. 308 Winchester
  3. 270 Winchester
  4. 30-06 Springfield

Available game are hogs and whitetail deer. Longest shot is going to be around 125 yards. If you are on a pipeline or highline, shots might get out to the 200 yard mark. The rolling hills and thick timber stop the shots from being too long.

Question To The Community

Deer Season Daypack Loadout

Wilderness survival kit

Deer season is here, instead of grabbing a pack, throwing some random gear in and heading out to the woods, lets take a look at some items that should be considered. The way I look at it, your pack needs to contain everything you need to track a wounded deer, find your way back back to the truck after dark or spend an unexpected night in the woods.

Basic Daypack

This could be anything from a school book bag, to a good quality pack like a Maxpedition Sitka or Maxpedition Noatak. You need something that is not going to tear apart when your tracking a deer as the last bit of the sunlight fades away. For my current load out I am using the Maxpedition Noatak.

TOPO Map

When possible, I like to have a TOPO map of the area. A GPS is nice, but electronics can fail, batteries can go dead,,,, a physical map is difficult to beat.

But, in order for everything to come together, you have to know how to use a map, GPS and compass. Having a TOPO map in one hand and a compass in the other hand does not do any good if you do not know how to use them.

Stockpiling Firearms For SHTF

Whitetail deer taken with a bolt action 270 Winchester

How many people have more then firearm per caliber? What is the point of stockpiling ammo, and then have one rifle that could break? Sure people have spare parts, but spare parts do not help your buddies hunt with you.

Part of my plans call for a worse case situation, meaning I have friends or family members show up at my front door with nothing but clothes. The food starts to run out, so we head to the camp to plant a garden and do some hunting.

What firearms do you have that you can hand to a friend or family member and say “here ya go”? Its easy to pick up a spare 22 rifle from time to time, but its another thing to have 2 or 3 rifles in 308 or 30-30.

In my opinion, a well rounded plan should include the ability to provide assistance to other members of your group. Shooting ability, size of the game, shooting experience,,,, should all be considered.

Hunting after SHTF

In my eyes, hunting after some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event will be divided into 2 categories – large/medium and small game.

Depending on where you live, that will define what caliber and types of ammo you need. Someone living in Alaska will probably need a different caliber then someone in the south hunting thin skinned whitetail deer. But regardless of where you live, small game is small game. The difference between a Georgia squirrel and a Colorado squirrel is not going to be very much.

Misconceptions in deer hunting

One of the comments posted to my video about setting up a deer blind kinda struck me. The comment went something like setting up a deer blind was along the lines of deer camping and that I might as well be shooting deer on a deer farm.

I am going to guess that the person posting the comments has never had the opportunity to watch deer in its natural state?

It seems to me that people think deer hunting is easy, that you can sneak up on a deer, and you will have meat on the table. That is about as far from the truth as you can get.

If deer can stay away from natural predators, how does a city slicker think they can walk into the woods and find a deer?

Ground blind for deer hunting

Ground blind for deer huntingA few weeks ago I bought a bone collector dog house blind from the local china-mart. This past saturday 2 of my sons and I went out to the lease, did some scouting and setup the blind. Rifle season here in Texas starts in 2 weeks. I am getting a late start on the season, but oh well, you do what you have to do.

We followed a creek until we found an oak tree that had a bunch of acorns on the ground and some rubs.

From the oak tree we moved to the north maybe 35 yards and setup the blind on the edge of some underbrush. There is a thicket with a lot of underbrush that opens up to the creek bottom and a pine tree clearing. The blind is setup on the edge.

Related forum section – Hunting Forum

The spot for the blind was picked for 3 reasons:

Water – Texas has been under a terrible drought, probably the worst drought in 50 years. Due to the drought a lot of creeks have dried up, that is why I paid special attention to water.

Food – Due to the drought, a lot of oak trees are stressed and seem to be dropping immature acorns. I was looking for an oak tree close to the creek that was dropping mature acorns. The acorns should attract squirrels, hogs and deer.

Deer sign – with several rubs in the area, I know there is a buck moving around. I did not find any scraps, so rubs will have to do.

Picking a SHTF Survival Rifle Caliber

22 Long Rifle For SHTF

There is a thread in the forum asking whether the 7mm or 8mm would make a good caliber for a survival rifle. When you walk into a pawn shop and you see a bunch of a certain type of firearms, that is usually not a good sign. If people like a product, they tend to hang onto it.

22 Long Rifle

The 22 long rifle should not need an introduction. The ammunition can be fired in rifles and pistols, firearms are not expensive and they have a long life expectancy. With the low recoil of the 22, parts last long then a full sized rifle caliber.

The low cost of the 22 ammunition makes it attractive to survivalist who want to stockpile thousands or tens of thousands of rounds.

