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What weapon type is Number One in America for deer harvest?

GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
edited May 10 in Hunting #1
I did a Google search and could not find an answer.

I would like a breakdown of all deer lawfully taken on American soil by weapon type and their respective percentages. My guess is the center-fire rifle is still the number one way of taking deer nationwide.


For the total number of legal deer harvest in the latest deer season on American soil what are the percentages for each weapon type as follows?

-modern center-fire rifle, what percentage of deer died by a bullet from these guns?
-rimfire rifle (if it's even legal anywhere),  what percentage of deer died by a bullet from these guns?
-shotgun, what percentage of deer died by a slug or shot from these guns?
-handgun, what percentage of deer died by a bullet from these guns?
-muzzleloader what percentage of deer died by a bullet or ball from these guns?
-archery equipment, what percentage of deer died by an arrow?
-air rifle (if even legal anywhere),  what percentage of deer died by a pellet or BB from these guns?


I just did this for fun: I used the search term "deer hunting in America" on YouTube and for about every 30 center-fire rifles pictured in the video thumbnails down the list there were about seven bows shown and three air rifles shown. I never thought air rifles were lawful for deer even. I saw no muzzle-loaders, rimfire rifles, shotguns or handguns pictured. My father once was having a conversation with my granddad about hunting in the late 1970's. My father referred to guys who fired 22's at deer as "idiots". My grandfather was in agreement with that statement. My father had a 22 as a boy for rabbits. He did not think a 22 powerful enough for deer to be taken ethically with.






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Replies

  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 10 #2
    Side note: the vast majority of baby-boomers like me will automatically associate DEER with modern RIFLE in their minds whenever "deer hunting" is uttered. I understand in modern times due to changing deer regulations, other methods of take have been becoming increasingly popular. If you mentioned "bow hunting" to my grandfather in the 1970's he would say, "Go on, get outta here!" My grandfather did not think scopes on rifles were sportsmanlike also. He owned two deer rifles with iron sights: a Husqvarna in .308 and a Savage Model 1899 in .300 Savage. I would read Outdoor Life magazines in the 1970's and see the curious word "muzzle loader" in some articles with photos. The guns shown appeared to have a "tube" below the barrel (much like a typical lever job and many 22's) that I had mistakenly thought that one loaded cartridges into at the muzzle end of the gun into this "tube" which I learned years later was actually a ramrod. In the pictures, I had mistaken the ramrod for a tubular magazine that somebody shoved shells into at the muzzle end somehow hence "muzzle loader". I had no idea what "black powder" was then. I had always associated rifles with brass cartridges. Yes, indeed I was strictly raised in a modern firearms culture. Anything other than a rifle firing brass cartridges at deer seemed very odd and curious to me.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,697 Senior Member
    I would guess that the most often used and most deer taken would be the old trusty 30-06.  It has been around for over 100 years, has never gone out of style, and is capable of taking any game in the USA.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,746 Senior Member
    edited May 10 #4
    I would be impossible to account.

    What's used in part of the country is different from another. Bows, levers, shotguns, muzzle loaders, ARs, bolt actions, heavy target rifles, light weight sporters, handguns.

    Then there's deer taken out of season for food, poached, culled for damaging crops.

    Elk are deer. Texas has exotic game ranches.

    Separating elk out of my personal count. I've only taken two deer. One with a Ruger 44 mag carbine, the other with a Hawken caplock replica.

    Elk came to my freezer with two seperate scoped bolt action rifles, but most fell to the Hawken caplock.
  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    I guess the weapon used might not be recorded on deer tags. The best way to get this information might be to survey a large group of hunters to at least get ballpark percentages. National sales of hunting rifles, archery equipment, muzzleloaders and shotguns with slug barrels might also be a good indicator of what deer/big-game hunters favor. YouTube hunting postings seem to indicate that the center-fire rifle with a "sensible deer chambering" is favored by far over the other methods. A sensible deer cartridge to me is anything from about .243 Win. to .30-06 Springfield. It's what you feel comfortable with recoil-wise that you can ethically take the animal within your shooting ability and range.
  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 10 #6
    earlyagain, personally, I have no ethical problem with using a scope on a hunting rifle. I suppose my 1908-born granddad thought if your eyes were too bad for iron sights you were "too old" to hunt. My grandfather gave me his 1970's Outdoor Life magazines to read. The hunting features were full of scoped rifles even then. I asked my grandfather about using scopes and he rather frowned upon them. My father also thought scopes were "cheating". I told granddad about one bow hunting article I saw in the magazine and asked him what he thought about that. Apparently, bows and arrows were a bit too old-fashioned for even him but deer rifles with scopes to him were "being lazy".

