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I like my 1-4x Leupold just fine.

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Where I hunted elk in CO there was open areas and heavy cover. One of the heavy cover areas is a saddle where several ridges funnel game through a relatively small area. It's been discussed here how to properly still hunt. My Dad was very good at it. I'm not. But I am good at sitting quietly and motionless. Many close shots came to me there. The average being 20ft or less. Most of those close shots were with a iron sighted cap lock muzzleloader.

One year I had got a cow there and was camped out well the meat was getting processed in a nearby town. A man and his wife stopped at camp to chat. He asked if I could direct him to my gut pile as he had a bear tag and wanted to hunt it. I happily obliged. They headed in the bush with a 300 Weatherby with big glass. Just at dark I heard him discharge his artillery. One shot. Sometime later they came out dragging a bear. It was a yearling cub but legal. He felt a little embarrassed about it. I said you know it's pretty dark back in that thick timber. Hard to gauge size scope or no scope. It had a beautiful coat. I advised a having it skinned by the taxidermist after getting it checked by the Warden.

Was he over gunned or over scoped? I don't think so. He had planned a public land hunt in varied terrain. The rifle and big glass could have been a boon with a slight turn in fortune. And he was successful.

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Nobody has mentioned a 12 gauge slug gun yet, with slug or round ball. I guess I'll be the one to add it to the thread.

For <50 yards, which would certainly be considered "close-in", a smoothbore or rifled 12 gauge slug gun will get the "close-in" deer stalking job done just fine. Rifled slug barrels and matched slugs going a tad further to 75-100+? yards.


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+1
And even 20ga or 16ga would be adequate.
& 10ga for the flinchless.

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My old 870 w rifled bore and WW sabots was an easy 150 yard rig. Kicked and was expensive to shoot, but was wicked good.

Hell ive shot deer w smoothbore to 150. Accuracy was there, but ballistically was pushin it IMHO.

Sabot stuff after testing for what was best, shot flatter and hit harder. Deer inside 100 crumpled

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My last slug gun deer was shot w an 870P running Activ slugs. Went old school, even used a saddle mount for scope. Accuracy wasnt the best, so limit was 75 yards.
Blasted an 8 pt at 25,.slug shattered and it went over 100 yards. Easy BT though.

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Even in Montana rifles aren't legal everywhere. North of our little town is a 6-square-mile Wildlife Management Area where rifles aren't legal for any hunting. Mostly its whitetails, since it's all riverbottom land. (Yeah, we do have plenty of whitetails in Montana, including some big ones.)

You can use shotguns with slugs, muzzleloaders, and handguns chambered for "traditional" handgun rounds. Have used all three, but for the past few years Eileen has been using a 20-gauge single-shot with a rifled barrel, and the Winchester sabot load with a 240-grain .45-caliber Nosler Partition at a listed 1900 fps. It works very well--which I discovered years ago when hunting whitetails in Iowa before they legalized any sort of rifle round.

Killed a big-bodied buck, which was called an 8-pointer in Iowa, which had a broken front leg due to a poor shot from a handgun hunter with a .44 Magnum revolver. Eventually killed it with a shot at about 50 yards through both shoulders--which exited. It generally groups three into around three inches at 100 yards, and works well to at least 150 yards.


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I've had a gaggle of different slug guns in the 20-ish years I've hunted IL, both smoothbore and rifled. They've mostly been 20 gauge, but also a couple of 12ga. They are indeed very effective, they just suck to shoot for those not fond of stiff recoil, and sabots have gotten absolutely stupid expensive. With slug guns typically being finicky animals, you can burn through a lot of money in a hurry finding out what's going to shoot well out of one.

The old rifled/foster or tail stabilized style slugs out of a smoothbore aren't nearly as bad on the wallet or shoulder. Thicker short range woods work is definitely right up thier alley, and some of them are suprisingly accurate. I've seen a couple that would shoot cloverleafs at 50yds.

Thankfully the state finally joined the 21st century and passed some legislation last year opening deer hunting up to some rifles here. I'll miss the old slug guns about as much as a brain tumor. I did hang onto my old 870 20ga slug gun and stash of sabots though, just in case I happen to ever need it again somewhere. 🤷‍♂️

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Soon as this thread got to slug guns, and close-in deer, I began thinking of the fixed 2.5 Leupold that's been on my 12 ga. 870 slug gun since 1987. I've come to realize that it's all that's needed for woods hunting with a slug gun. Great field of view for that close stuff like a couple 10 yard shots it has made, or a memorable running shot at probably 30-40 yards. It's had a fully rifled barrel since 2001 and gets zeroed at 100 yards. I have no desire for more than 2.5x magnification on a woods gun. Although in my previous post I admitted to having my 30-30 scope set on 3x last time I filled a tag with that.

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I have a couple of 20 gauges with rifled barrels, two 870s, one with open sights and one with a cantilever scope mount, and a house-brand Mossberg 500 with a cantilever scope mount that I've used on hunts in Iowa. I don't know if Remington ever made a rifled 1100 barrel in 20 gauge, if they did I don't recall seeing one of them, but that seems like it would be a good choice for still-hunting in cover. I can't imaging that a sabot round from a 20 gauge would be any less effective than the same weight/style of sabot round fired from a 12 gauge, but the weight of a comparable firearm would be less for the 20 gauge and the felt recoil would probably be a little less too. Since passing age 65 I seem to be more recoil sensitive than I was as a younger man.

