My girlfriend, Erika and I were just discussing which weapons are best for various species. Looking the world over considering size, average shot distances and flight patterns, it can be tricky, but critical to plan ahead.
Birds are on my mind with the onset of dove season –I personally use a 28 gauge but most hunters prefer the 20 gauge as shells are cheap and the shotgun doesn’t kick as bad. Quail also fall into this 20 gauge category, but for waterfowl and larger upland game the 12 gauge is ideal.
For deer and antelope species the 270 is a fabulous caliber, but a 308, 30-06 or 300 Win Mag are perfect for getting a little more bang for your buck; I personally prefer the 270 for whitetail and pronghorn, and I love the 30-06 for mule deer and many African species of antelope.
With mountain hunts for sheep or goat you’ll need a light-weight rifle as you’ll be climbing mountains for hours. Many mountain hunters I know tote a 7mm for the long distance shooting; with the perfect bullet, you will drop that billy from afar!
For elk and moose type/size species, a 338 is a lovely caliber; personally, I’ve used my30-06 for elk and a 375 on moose but as long as you stay in between these two calibers, you’ll get the job done.
Dangerous game animals require something larger… at least a 375. It’s a perfect caliber for bison, lion, hippo, bear and elephant, but if I were hunting elephant, I’d want the stopping power of a 458.
Where did I go wrong? I’d love your input on the best calibers for various species!