Been hunting in some real dense underbrush the past couple years, stuff is so thick you have to crawl under it at times, I hate having to track anything in that mess so I have been running some real stout handloads trying to bang flop everything and while I have been very successful thus far the meat damage has been considerable with the smaller calibers and horrific with the 06, never hunted with any real large calibers before but have been thinking of going to a larger/heavier/SLOWER bullet to try to cut down the damage and keep putting them down on the spot. Several options out there for large caliber slow moving bullets and I was hoping to get some feedback from those who have used them. The lever option: A 45-70 with 350-405gr bullets moving at reasonable speeds seem to have a solid reputation for anchoring deer even with their tendency to overpenetrate, the 350gr Interlock seems highly praised for exceptional performance and low gunshot meat. The AR option: The 458 SOCOM can come within inches of the 45-70 with the lighter projectiels just not quite as fast with the 400gr stuff, comes in a very handy semi auto rifle. 450 Bushmaster is an option too but all else being equal I would take .458 cal bullets over .452 for reloading purposes. The single shot option: there is a .500 S&W Handi-rifle that should provide a healthy dose of caliber/mass/momentum even more so then the 45-70, only problem I have seen is alot of the .50 cal handgun bullets don't hold up as well to 500 S&W speed especially in a carbine length barrel and all that fragmentation could lead to just as much wasted meat as the max load 30-06 if I don't choose the right bullet. The Pump action option, good old 12 guage 1oz slug, never shot a deer with one before but people have told me they put them down faster then any rifle at close range. I don't know anything about them except the difference between a Foster and a Rifled slug and they kick pretty good in a featherweight 18" tactical. Bolt action option, I have always wanted a 358 Win carbine, while not as big as the other calibers listed with a 225gr I would imagine it could still make quite an impact even at moderate 2500fps speeds which in my experience are not too hard on meat as long as you are not using a highly frangible bullet. The Muzzle loader option: Only black powder I have ever shot has been at the range but supposedly a 50 cal muzzle loader can perform almost as well as a 45-70 pushing 300gr .50 caliber bullet to 1,8000fps which I would think would hit awful hard. Again my expertise is in high powered bolt actions I honestly don't know diddly about these things. Range in that mess is 100 yards max, most shots are around 30-40 yards. Despite the close range I never have been one for headshots, I'll take a neck if they hold still but I cannot count on it considering the small windows between the brush. Recoil is not a real big concern I have been shooting high powered rifles since I was a small child. Any other suggestions are welcome.