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Q:
how far should i take a mule deer on a 30-06

Question by dakohta14. Uploaded on August 02, 2009

Answers (24)

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from jsobrien wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

As far as you feel comfortable that you can make a good kill shot.

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from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

That depends on your shooting skills.

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

The .30-06 is capable of taking big game way beyond most shooter's range. Practice,...er, train with it and see how far you can consistently hit the pieplate from. that's your range.

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from IanS wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I have heard lots of people talking about super long shots. I bought a range pass and the target at 200 yards away is a long way off. I've been hunting for ten years now and I've never made a shot at that distance.

The rifle however I'me sure could easily do 400 yards if you could do your part.

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from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Shoot any animal as close as you can. Your rifle is certainly capable of long range accuracy and power but the shooters ability is almost always the limiting factor.

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from BigBboy25 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I have to say this is not a good question to ask the public.Everyones personal shooting limits are different and you cannot compare my skill to your skill so to speak. What I might be able to shoot with my .30/06 may be farther/shorter than what you can with yours, it is all dependant on you and your equipment, but to try and help you out:

Get as close as you possibly can, don't take a long shot if you don't have to. The cartridge is lehtal to ranges I'm sure you wouldn't shoot, but the queston is how far can you and your accurately place your first shot into th vitals of a deer. Because in a hunting situation the first shot is the only one that matters. You need to find you and your equipments limits and the only way to do that is get out and start shooting at longer ranges. When you start to miss something the size of a paper plate or something of similar size, then you shouldn't take a shot at an animal at that range.

Long Range is a science and takes specialized equipment and skills to do ethically, and I really don't think everyone should try it. But if you have the right equipment and skills to do so it can be done ethically.BUt no one can decide of you'll take a long shot but you. Just Make sure your best interest is always in the game animals though ok?

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I agree, the primary limitation is the shooter, not the cartridge. Speaking for myself, the .30-'06 will reach out much further than I can accurately shoot, and I've used my Springfield 1903A3 with heavy Douglas XX barrel at 500 yards on 20-inch bullseyes. 150, 165 and 180 grain bullets served me well. I've never taken a shot at game at that distance, but I'm firmly convinced that the .30-'06 will perform accurately and reliably at that distance.

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from sterling wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I am a short shooter, i camt make myself take a shot frome more than 150-175 yds and i get along fine. it is practice for Muzzeloading season. but thats just me and i am not the best shot in the world so i do more stalking and less glassing.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

You practical limitation will be your ability to shoot accurately at varied ranges and to accurately determine range to begin with. The '06 will shoot as far as practical for any game species.

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from ggmack wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

the cartridge is not the limiting factor here. there are confirmed kills from military snipers at close to 1000 yards. so if the shooter does his part then the round will do its. I call him a shooter because a hunter gets as close as possible to ensure a clean kill. i hold most of my shots under 150 yards.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

The maximum distance for your 30-06 is your ability to hit”MOP” (pieplate) at the farthest range. My favorite Mule deer load in my Remington 03-A3 is a Hornady 130 grain soft point with 54 grains of IMR4895 and it’s deadly on Jackrabbits to Mule Deer out to 700 yards!

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from smokepole wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Depends on shooting skill elevation angle wind.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Everybody's right. From prone, I can put 9 out of 10 in the black on average at 500 yds, but I would not try that hunting. There's no risk of butchering a paper target and causing it pain, and no twitching from excitement while holding your breath to get that bead just right on that buck before he jumps away.

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from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

After Clay's recent comments on that 130 grain bullet, I have been trying them and I am in love....thanks Clay! That baby smokes and seems to hold its accuracy too. I haven't been able to try it beyond 200 yards yet but it might well become my standard deer load. I have no doubt that they will crunch a deer out to 700 yards. I just need some training on that one. I am still working on my 1,000 yard deer training and will probably use the 210g Berger for that. I am using a .300 Dakota for that but am sure that a 180g 30-06 would do the 1,000 shot if I practiced.

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from IanS wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

One thing to add...I went hunting Mule Deer with a guy last season and he was using a 270. He dropped his buck at 400 yards. I think the ballistics are close enough that that could be used as a rough guide. For hitting power anyway. That 270 went in behind the shoulder, through the whole neck and came out the bucks skull so a 30-06 would certainly have the punch for long range. It's just a matter of how much the bullet you use is going to drop and if you are able to account for that.