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,957 Senior Member
  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 10 #8
    NN said:
    Shotgun

    Well, certainly in any 'shotgun-only' state. There's about ten of those states I gather. The other 40 states, 80% of them, allow deer death by center-fire rifle to some degree depending upon seasons and perhaps local ordinances. I believe Commiefornia outlawed bullets with any amount of lead in their construction for putting a Bambi down. Guv "Geriatric" Brown wanted to save the poor buzzards.



    I can't speak as to how well lead-free bullets do for deer or weather they tear up rifle barrels, aggravate recoil or bulge chambers. There was a lot of concern for the well-being of older shotguns when no-tox shot (namely steel) became mandated for ducks.

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    I try to use as many different cartridges and methods  as I can. Just to screw with your statistics. 😎
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    edited May 10 #10
    Hell, I used a Dodge Truck this year as well!

    Head shot, of course. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Hell, I used a Dodge Truck this year as well!

    Head shot, of course. 
    Why?  Shot the deer with a .270 and had to finish him off?  :D
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Zee said:
    Hell, I used a Dodge Truck this year as well!

    Head shot, of course. 
    Why?  Shot the deer with a .270 and had to finish him off?  :D
    She charged. It was self defense. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    I can't think of any organization that gathers those statistics.  For one thing they'd be hell to keep updated and organized, specially at a national level, and they would be of rather limited use.  Most states will just tell you what you can use (ex. Any centerfire cartridge of .22 caliber or better), and what you can't (ex. No Rimfire cartridges allowed) and leave it at that.

    I would venture a guess that for the vast majority of folks (not all who hunt are Hunters in my opinion) the tool of choice is the ol' reliable centerfire bolt action rifle in any of the hundreds of suitable chambering with the overwhelmingly predominant ones being 30-06, .270 and .308 and then starting to fall off with the likes of the 7mm-08, .243 and such and ending up with the semi--exotics like .35 Whelen and .257 Roberts and finally wildcats.  Secondly there would be the new and old lever actions in 30-30 and .35 Remington and where regulations require it, shotguns with slugs or buck shot.
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 10 #14
    I just bought a Ruger American Predator with Leupold scope in 6.5 Creedmoor. I have yet to take the rifle to the range for a maiden firing.
    This is designated as my new doe gun. I only have a hankering for doe venison.
  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 10 #15
    GunNut said:
    I can't think of any organization that gathers those statistics.  For one thing they'd be hell to keep updated and organized, specially at a national level, and they would be of rather limited use.  Most states will just tell you what you can use (ex. Any centerfire cartridge of .22 caliber or better), and what you can't (ex. No Rimfire cartridges allowed) and leave it at that.

    I would venture a guess that for the vast majority of folks (not all who hunt are Hunters in my opinion) the tool of choice is the ol' reliable centerfire bolt action rifle in any of the hundreds of suitable chambering with the overwhelmingly predominant ones being 30-06, .270 and .308 and then starting to fall off with the likes of the 7mm-08, .243 and such and ending up with the semi--exotics like .35 Whelen and .257 Roberts and finally wildcats.  Secondly there would be the new and old lever actions in 30-30 and .35 Remington and where regulations require it, shotguns with slugs or buck shot.

    The no-lead bullets in CA hunting just throws another curve ball into the equation. Sometimes ammo restrictions may also influence the tools hunters (or licensed recreational game seekers) use. Some people may just give up hunting altogether over certain silly Commiefornistic stuff. The lead-free bullet nonsense in CA might force veteran rifle hunters to take up archery. Do the tips of arrows have to be lead-free too?
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    I'll bet ammo manufacturers can tell you. After all, they're the ones who provide the ammo.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,746 Senior Member
    It'd be my guess that a portion of deer hunters. Again an impossible number to quantify. Collect or aquire large amounts of firearms for various reasons. Then, depending on whim and/or fancy. Change their minds multiple times prior to each season on what they intend to use.
  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 10 #18
    I JUST DISCOVERED THIS:


    Bowhunting is on the Rise

    Firearms (rifle/shotgun) hunters accounted for 66 percent of the total deer harvest. Archers took 23 percent of the total harvest, and this statistic has grown from 15 percent in 2000.