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Not questioning those who find a 6x to be workable in thick cover….just sharing my experience for those who are making up their minds about a scope. I was helping a buddy track his buck last year. Was carrying his rifle for various reasons. Had the scope set on 4x,, the lowest setting. Jumped the buck at close range and had difficulty getting on him with the scope, the only shot opportunity was at 15 yards.. I did hit him, but not were I wanted to. Yes, the gun fit me just fine..

I believe I could have gotten on him sooner and tracked him more easily with lower magnification. Have shot other running deer at close range — even a Muley buck that came around a hill and surprised me at very close range. Was glad I had a 2.5-8x on my .300 win mag.

Love the 2.5-8, 2-7 or 1.75-6. Of course, your experience may vary.

Also,, someone questioned if there was any benefit to a mannlicher style stock. I find that they help a short rifle to not be so muzzle light. Yes, there are other ways to achieve that too. Cheers

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Originally Posted by shaman
I've been re-reading Francis Sell's Book, ]The Deer Hunter's Guide. It got me to thinking about his ideas on picking a good deer stalking gun. I thought I'd ask y'all what you think.

Here is Sell and his stalking gun.
[Linked Image from genesis9.angzva.com]


He describes it as "A light handy combination for brush shooting-- short 20 inch barreled, Mannlicher-stocked , 6.5X55 Rifle with a 2X scope.
Here is another pic of Sell from his book.
Cat
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


scopes are cool, but slings 'n' irons RULE!
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I have that book too. Got it about fifty years ago. A lot of valid information there. GD

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Originally Posted by catnthehat
My main rifle for hunting since Greydog built it in 2010 is a single Shot, falling block Ruger of which I have complete faith in when it comes to shots at less than 15 yards .
I have QD mounts on the low powered variable Leupold , and have express sights as well, but the Leuplod has accounted for several fast , close shots in the last few years.
Cat
This is one of the many deer I have taken, some far, some in close with this rifle in .303 Brit, shot was at 9 paces.
Cat
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


scopes are cool, but slings 'n' irons RULE!
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Originally Posted by buttstock
Nobody has mentioned a 12 gauge slug gun yet, with slug or round ball. I guess I'll be the one to add it to the thread.

For <50 yards, which would certainly be considered "close-in", a smoothbore or rifled 12 gauge slug gun will get the "close-in" deer stalking job done just fine. Rifled slug barrels and matched slugs going a tad further to 75-100+? yards.

My 870 with a 2moa dot in a saddle mount is perfect inside of 75 yards. I roll my own shells with a sabotsrus 509 gr slug at about 1050fps. Low report and recoil and 1.5” accuracy(50 yards) from a 21” turkey barrel with a rifled choke tube.

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At 7 yards with 6x you're badly out of focus and your field of view is about 14 inches. Smaller than the rib cage of a middlin sized deer. At 1x you are well in focus and your field of view is about 6 feet. Big enough to encompass the full body length of a big deer and then some. It's easy to find yourself within 7 yards of deer in heavy cover. I've killed several at that and closer over the years. In fact, I've been that close and still not able to shoot because all I could see was feet/lower legs under the young spruce. My hunting partner had that same situation just last season. Within feet for several minutes and never saw anything but feet. Tempted to guess the location of chest and send one through the branches but did not and the deer eventually blew out straight away without offering a shot. Something to keep in mind when selecting a scope for close cover hunting.

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If I had to replace my dedicated 12 ga. slug gun today I would be seeking a Savage 220; a fully rifled, bolt action 20 ga.. I have personally seen the results of what a 20 ga. sabot will do to deer both near & far. Every year I also see guys at the club shooting small groups at 100 yds. with them. Friend of mine has one that I call his "20 ga. rifle". Many years ago we all believed in the " bigger is better" school of thought and went with 12 gauge stuff for shotgun areas. Rifled barrels and sabots changed all that. I know of several 20 ga. sabot, one shot deer kills at about 100-125 yds.. Although they didn't fall down in their tracks, they didn't go very far, either. I'm not getting any younger, and an accurate 20 ga. could give my aging shoulder a break versus the current 12 ga. sabots.

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You still have to use slug guns out where you are ? I'm thankful they changed most of NY to rifle back in 2006. Haven't used a slug gun since. Previous to that I killed a lot of deer with slugs. Having grown up and lived most of my life close to the rifle/shotgun line I had places I hunted in both zones every season. Probably had a dozen different slug guns over the years and at one point had 4 all at the same time. Some rifled, some smooth, some 20 and some 12 gauge. Most were pumps but a couple single shots and one bolt action too.

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Same story here Blackheart.Delaware-Otsego County border.

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For those who want to roll their own shotgun slug loads, here is a link for interesting reading about it:

https://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdisplay.php?36-Casting-amp-Reloading-for-Shotguns


"Behavior accepted is behavior repeated."

"Strive to be underestimated."
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