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from IanS wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

1 mile = 1760 yards.

You're gonna take a shot at well over 1/2 a mile?
What kind of scope do you need for 1/2 mile + shots? Do you take it from a rest or free hand...probably standing eh?
You are one heck of a marksman and you also must be in good shape from jogging over a mile to check your target! Make sure you don't forget a pen to mark your shots, you'd hate to have to run back just to circle your shots!

How high above the bulls eye are you going to have to aim so that it hits your target? 5 or 6 feet should do it! Your rifle will be at what, about a 45 degree angle?

I guess you might be even more accurate than most other guys cause your barrel will have a lot more time to cool off.

I'm really curious how a 100o yard shot is taken!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigBboy25 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

IANS

It's Taken with the right equipment, from a good steady position and is only taken from a shooter with the proper skills and experience.

To make a long shot you must have several things:

First is the range to the target, because if you don't know the range then your guessing on your dope and everything is all foobared.

Second you must know the path of your bullet(use of a computer based ballistics program can give you that) AND must have a method of compensation for the drop. And by method of compensation I don't mean holdover or Kntucky windage, that's a dumb way to shoot long range. I mean you must dial your scope's elevation knob to compensate for the bullets drop.

Third you need a stable shooting position, and if your taking a 1000 yard shot you better be prone. No if ands or buts about it

Fourth, you must have proper conditions, not excessivly high winds or poor visibility due to fog, rain, or glare from sun. Also if the animal is in dense cover or near dense cover where a follow up shot may not be permitted the shot should be passed.

Fifth you must have wind reading skills and a method of compensation for the wind as well.

Sixth, a spotter is essiential

And seventh and most importantly you must have an experienced shooter that knows what the hell they are doing.

If you are shooting at a game animal at long range, you as a hunter must know your equipments limitations and your own shooting limitations and not attempt a shot you have not previously proven you can make under field conditions at an inanimate object. Do not exceed you or your equipments limitations and if you don't know what your doing, don't take a long shot. It can be done ethically but most people don't take the time to really prepare for a long shot. Utimately I guess you could say what it takes to make a long(1000yard) shot is lots and lots of practice

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from BigBboy25 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

That's a really brief explanation too, if you want a more indepth answer I have a 6000 word paper on it, that goes much further in depth and covers much much more

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from IanS wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I just checked a ballistics chart on the Remington Website.

150 grain 30-06 bullet drops over 40" at 500 yard. It's obviously going to drop even more than that in the next 500 yards but for conversation sake lets just double it to 80" which is over 6' (that is the height of the average man) To hit your target you'd have to hold your crosshairs over 6' over the spot you want to hit. Or compensate however your scope does it. Either way the barrel has to pointing in the right spot to make the shot count.

That is one impressive shot!

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from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

It depends on how good of a shot you are. I think 350-400 yards seems as far as I would try.

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from smokepole wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Practice.

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from Romans1414 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

The .30-06 is a good long-range cartridge for hunting. I have absolutely no problem with anybody taking a 1000 yard shot at a game animal...it's far safer than some of the real stupid things some people do while hunting such as consuming alcohol or lack of proper gun safety. Most hunters couldn't hit a deer sized target at 1000 yards anyways, let alone injure it. People claiming long shots are impossible, impractical and unethical are just referring to their lack of ability...whether by lack of knowledge, lack of practice, physical limitation, or in most cases laziness. I took an antelope last year with a standard Stevens 200 30-06, a cheap BSA mil dot scope, with a 168 gr match king at 1025 yards. The antelope didn't complain and dropped like a sack of sand. Take a professional long-range training course then practice as much as possible. When practicing, don't be afraid of all the local "experts" telling you what to do...ignore them. Learn from your mistakes and learn how YOU shot. Enjoy the hunt and put some meat on the table.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Balistics charts don't lie. I've never said it's impossible and I am certainly not the authority but a clean kill shot at well over 1/2 a mile is one I'd have to see to believe but if you can accuratly judge OVER 6 feet above the spot you want to hit you are a better shot than me.

