Can a .22LR death a deer? This question proceeds to pop up. It can even involve modern-day airguns; no the latest pre-charged big-bore types of .45 or .50 caliber, but conventional .177 or .22 caliber rifles advertised together “magnums.”

Key Points:

The .22LR has actually been offered to kill big animals from bear come gators.A .22LR will certainly kill a deer with cautious shot placement, however hunting with it is illegal in many states.The .22LR is much better for tiny game and varmints.

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The sometimes feral hog bring away by an outdoor TV personality may lead credence to such use, yet in reality, also the many potent .22-caliber barrel-cocking “springers” will be tough pressed come beat a .22 Short.

Of course, a .22 long Rifle is much more “powerful” (a nebulous term), and also it likewise has its share of stories between campfires, barstools, and also the internet. Some sources might be suspect, however for much better or worse, this is my friend’s story.


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.22LR hunting in Alaska

Many years ago, my lot older cousin, Dave, joined a girlfriend for summer-long road expedition to Alaska. The mileage alone was impressive due to the fact that their starting-point to be in new England – and also then there was the ALCAN Highway. At that time much of this wild route was gravel and notoriously difficult on vehicles. Gift college kids with scarce funds, your old Ford was already well-used.

Beating the odds though, it not only obtained them come Alaska, but additionally near the northern borders of “drivable ” roads. Predictably, at the point, it gave up the ghost – luckily, close to a native Alaskan village. V neither the sources or funds because that repairs, the locals began a rescue and noted them v a roof. The resolution showed interesting and also led to also greater adventures. Turn out, the little local institution was in desperate require of 2 teachers.

Being proverbial opportunists, strange accents aside, the elders thought about these 2 college boys a providential gift. In quick order the travelers were not just residents, but also the village’s official teachers, an plan that lasted 2 years.

Hunting was, that course, a universal practice. Shiny new firearms were absent and ammunition to be scarce, but the residents were exploitive and bold. Sometimes, really bold. Dave shared an account of one old hunter armed solely v an iron-sighted, .22 LR bolt-action rifle.

The area was inhabited with Arctic ground squirrels, preyed ~ above by huge bears. This particular hunter would certainly spot and also then stalk a bear, very closely low-crawling the last leg behind a burrow-mound on an ideal terrain through the wind in his face. Once in position, the raise a fist and also move his eight to simulate a squirrel. When the bear drew near he shot the in the eye.

.22LR hunting in the Swamp

Current adrenaline-charged events can be perceived on Swamp People, where huge alligators space dispatched, once again, utilizing battle-scarred rimfires. The Cajun hunters ‘choot ‘em through a solitary .22 LR bullet, placed surgically to their massive heads in ~ close distance. Several of these ‘gators are over twelve feet long and also weigh hundreds of pounds – lot nastier and larger than your traditional deer!

Well-worn .22 rimfires (including handguns) can additionally be uncovered at numerous family farms, often for the slaughter the livestock. Specific results call for a surgically placed shot come the brain, yielded at close-to-contact distance. Of course, countless of these pets are larger than the best deer through the possible exception of moose.

So, yes, you can kill really big animals through a single .22 LR bullet. What about a deer?

.22LR Deer hunting – story to Tails

It’s anyone’s guess: v how numerous deer have been poached through .22 LR bullets, therefore we’ll simply go with “lots.” numerous are no doubt shot in ~ night if illuminated at relatively close range. It’s likewise safe to assume a fair amount high-tail off as if unhurt, just to endure a lingering death.

Thus, a wily old poacher will certainly aim for the head and rely on a single reasonably quiet and also well-placed shot. Sounds doable in principle, however as all competent deer hunters know, a head-shot deserve to be quite iffy nevertheless of the caliber.


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Victim that a mauling indigenous coyotes? great chance!
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And climate there’s searching season. Deer lead tough lives.

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Coyotes are just plain tough, but deer have the right to take a beating too even though they’re often classified as “thin-skinned” game. Typical of other north climes, our Maine whitetails grow big because the winters space severe. Eye is frequently measured in feet and hungry coyotes room never much behind.

Those that endure have currently endured the rigors of deer season, and also not all arise unscathed. Most of our neighborhood chop shops have actually at the very least one broadhead or bullet on hand, uncovered during butchering. The bulk involve deer v healed wounds.

Although the “right” caliber is extremely subjective, for those in my deer searching circle, the aforementioned .243 Winchester (or comparable recent 6mms) constitute the lower threshold – a far cry from any type of .22 rimfire!

That said, if faced with a serious bug-out requiring expanded travel by foot, I’d in ~ least think about a .22 rifle; more than likely a take-down model with a 500-round brick that high-speed.22 LR HPs. A deer would certainly still it is in the last resort, though. Smaller critters consisting of birds room a lot more portable – and they’re additionally made out of meat. Meanwhile, a swarm of .22-caliber bees would sell at the very least some protective reassurance!