    2 out of 3 deer taken in America are by a modern long gun. The stat above doesn't separate rifles from shotguns or center-fire from rimfire. A little more than 1 out of 5 are taken by an arrow. A little over 1 out of 10 are probably taken by smoke-poles, air guns and handguns combined.



    I'd have to guess the center-fire rifle accounts for at least 60% (3 out of 5) of legal taken deer in America.
  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 11 #19
    It'd be my guess that a portion of deer hunters. Again an impossible number to quantify. Collect or aquire large amounts of firearms for various reasons. Then, depending on whim and/or fancy. Change their minds multiple times prior to each season on what they intend to use.

    I believe older hunters probably select a method then stick with it for life. Younger people might try different things. Older hunters are probably creatures of habit. For me personally, I only want to deer hunt with a modern CF rifle. I have only hunted deer years ago with the same kind of gun. Many veteran hunters just give up their recreation altogether whenever game laws change things to their dislike.  I read years ago this was a common practice when duck hunters were forced to use steel shot. They said the devil with it. Old dogs are tough to teach new tricks. I'm an old dog myself at age 57.

    Game law legislation is not always done by sensible elected officials and much of it is driven by emotion of their constituents than by sound reasoning. Outlawing hounds for black bear in CA was about the stupidest thing I heard of until lead got banned for deer hunting there.

  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    Here is an article about the best GUN states for deer hunting in America:


    Ideally for me the rifle lover, the LONGER the firearms seasons, the better. Idaho's rifle deer season is only 30 days, mid-October through mid-November.


  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,210 Senior Member
    It always amazes me to hear of the short seasons some states have.  Alabama's gun season normally starts the weekend before Thanksgiving and runs until around Feb 10th.
    Limits are one doe a day and 4 bucks for the season, one of which must have 4pts on one side.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 11 #22
    knitepoet said:
    It always amazes me to hear of the short seasons some states have.  Alabama's gun season normally starts the weekend before Thanksgiving and runs until around Feb 10th.
    Limits are one doe a day and 4 bucks for the season, one of which must have 4pts on one side.

    It's the modern rifle hunters (the majority of American deer hunters) that get robbed of precious days in some of these states. Adult rifle-only deer hunters probably have the same contempt for youth seasons, archery seasons, muzzle-loading seasons, short gun seasons, Indiana's restriction on rifle cartridge types for deer and shotgun-only states as many motorists have for those pesky bicycles on the street that get in the way.


    I always will remember
    'Twas a year ago September
    I went out to hunt some deer
    On a mornin' hot and clear
    I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow
    Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow

    I was in no mood for Bozos
    I took down my trusty crossbow
    And went out to stalk my prey
    What a haul I made that day
    I tied them to my fender, and I drove them home somehow
    Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow

    The law was very firm, it
    Took away my permit
    The worst punishment I ever endured
    It turned out there was a reason
    Cows were out of season
    And one of the hunters wasn't insured

    People ask me how I do it
    And I say, "There's nothin' to it
    You just stand there lookin' cute
    And when something moves, you shoot!"
    And there's ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now
    Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a pure-bred Guernsey cow


  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    edited May 11 #23
    knitepoet said:
    It always amazes me to hear of the short seasons some states have.  Alabama's gun season normally starts the weekend before Thanksgiving and runs until around Feb 10th.
    Limits are one doe a day and 4 bucks for the season, one of which must have 4pts on one side.

    It's the modern rifle hunters (the majority of American deer hunters) that get robbed of precious days in some of these states. Adult rifle-only deer hunters probably have the same contempt for youth seasons, archery seasons, muzzle-loading seasons, short gun seasons, Indiana's restriction on rifle cartridge types for deer and shotgun-only states as many motorists have for those pesky bicycles on the street that get in the way.
    I think most hunters just accept whatever rules are in place and learn to deal with them.  When I was in New York I dealt with a relatively short rifle season and small limits.  So, I learned to bow hunt, I taught my kids to hunt, I bough a few BP guns and that way I was out in the field through all the big game seasons and we never ran short of venison at my house.  