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from rudyglove27 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

Agreed with libertyfirst and + 1 for you sir!!!

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from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Shoot any animal as close as you can. Your rifle is certainly capable of long range accuracy and power but the shooters ability is almost always the limiting factor.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I have heard lots of people talking about super long shots. I bought a range pass and the target at 200 yards away is a long way off. I've been hunting for ten years now and I've never made a shot at that distance.

The rifle however I'me sure could easily do 400 yards if you could do your part.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jsobrien wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

As far as you feel comfortable that you can make a good kill shot.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

That depends on your shooting skills.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

The .30-06 is capable of taking big game way beyond most shooter's range. Practice,...er, train with it and see how far you can consistently hit the pieplate from. that's your range.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I agree, the primary limitation is the shooter, not the cartridge. Speaking for myself, the .30-'06 will reach out much further than I can accurately shoot, and I've used my Springfield 1903A3 with heavy Douglas XX barrel at 500 yards on 20-inch bullseyes. 150, 165 and 180 grain bullets served me well. I've never taken a shot at game at that distance, but I'm firmly convinced that the .30-'06 will perform accurately and reliably at that distance.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

You practical limitation will be your ability to shoot accurately at varied ranges and to accurately determine range to begin with. The '06 will shoot as far as practical for any game species.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigBboy25 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I have to say this is not a good question to ask the public.Everyones personal shooting limits are different and you cannot compare my skill to your skill so to speak. What I might be able to shoot with my .30/06 may be farther/shorter than what you can with yours, it is all dependant on you and your equipment, but to try and help you out:

Get as close as you possibly can, don't take a long shot if you don't have to. The cartridge is lehtal to ranges I'm sure you wouldn't shoot, but the queston is how far can you and your accurately place your first shot into th vitals of a deer. Because in a hunting situation the first shot is the only one that matters. You need to find you and your equipments limits and the only way to do that is get out and start shooting at longer ranges. When you start to miss something the size of a paper plate or something of similar size, then you shouldn't take a shot at an animal at that range.

Long Range is a science and takes specialized equipment and skills to do ethically, and I really don't think everyone should try it. But if you have the right equipment and skills to do so it can be done ethically.BUt no one can decide of you'll take a long shot but you. Just Make sure your best interest is always in the game animals though ok?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sterling wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I am a short shooter, i camt make myself take a shot frome more than 150-175 yds and i get along fine. it is practice for Muzzeloading season. but thats just me and i am not the best shot in the world so i do more stalking and less glassing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

the cartridge is not the limiting factor here. there are confirmed kills from military snipers at close to 1000 yards. so if the shooter does his part then the round will do its. I call him a shooter because a hunter gets as close as possible to ensure a clean kill. i hold most of my shots under 150 yards.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

The maximum distance for your 30-06 is your ability to hit”MOP” (pieplate) at the farthest range. My favorite Mule deer load in my Remington 03-A3 is a Hornady 130 grain soft point with 54 grains of IMR4895 and it’s deadly on Jackrabbits to Mule Deer out to 700 yards!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from smokepole wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Depends on shooting skill elevation angle wind.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

Everybody's right. From prone, I can put 9 out of 10 in the black on average at 500 yds, but I would not try that hunting. There's no risk of butchering a paper target and causing it pain, and no twitching from excitement while holding your breath to get that bead just right on that buck before he jumps away.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

After Clay's recent comments on that 130 grain bullet, I have been trying them and I am in love....thanks Clay! That baby smokes and seems to hold its accuracy too. I haven't been able to try it beyond 200 yards yet but it might well become my standard deer load. I have no doubt that they will crunch a deer out to 700 yards. I just need some training on that one. I am still working on my 1,000 yard deer training and will probably use the 210g Berger for that. I am using a .300 Dakota for that but am sure that a 180g 30-06 would do the 1,000 shot if I practiced.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

One thing to add...I went hunting Mule Deer with a guy last season and he was using a 270. He dropped his buck at 400 yards. I think the ballistics are close enough that that could be used as a rough guide. For hitting power anyway. That 270 went in behind the shoulder, through the whole neck and came out the bucks skull so a 30-06 would certainly have the punch for long range. It's just a matter of how much the bullet you use is going to drop and if you are able to account for that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

1 mile = 1760 yards.