The 22long rifle is effective on small game and does not do a lot of damage to the meat. When you use a 12 gauge on a squirrel, you might have to pick out a bunch of BBs. If you take a squirrel with a 22 short, you have 1 bullet hole.

A couple of my favorite rifles in 22 long rifle include the Marlin Model 60 and the Ruger 10/22. My Ruger 10/22 was bought in January of 1986 and is still going strong.

223 Remington / 5.56mm

Hunting season check list

Deer hunting DS Arms SA58 FN/FALRifle season here in Southeast Texas starts in about 2 1/2 months. As opening day inches ever closer, its time to start thinking about getting ready for the big day.

Check out the deer camp and make sure no vandals have tore anything up during the off season. Sometimes people will go to the camp and mess with stuff. One year a couple of sets of antlers were stolen, another year a shed was broke into and a chainsaw was stolen.

Scout the area where you want to hunt. With the drought this year, any place there is a waterhole will probably be a good location. There is a creek on the lease that almost always has water in it. I am thinking about setting up a ground blind on a hill that overlooks part of that creek. With the drought in its current state, I suspect anything that lives in the woods will be gathering around creeks that have water.

Oak trees – I am wondering how the drought is going to affect this years acorn crop. The oak tree in my front yard is loaded with small acorns, but they are dropping before they are mature. Its like the oak tree is stressed under the current drought.

Thinking about the 2011 – 2012 hunting season

east texas whitetail deerWe are on the final 3 month countdown to the start of hunting season here in Texas. Bow season starts in October, and rifle season starts the first weekend in November. How is the season going to turn out? I have no idea.

My new rifle, a DS Arms SA58 FN/FAL needs a scope. Even though the shots are only about 75 – 100 yards, in the late evening light the sights seem to just fade away. I thought about getting some tritium sights, but for the price of the tritium sights I could get a scope. If the price between the new sights and a scope is “about” the same, why not get a scope. Before I could mount a scope on my FN/FAL, first I had to install a new scope mount, which worked out well.

Hunting season is my favorite time of year, the weather turns off cool, we get a break from the Texas heat, bugs go away, leaves on the trees turn colors and fall to the ground.

There is just something about winter time that can not be described, the quiet and peacefulness of the woods and the wind blowing through the trees. Summer is nice, but I think winter has a certain beauty about it that summer can not touch.

Only 3 months until hunting season

Only 3 more months until rifle season starts – August, September and October. Rifle season in my part of Texas starts at sunrise on the first Saturday of November.

Hunting season is my favorite time of year. Not because I get to go out to the woods and shoot something, but because I get to be in nature without burning up with this Texas heat. The weather turns off cool, the deer start moving, the bugs slack up on their blood sucking. Being outside in December is much more enjoyable then being outside in July or August.

Another thing that I enjoy about hunting season is being outside with my kids. When we are walking to the deer stand, or even sitting in the stand, the wind will start blowing, the birds are flying around looking for something to eat. The sun starts to set, the sky turns beautiful colors, the leaves on the trees are a golden color and as the setting sun streaks through the clouds, its a beauty beyond description.

Best 30 Caliber SHTF Survival Rifle

.30 caliber survival rifle

If you were going to pick a .30 caliber rifle for a SHTF survival rifle, which one would it be? The contestants are: 7.62×39, 30-30, 308 and the 30-06. Lets take a look at each of those calibers, and what rifles their currently available in.

For the sake of discussion, the 30-06 is the largest caliber that will listed in this article.

7.62X39 For SHTF

The 7.62×39 was made famous by the AK-47 and SKS, developed in 1943, has seen service in major conflicts all over the world, available in civilian rifles such as the Ruger Mini-30 and various bolt action rifles.

  • Bullet weight: 110 – 155 grain
  • Muzzle velocity: 1,900 – 2,100 fps, depending on load
  • Effective range: around 350 meters
  • Availability: Plenty

There are at least 3 things that makes the 7.62X39 a good choice as a survival rifle – 1. Availability of ammunition, 2. Availability of rifles, 3. Low recoil.

Good Deer Rifle for Teenage Girl

white tail deer and atv

My daughter is about ready for her first deer rifle, but I’am not quite sure which direction I should go. All of my other kids have a Marlin 336 in 30-30. For here in East Texas most of our shots are no more then 100 yards, and she will not want anything with recoil. With these east Texas deer, we are talking maybe 125 – 150 pounds.

I would like to stay away from calibers like the 270, 280 and the 30-06, they have too much recoil. On the flip side the coin, I don’t care for shooting deer with the 6mm or 243 either. The smallest diameter caliber I would go with would maybe the 257 Roberts.

Ruger Mini-30 in 7.62X39

The Ruger mini-30 is a semi-auto, 30 caliber bullet and effective out to our average range of 100 yards.

