What is the Best Rifle for Deer Stalking & Management?
Considering a new rifle or maybe an addition to your current collection? Read on......
As a professional Stalker I am often asked to recommend a rifle to those new to deer Management. My initial response is usually to politely enquire as to the likely budget? With rifles available from just a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds it can be like comparing a Second Hand Ford Escort with a brand new Aston Martin. (Left: The Sauer 202 Elegance)
I then enquire as to what the individual is trying to achieve, and this usually leads us down the route of synthetic or wood, followed by beauty or practicality?
These seemingly trivial points of discussion are perhaps unsurprising when one considers that pretty much all full bore rifles sold these days by reputable gun dealers will be up to the job, and capable of producing tight enough groups at ranges over which we are realistically likely to be stalking deer, say out to 250 yards or so.
Rifle choice is therefore a highly personal thing and opinions can run high, with favoured makes and models very often being the result more of emotive reasoning than due to any one overriding technical function. Favourable reports can result from say the degree of success a hunter has had with their chosen rifle, or their recollections of a memorable outing in which they grassed a particular trophy.
None the less reams of text have been written reviewing various rifles, when in fact, unlike the car analogy, a rifle is perhaps eclipsed or at any rate equalled by another important factor i.e. that of calibre.
(Above/Right: The Weatherby Vanguard Mk II)
So if calibre is arguably an equally important decision why should rifle choice be so difficult? I suspect in part this stems from the UK legislation regarding ownership.
Many new comers to the sport of Deer Stalking are at first unaware that unlike with Shotgun certificates the number of Rifles one can own is carefully legislated and specified on each Firearms Certificate. Typically the individual will be required to possess only one rifle in a specific calibre and this will often result in the choice of which rifle being a highly considered one.
(Left: The Remington 700)
Personally I have used many different Rifles and had the opportunity to accompany guests using very many more. Guests have arrived with anything from a beaten up second hand Remington to a highly prized and valuable double rifle.
So as you may have suspected from the preamble I am going to evade answering this question directly and instead point you to a new page on the ‘County Deer Stalking’ site that has been created in order to provide readers quick and easy access to many of the Rifles that we have reviewed.
(Right:: The Sauer 202 Outback)
I will of course continue to add to this list as and when I am fortunate enough to get a chance to try out any new offerings!
In the mean time I hope this page ('Rifle Reviews' http://www.countydeerstalking.co.uk/rifle-reviews.html found in our drop down Menu) will offer a useful reference point for reviews concerning many of the more popular rifles that I and other authors have had the good fortune to trial.
Please click on the following link for more: http://www.countydeerstalking.co.uk/rifle-reviews.html