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How to Pick the Best Rifle for Deer Hunting

Learn how to pick the best rifle for deer hunting from big game hunter "Killer Keith" McDonald in this Howcast hunting video.


Hello I am Keith McDonald, nick name Killer Keith and hunting my whole life, 45-50 years, deer hunting, bear hunting, moose hunting, turkey hunting, you name it, I have hunted it. I am a licensed Maine guide. I've hunted in Alaska. I've hunted in Canada. I've hunted in Newfoundland. I've been everywhere, everywhere I've hunted. Well, a couple things you've gotta think about is, what caliber you want. That's one of the biggest things. If I'm gonna go deer hunting, what caliber? You don't wanna do it with a 22. 22 isn't enough for deer. You may not wanna go with a 338 Magnum. Just say, for instance, you pick a 30 odd 6. a 30 odd 6 is probably the standard caliber for deer hunting or big game hunting in Maine, if not in the United States. It's the caliber of a rifle that uses a benchmark. Meaning, they'll come out with a new caliber, and they'll say, okay, well, how does that shoot? Oh, it's a great, great new caliber. Well, how does it compare to the 30 odd 6? They use that as a comparison, because it's that good. Now, I use a 308. The bullet, itself is the same size as a 30 odd 6. But it's a smaller brass case, so it's a little less firepower there. Slightly less recoil. Less energy, slightly, and trajectory of the bullets, not quite as flat. But what I'm talking, an inch less at 300 yards. I mean, it's not enough to matter. So I like the 308. It's a shorter shell, less recoil. So I picked the 308. So you pick the cartridge that you wanna use. The next step is picking the action. Do you want a bolt action? Do you want a semi-automatic? A lever action, pump action? Different actions out there. To be absolutely honest, I think bolt action is the most popular. When you're using the semi-automatic, and you pull the trigger, and then, instantly, the gun's ready to shoot again. And you spin around, and point it at your buddy, and say, this is a big buck. Did you see that deer? Not a real good thing. Whereas a bolt takes a physical effort to work the next shell in, once you pull the trigger, the gun can't shoot again. You gotta work the bolt. And so, there's some thought that that might be a better way. It slows people down. A lot of people get too nervous, too excited, and can't handle the automatic. So, the bolt action's a good way to go. And when you buy a bolt action rifle, or any rifle, if you take care of it, it's gonna last you a lifetime. So what I tell people is, buy the best you can afford. Don't buy the cheapest gun out there. Buy a good quality gun, 'cause it'll last you a lifetime.

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