Favorite firearm to deer hunt with dogs?

Thread starter #1
What is your favorite firearm to use to deer hunt with dogs? Is it a shotgun, a rifle, do you use an optic, or iron sights?

I hunt a mix of woods, along with some pipelines, where shots can be at a distance. That said, I find the best all around for me, is to use a rifle, with a variable scope. I use a Browning Bar 30-06, with a 4-12x50 riflescope. It works well for an all-around firearm. If I strictly hunted the woods, with some open and heavy cover, I'd probably opt for a Marlin 30-30, with a 1-4x or a 1-6x riflescope.

Many folks may prefer shotguns, I'm just curious to see what others do, thx!
 
Thread starter #4
Remington 1100 12ga with 00 buckshot. We killed a bunch of deer with 12ga buckshot. Everyone had their favorite gun. Mine was the 1100. In the south most of the shots are 40yds and in. So buckshot works well IMHO.
The Remington 1100 has always been my favorite 12 gauge shotgun. Mine is 3" mag with a 30"full choke. With fine shot, it was/is like a dream come true! I've never seen a shotgun pattern any better. However, To be honest, it did not pattern 00 buckshot very well though. Took me years to figure that out, as a young teen, trying to learn on my own, without an adult leading me.

I switched to a rifle, an never revisited the buckshot thing. Ironically, a 28" modified barrel, practically fell in my hands, a few years ago, for $40 new in the box, so I jumped all over it. Wish I could have had it, to try many years back, along with some 1-buck possibly.

Anyhow, I do still own, and love that shotgun!
 
What's the typical distance of the shot when you run deer with dogs?
And, are the dogs in front of the gun when you shoot? Should you be at all concerned with the dogs' hearing?

I've never done this type of hunting, but I'm thinking that a lever-action rifle in a straight-walled pistol caliber like .44 mag, .44 special, or .45 long Colt, would be good for taking deer down in the woods at short distances. Maybe with the rifle wearing a non-magnifying red dot scope.

Or, alternatively, a pump-action 20 gauge shotgun firing slugs, full bore Foster style slugs (not a handgun bullet with a plastic sabot around it). Smooth bore would be OK for distances out to 75 yards. I've gotten some good accuracy with my 18" smoothbore slug barrel (with rifle sights), but I think I'd prefer a red dot optic for any hunting.

This slug-shooting shotgun would be a brush-buster, a thumper, but with less noise and probably less recoil than a big-bore lever gun would have if chambered for something like .45-70 or .444 Marlin and shooting 350-400 grain bullets. Of course it would have less range, and a rainbow trajectory past 75 yards, but within that distance it ought to be awesome.
 
P.S. As to noise, I think the 20 gauge would be a lot less. SAAMI maximum chamber pressure for 2.75" loads for that shotgun are 12,600 p.s.i, wheres big-bore lever gun cartridges like the .45-70 are around 25,000 p.s.i. and the .444 Marlin goes up to 42,000.
 
Browning A-Bolt Synthetic Stalker in .300 Win. Mag. with a Leupold Vari-X III 3.5X10X 50 and Hornady 165 grain Interbonds. Kills em close, kills em far, kills em light, kills em dark, kills em in Georgia and kills em in Canada.
 
Thread starter #11
What's the typical distance of the shot when you run deer with dogs?
And, are the dogs in front of the gun when you shoot? Should you be at all concerned with the dogs' hearing?

I've never done this type of hunting, but I'm thinking that a lever-action rifle in a straight-walled pistol caliber like .44 mag, .44 special, or .45 long Colt, would be good for taking deer down in the woods at short distances. Maybe with the rifle wearing a non-magnifying red dot scope.

Or, alternatively, a pump-action 20 gauge shotgun firing slugs, full bore Foster style slugs (not a handgun bullet with a plastic sabot around it). Smooth bore would be OK for distances out to 75 yards. I've gotten some good accuracy with my 18" smoothbore slug barrel (with rifle sights), but I think I'd prefer a red dot optic for any hunting.

This slug-shooting shotgun would be a brush-buster, a thumper, but with less noise and probably less recoil than a big-bore lever gun would have if chambered for something like .45-70 or .444 Marlin and shooting 350-400 grain bullets. Of course it would have less range, and a rainbow trajectory past 75 yards, but within that distance it ought to be awesome.