Stockpiling SHTF Survival Rifle Ammunition

Whitetail deer taken with a 270 Winchester bolt action rifle

It was the last weekend of regular deer season, Saturday night. A long time member of the deer lease drives up to the camp, and backs his truck up to the scales. That is usually a sure sign that there is a deer in the back of the truck. They get the doe weighed and are stringing it up to skin when I walk out there.

As the skinning of the deer proceeds, there are a few of us standing around helping and watching. The topic turns to the cost of ammunition and bullet performance.

Like a lot of hunters, I tend to buy the cheapest ammo on the shelf – and that is usually Remington Core-Lokt. Over the past 14,,,, 15+ years Core-Lokt is about all that I have bought and shot deer with. During that time I have had no complaints. There is usually a hole going in and a larger hole going out.

The guy who shot the doe goes on to talk about Remington Core-Lokt and how he has since switched to Winchester softpoints. The rifle the guy used was a 270,,,, I do not remember the exact make or model. After talking for a little while, the person who shot the whitetail deer said that he has not been happy with the performance of the Remington Core-Lokt lately and that he felt it may not be expanding like it should. So he switched to the Winchester softpoints.

Those Late Season Whitetail Bucks

East Texas Whitetail Does

Season drawing to an end? Have not taken a deer yet? If you play your cards right, there is no reason not to get a deer towards the end of deer season.

Here in Texas regular rifle season has passed and we are now in muzzleloader and youth season. Youth season is for anyone age 16 and under to be able to hunt deer. Adults have to use a muzzleloader, anyone 16 and under can use any legal means – bow, rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader.

Up until this year, muzzleloader season and youth season lasted for 1 week. In 2011 Texas Parks and Wildlife extended the season to 2 weeks. Next year be sure to check the hunting regulations, because they seem to change every year.

One thing that is really nice about late season hunting, the bucks tend to flock together. The rut is over and the does have been bred. While humans might have a bar-b-que to socialize, bucks look to find food. During the rut the bucks have expended a lot of energy and lot a lot of weight. Now its time to eat and put some weight back on before the heart of winter arrives.

While the does were in estrus, the bucks were chasing them hot and heavy. This means that the doe did not have a lot of time to eat, because they were too busy either trying to get bred, or trying not to get bred.

My Remington Model 700 is back

Remington 700 BDL

A couple of years ago my Remington model 700 started shooting funny. 1 round would hit to the right, the next round would then hit straight up from zero – both rounds would be around 18 – 24 inches from zero. At first I thought it was the scope – so I replaced the scope and the problem was still there. I tried different types of ammo, and the problem was still there.

One day I noticed that stock had warped and was touching the barrel. When the rifle was new the barrel was floated, so that you could slide a dollar bill between the stock and the barrel. But now, the dollar would not slide under the stock at all.

Fast forward about two years – and during that time I have not taken a single deer. A buddy of mine is over at my house, who just happens to work on firearms. I tell him about my rifles problems – and he tells he that he has a spare stock and a spare target trigger. So my buddy takes my rifle with him.

A couple of weeks later I get my rifle back, but it needs to be sighted in before its used for hunting. This past weekend I take the rifle to the camp and fire off a couple of rounds – and its hitting dead center just like it was years ago.

This morning I took my Remington model 700 in 7mm express / 280 out on a hunting trip. It was not until I held that rifle again, that I realized how much I missed that rifle and how well it shoots.

My Remington 700 BDL Mountain rifle is 16 years old. In the past 16 years I have taken more East Texas whitetail deer then I can count. The first deer was a small 4 point sometime around 1994 or 1995. The next few were some spikes and does in the following years. In 2000 I went through a rather nasty divorce and did not do much of anything for a few years.

Stockpiling Ammunition For a Long Term Survival Situation

Stockpiling food and ammunition for long term SHTF situation

Last week my buddy and I were talking about stockpiling ammo for a survival situation – this is when something happens to cause society to break down. Examples are civil unrest, some new disease, climate change,,,,,, something that causes the fabric of mankind to unravel. In general we talked about stockpiling 308, 223, 7.62×39, 22 long rifle and shotgun shells.

My buddy stockpiles 2 different types of ammo for his 308 rifle – ball and hunting ammo.

Ball ammo – is your target round and urban defense round. When my buddy goes to the shooting range, he will shoot ball and most of his magazines are loaded with ball ammo. The plus side of ball ammo, its cheap when compared to the more expensive hunting ammo.

Hunting ammo – this is the ammo your going to be using to hunt deer, moose, elk, wild hogs,,,,, whatever goes in your neck of the woods. Currently my buddy stocks some kind of expensive Hornady ammo that cost something like $35 – $40 for a box of 20.

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