We often get asked for suggestions on what caliber and cartridge to use for hunting deer in our part of country. This is a topic that could be debated extensively. There are many points to this discussion that could be considered. In the end, it really has a lot to do with preference and experience with the weapon. One aspect I consider is price. Not everyone has the money or time to own several rifles. When I say time, I mean the time it takes to become proficient with a given rifle and cartridge. To get good with any rifle, a person needs to spend time at the range, and maybe even with a variety of bullet weights.

Shot distance – our experience.

What cartridge you select has a lot to do with how far you’ll ‘expect’ to be shooting. I’d like to suggest that our typical shot distance ranges from 120 – 200 yards. I’ve been on many hunts where the deer was taken at 350 yards. When you have the ability to shoot farther with confidence, your possibilities go up. One of my favorite aspects of hunting is to sneak. Working your way through the hills playing cat-and-mouse in an attempt to get within an acceptable shooting range is a very memorable experience.

One additional aspect of hunting in the Nebraska Sandhills is the wind. If the wind is gusting 15-25 mph, taking a 350 shot can be intimidating. Having a bullet with a high ballistic coefficient is benefit. My recommendation is to practice with your cartridge and know your limitation. But try to get out to the range and build up that confidence. And it your range is within 200 yards, that is okay. That is where sneaking comes in. To be continued…

How many grains?

Not less than 130 grain.

Flat Shooting?

Maximum Point Blank Range (MPBR)

MPBR is sighting in your rifle so that you can put the cross hairs on the deer, and regard less if it is 75 yards or 300 yards, you’ll hit the vital 8 inches vitals.


Can you get ammo?

Can you shoot MOA?

Do you practice?

Top 5 recommendations.