You're gonna take a shot at well over 1/2 a mile?
What kind of scope do you need for 1/2 mile + shots? Do you take it from a rest or free hand...probably standing eh?
You are one heck of a marksman and you also must be in good shape from jogging over a mile to check your target! Make sure you don't forget a pen to mark your shots, you'd hate to have to run back just to circle your shots!

How high above the bulls eye are you going to have to aim so that it hits your target? 5 or 6 feet should do it! Your rifle will be at what, about a 45 degree angle?

I guess you might be even more accurate than most other guys cause your barrel will have a lot more time to cool off.

I'm really curious how a 100o yard shot is taken!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigBboy25 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

IANS

It's Taken with the right equipment, from a good steady position and is only taken from a shooter with the proper skills and experience.

To make a long shot you must have several things:

First is the range to the target, because if you don't know the range then your guessing on your dope and everything is all foobared.

Second you must know the path of your bullet(use of a computer based ballistics program can give you that) AND must have a method of compensation for the drop. And by method of compensation I don't mean holdover or Kntucky windage, that's a dumb way to shoot long range. I mean you must dial your scope's elevation knob to compensate for the bullets drop.

Third you need a stable shooting position, and if your taking a 1000 yard shot you better be prone. No if ands or buts about it

Fourth, you must have proper conditions, not excessivly high winds or poor visibility due to fog, rain, or glare from sun. Also if the animal is in dense cover or near dense cover where a follow up shot may not be permitted the shot should be passed.

Fifth you must have wind reading skills and a method of compensation for the wind as well.

Sixth, a spotter is essiential

And seventh and most importantly you must have an experienced shooter that knows what the hell they are doing.

If you are shooting at a game animal at long range, you as a hunter must know your equipments limitations and your own shooting limitations and not attempt a shot you have not previously proven you can make under field conditions at an inanimate object. Do not exceed you or your equipments limitations and if you don't know what your doing, don't take a long shot. It can be done ethically but most people don't take the time to really prepare for a long shot. Utimately I guess you could say what it takes to make a long(1000yard) shot is lots and lots of practice

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigBboy25 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

That's a really brief explanation too, if you want a more indepth answer I have a 6000 word paper on it, that goes much further in depth and covers much much more

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

I just checked a ballistics chart on the Remington Website.

150 grain 30-06 bullet drops over 40" at 500 yard. It's obviously going to drop even more than that in the next 500 yards but for conversation sake lets just double it to 80" which is over 6' (that is the height of the average man) To hit your target you'd have to hold your crosshairs over 6' over the spot you want to hit. Or compensate however your scope does it. Either way the barrel has to pointing in the right spot to make the shot count.

That is one impressive shot!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hjohn429 wrote 4 years 37 weeks ago

It depends on how good of a shot you are. I think 350-400 yards seems as far as I would try.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from smokepole wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Practice.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Romans1414 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

The .30-06 is a good long-range cartridge for hunting. I have absolutely no problem with anybody taking a 1000 yard shot at a game animal...it's far safer than some of the real stupid things some people do while hunting such as consuming alcohol or lack of proper gun safety. Most hunters couldn't hit a deer sized target at 1000 yards anyways, let alone injure it. People claiming long shots are impossible, impractical and unethical are just referring to their lack of ability...whether by lack of knowledge, lack of practice, physical limitation, or in most cases laziness. I took an antelope last year with a standard Stevens 200 30-06, a cheap BSA mil dot scope, with a 168 gr match king at 1025 yards. The antelope didn't complain and dropped like a sack of sand. Take a professional long-range training course then practice as much as possible. When practicing, don't be afraid of all the local "experts" telling you what to do...ignore them. Learn from your mistakes and learn how YOU shot. Enjoy the hunt and put some meat on the table.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

Balistics charts don't lie. I've never said it's impossible and I am certainly not the authority but a clean kill shot at well over 1/2 a mile is one I'd have to see to believe but if you can accuratly judge OVER 6 feet above the spot you want to hit you are a better shot than me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rudyglove27 wrote 3 years 39 weeks ago

Agreed with libertyfirst and + 1 for you sir!!!

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