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White Tail Overkill

February 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 145

As I browse through the ammunition section of a well-known big box sporting goods store in Hattiesburg, I take stock of the various rounds available. Besides hundreds of loads for 30.06, 270, and .30-.30, I spy a few that seem out of place for anything in the state. I see several loads for 300 Win Mag, .338 Laupa, 35 Whelen, and even a couple of boxes of 9.3mm Mauser. Scratching my head and rewinding every hunt I have ever been on in the Magnolia State, I ask myself where all these elk, grizzly and moose are that I am missing.

I go to Chip, a friend of mine for years who coincidentally works behind the rifle counter at the store in question.

"Chip?" I say, "What's the deal with all these big game loads? Are they for guys from here who go up to Alaska to hunt?"

He nods "Some of em, but we sell a lot to guys that just hunt locally too."

He went on to regale me with instances he had personally been involved with of mutual friends that hunt with big-bore rifles and never leave the 228 or 601 area codes. I made follow up calls and verified with said mutual friends that they indeed sometimes venture out into the piney woods with such heavy artillery.

Armed with this knowledge, I had to look for myself at the ballistics of this.

Taking a gander at the ballistics charts for various rounds, let us look at the minimum commonly acceptable round used by hunters for white tail: the.223 Remington. This cartridge, says in a 55-grain Ballistic tip, generates 3300 fps of velocity, and gives an impact energy of 1500 ft/pounds. This cartridge is proven able to take down deer as well as large pests such as coyotes, feral hogs, and Taliban.

At what many would consider the top of the ballistics spectrum for common white tail deer rounds is the venerable 30.06 Springfield. This cartridge, for instance in a 180 grain Core-Lokt Soft Point generates 2700 fps and delivers an amazing 2900 ft/pounds of energy. The round was used by the US military for most of the 20the century including in both World Wars and Korea and has taken game on every continent.

So with these two bookends, one could comfortably say that any round that generates between 1500 and 2900 ft/pounds of energy with a bullet between 55-180 grains, is a white tail round. This would include such popular bambi-getters as 243, 270, 280, 30.30, 303, 308, and 7.62x54R, 7mm Rem Mag, and 7mm-08.

Now let us look at some of the big boys people are using alongside them. The belted magnum 300 Win Mag packs much more energy than the 30.06. The 300 Win Mag 200 grain Nosler partition clocks more than 3000 fps and imparts a shattering 4100 ft/pounds of energy at the muzzle. Surely, this will take down anything in Mississippi smaller than a mini-van, but at twice the energy of the capable 243 round, is it overkill?

Now truly elephant-gun sized artillery rounds like.375 H&H and 9.3mm (pushing well over 5000 ft. /pounds) are out of the box when you look at their ballistics. Buying and using this caliber in the state seems akin to shooting at a butterfly with a 10 gauge. Sure, it will work, but let us be sporting.

What is taking the record breakers?

Mississippi's largest white tail deer (by rack) ever harvested was Tony Fulton's 1994 season 295 6/8 point Boone and Crockett (BTR score of 321 7/8 inches) non-typical buck in Winston county. Tony took it at 50-yards with one shot from his 30.06.

Neither Alabama nor Mississippi keeps official records for feral hogs, which are deemed nuisance animals by the state's conservation department. With that being said, a 768-pound monster was taken in Mobile County, just miles from the Mississippi line. The weapon of choice was a 30.06.

Boone and Crockett compiled the data on calibers used from its records book entries from 2007 through 2009. The winner for white tail deer? 270 Winchester took more than any other did. The true kicker is that while 270 took more than any other center fire round, it came in 3rd place overall behind bows and muzzle loaders/shotguns respectively.

This B&C list did include several 300 Win Mag, 338 and some of the other big boys, but all were in the mule deer, Sheep, Moose, and Elk categories.

Just saying.

For more information on white tail deer in Mississippi please visit

Source: EzineArticles
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