A 44 mag in a level gun or the 44 Ruger Carbine would be ideal, if you were strictly hunting where shots are under 100 yards. A lot of my hunting with dogs consist of that, but I often still hunt in the evenings on pipelines where the shots can be out to 300 yards, so I need a rifle that can cover that as well. Otherwise the 44 mag and the 30-30 lever guns are great for dogs.

Usually the deer are a little bit in front of the dogs, unless it’s on a hot jump, or it’s a large pack, and they are running the deer really hard.

Red dot scope and low power scopes, work fine as well, especially on running deer at close range!

My thing, like I said is having to cover a dog hunting and still hunting rifle, all in one, because I don’t bring two firearms. All good suggestions though.
 
Thread starter #12
Oh. My. Goodness. I didn't even see the part about the dogs. Haha! My apologies to the OP. I know NOTHING about hunting deer with dogs. Jaydawg, I bet you thought I was looney tunes.
All good 😂 I actually tried one season hunting with an Abolt in 7-mag, it was just too long and bulky with a 26” barrel, to swing around quickly.
 
All good 😂 I actually tried one season hunting with an Abolt in 7-mag, it was just too long and bulky with a 26” barrel, to swing around quickly.
I bet. I hunted deer over dogs one time down at the Savannah River Site when I was a kid. We used shotguns but I never got a shot. The school bus ride through the woods was an experience I'll never forget. Had a little pup come up to me and lay his head down in my lap wore slap out form the hunt.
 
I always felt a rifle was better with open sights and dogs.
Either you killed it or you didn’t but scope and my dogs “if i wanted a dog”
No thanks. I’ll take open sights and a rifle on that hunt. Maybe a low power scope.
 
Thread starter #15
I bet. I hunted deer over dogs one time down at the Savannah River Site when I was a kid. We used shotguns but I never got a shot. The school bus ride through the woods was an experience I'll never forget. Had a little pup come up to me and lay his head down in my lap wore slap out form the hunt.
😂 I’ve heard about the school bus thing, but we never did that. We’ve used pickup trucks, amphibious atv’s, and boats to put groups of people out.



I always felt a rifle was better with open sights and dogs.
Either you killed it or you didn’t but scope and my dogs “if i wanted a dog”
No thanks. I’ll take open sights and a rifle on that hunt. Maybe a low power scope.
Several guys on the club started with rifles and open sights. They did ok, about the same as the guys with shotguns. Most of us have gone to variable power scopes. If I only hunted with shots under 75 yards or so, I’d definitely use the low power scope option. I’m just a scope man! 😂
 
The part of Fl I hunt is thick. Almost all of the folks who hunt where I do use shotguns and buckshot. I shoot a Benelli SBE 2 with a buck kicker full choke. Factory Rmington 3.5" 00 or my hand loaded 3.5" 00 will put the entire pattern into 13-14 inches @ 40 yards. I feel very confident in my setup out to about 70 yards. I used to carry a rifle also, but I seemed to always gram the wrong one.
 
Thread starter #17
The part of Fl I hunt is thick. Almost all of the folks who hunt where I do use shotguns and buckshot. I shoot a Benelli SBE 2 with a buck kicker full choke. Factory Rmington 3.5" 00 or my hand loaded 3.5" 00 will put the entire pattern into 13-14 inches @ 40 yards. I feel very confident in my setup out to about 70 yards. I used to carry a rifle also, but I seemed to always gram the wrong one.

70 yards is pretty darn excellent for a shotgun setup! Benelli, is a good shotgun too! I love my Franchi 20 gauge, it’s similar.

Yeah, we used to have an elderly man hunt with 2 guns, when I was a young-in. He actually did pretty good with it, but for me that’s too much hassle carrying two guns.
 
😂 I’ve heard about the school bus thing, but we never did that. We’ve used pickup trucks, amphibious atv’s, and boats to put groups of people out.





Several guys on the club started with rifles and open sights. They did ok, about the same as the guys with shotguns. Most of us have gone to variable power scopes. If I only hunted with shots under 75 yards or so, I’d definitely use the low power scope option. I’m just a scope man! 😂
Brother I'm not kidding when I tell you this lady was mowing down 4" dbh sweetgum trees in this school bus. Peoples sack lunches were everywhere. Apples and cans of Beenie Weenies rolling from the front of the bus to the back. It was hysterical.
 
Thread starter #19
Brother I'm not kidding when I tell you this lady was mowing down 4" dbh sweetgum trees in this school bus. Peoples sack lunches were everywhere. Apples and cans of Beenie Weenies rolling from the front of the bus to the back. It was hysterical.
That’s funny right there! 😂
 
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