Originally Posted by Crazycastor
Hey Apex, I,ve never shot a deer with a 30-06 but my brother and I were both wondering what kind a damage it would do to mule deer. We shot some milk jugs filled with water and it just blew those things us and shredded the plastic into little pieces. Planning on reloading for next years deer hunt. Should we load for a slower bullet say 165 grain for mule deer?
On a larger mule deer the 30-06 starts coming into it's own, meat damage is not too excessive on game that sized especially if you can keep it in the neck or behind the shoulder. 165gr is a good all around weight but load what your rifle likes to shoot, some rifles just like certain bullet weights/models. For my 165gr Game Kings I have had my best results with 57gr of IMR4350, but that is an extra stout load so be sure you are comfortable with 30-06 recoil before you try and hunt with those. How bad can the meat damage be with a 30-06 on small deer.....Well the last two we neck shot with it nearly had their head removed by the bullet, one had to be hung by his hind legs to skin him since skin was the only thing holding his head on, put one of those through the shoulders and you might as well throw the whole front half of the deer away.
Nice thing about handloading is you can tweek them however you like, I could easily tone my 30-06 down to mild 308 level performance and cut back on the damage that my loads do, but in reality I have a 6.5x55 and 7mm-08 that are already perfect for that role, why mess with 30-06 perfection when there is larger game to hunt?