    I never felt “robbed” because the state wanted to give young hunters a head start without a bunch of adults complicating things in the field and competing with them.  And bow hunters have as much right to enjoy their sport as anyone else does, God only knows it’s challenging enough without having folks with rifles in the woods with you.  

    Contempt never entered into the equation.  I don’t see the point of feeling any negative feelings at others good fortune and don’t understand why others do.
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    Some people just like complaining. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Some people just like complaining. 
    There is that...
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 11 #26
    I wouldn't be caught dead in New York unless my personal wealth or health were at stake. It would have to be worth my while to go there and not just for the scenery (big subway rats). "New Dork" is about one of the most anti-gun places on the planet. As a common man, I'll stick to Oklahoma for now.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    I wouldn't be caught dead in New York unless my personal wealth or health were at stake. It would have to be worth my while to go there and not just for the scenery (big subway rats). "New Dork" is about one of the most anti-gun places on the planet. As a common man, I'll stick to Oklahoma for now.
    You are obviously referring to New York City.  New York State is overwhelmingly rural and Republican controlled at a town and county level, once you get out of Albany and the southernmost counties including NYC boroughs and adjoining counties.  Unfortunately NYC and the contiguous counties are largely liberal bastions and they carry enough voting volume to carry the whole state in gubernatorial elections.  But while I lived there Rs controlled both houses at the state level and my county.

    I lived in New York for many years and owned a bit of land and it was a hunters paradise.  I had an unrestricted carry permit as did my wife and outside the pain of having to register EVERY handgun you buy to your CCL I never had any issues getting anything I wanted.  Of course now there are bans in place preventing folks from owning new ARs and high cap magazines but I believe court challenges are coming.

    When New York stopped meeting my needs and the opportunity came up, I moved.  Not because of the state or the people (still love to visit when I can) but because of an untenable state and real estate tax situation caused by an incompetent state government which assured that at one point I would not be able to afford to live there anymore. So I executed my exit when it was the best financial opportunity for me to do so.  

    Again it’s all about making the best of the cards you have in your hand, or changing the hand for fresh cards, instead of bitching…
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 11 #28
    Probably I had NYC in mind. I've never been in NY state. I heard that ordinary citizens (non-cops) can't even own a handgun in NYC. This was told to me by a young native Queens, NYC man of Korean descent I had as a roommate five years ago in Boise, Idaho who was with the Air Force at Mountain Home. This man told me he was raised as a liberal Democrat but was interested in getting a Winchester 30-30 rifle for range shooting fun. This could even be a good step toward getting his mind turned around regarding gun rights in America and a healthier appreciation for our firearms traditions. He must have heard a great deal of firearms negativity growing up in NYC. He was in a total state of surprise (like all wow!! as young people talk these days) when he heard that Idaho was so pro-gun that one could pack a heater even at the state Capitol in Boise sans permit.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,692 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Some people just like complaining. 
    Complaining and fires are kinda similar: stop giving them fuel, and they usually go out or at least fade to a low smolder.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • GermanShepherdGermanShepherd Posts: 160 Member
    edited May 11 #30
    I have no complaints about NYC since I don't live there. I feel sorry for honest Americans who do live there and may have no way out of there.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Probably I had NYC in mind. I've never been in NY state. I heard that ordinary citizens (non-cops) can't even own a handgun in NYC. This was told to me by a young native Queens, NYC man of Korean descent I had as a roommate five years ago in Boise, Idaho who was with the Air Force at Mountain Home. This man told me he was raised as a liberal Democrat but was interested in getting a Winchester 30-30 rifle for range shooting fun. This could even be a good step toward getting his mind turned around regarding gun rights in America and a healthier appreciation for our firearms traditions. He must have heard a great deal of firearms negativity growing up in NYC. He was in a total state of surprise (like all wow!! as young people talk these days) when he heard that Idaho was so pro-gun that one could pack a heater even at the state Capitol in Boise sans permit.
    Unfortunately even folks that I've in NYC are misinformed.  One of the first SASS (Single Action Shooters Society) clubs in the USA was formed by a good friend of mine, a NYC resident and their club/range is in Long Island.  NYC is tough to get a license in but doable.   You just need to understand their system and figure out how to conquer it.  It's heavily weighted towards business owners and rich people but again there are challenges coming for them too.

    The issue is the most New Yorkers themselves are mis informed abut what they can or can't do and they just take things as common knowledge and never bother to scratch the surface.
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

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