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I asked this question on the Bolt Action forum, but thought you guys would have excellent feedback also. . . just in case you dont use the other forum. I have an opportunity for a 1st time pronghorn hunt in SE Wyoming. I have 2 rifles. a Tikka in 243 and a Weatherby in 30-06. I am sure that either rifle can do the job, at least out to 300 yds. But which of these 2 rifles would you use and what bullet would you shoot?
 

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See my reply to your other post.
Selmer
 

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I have both calibers also among others available to me. If I ever make it out for a pronghorn hunt with rifle it will be with my Browning 1885 Low Wall in .243.

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I've only hunted antelope a few times but found them to be very fragile. I have shot them with theTC in 35 rem,with a 308, and witnessed 2 shot with 222. All stood for 10 - 15 seconds after the shot then fell over. All lung shots ranges from 125 to about 200 yards. I wouldn't hesitate to use a 243 on shots out to 250 yds but if you expect londer shots go with the 06. Since Wyoming is more open and flatter than the area I hunt the 06 might be better.
 

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Take the rifle your most accurate with.I've shot a dozen or so Antelope with the .243,my daughters use .243's for Antelope and deer in Montana.It is a great caliber for Antelope.
 

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If I get the chance, I'd love to get close enough to use a 30-30. Having never hunted prongs, but understanding that long shots are the rule, is why I posted in favor of the '06. I consider myself a hunter, as opposed to a shooter, and though I take long shots too, I prefer to get close, doing so is hard work, and nice when it pays off.
 

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John Y Canuck, not saying you're wrong or anything of the sort, but if you haven't hunted the speed goats and you pick the .30-06 over the .243 simply because there might be a longer shot, I wouldn't disagree with you, but I will bring up the point that one shoots just as flat as the other, mine do anyway, and I'd say take the one you have more confidence in. Antelope are not "tough" animals, shoot them in the vitals and they'll go down right quick, the .243 is enough for them farther than I want to shoot, as is the .30-06, but dont' dismiss the .243 because it's not as flat as the .30-06. I think I must be bored here at work, I'm just trying to write something for the sake of writing something. Don't mind me. I like the .30-30 idea, makes you get closer, hunt harder.

Selmer
 

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Hey John Y, I was just bored, don't mind me. Anything you can get close and hit them in the right spot with is the right gun, as long as it's more than a .222.
Selmer
 

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Like I said, I'll take your word for it, I havn't hunted them. They are easy to kill you say. Like what? Easier than a similar sized whitetail?
:D
 

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John... if you pick the correct area to hunt them the 30-30 is a very viable option. Where I hunt them in ND they often can be found in the short rolling hills near the badlands. While I have yet to be successful bowhunting (stalking) them I often am able to get within 60 -80 yards. My gun kills have all come within 30-30 range.

Keep this in mind. Pronghorns are built for speed. That means a light bone structure and high capacity lungs. A big pronghorn is probably still smaller than a year old Canadian whitetail doe. The bones break easier and a shot to the lungs will shut them down fast.

The limitations I placed on the 243 in an earlier post were based on the style of shooting I see all to often here and do not want to advocate. Running game at 300 or 400 yards. Because of the increased margin of error involved and the number of unskilled hunter taking such shots I tend to advise a step up in caliber. I mean this as no indication of your or anone elses shooting skills on this board as I find that most who hang here are serious hunters and shooters who's skills I suspect are above average.
 

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From my experience I'd say they're easier to kill than a similar sized whitetail, there's nothing I could say to attest to it more than dakotashooter2 has already said, including the running shot issue, great post dakotashooter2! I remember my first year hunting the goats I was with some people I haven't hunted with since, by my choice. There tactic was to try to run them down with a pickup across the South Dakota prairie. As we were bouncing along, I looked at the speedometer, it read 65 mph and we weren't gaining an inch on those buggers, it's much more fun to spot a stalk and make a sure kill.
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Caliber for Antelope

I hunt antelope near Buffalo WY and it is similar to the SE part of the state so conditions are probly similar. I have shot 5 in the last two years using a .270 and Reminton factory shells with the 140 grain Nosler ballistic tip bullet. One was taken at 200 yards the rest between 300 to 350 yards. While there my hunting partner took the same number of animals at about the same yardage using a .308. My advice would be to use the rifle that is most accurate with a fairly light constructed bullet. I always take my .270 out as my main rifle and bring a .257 Roberts along as backup. On thing you can't determine is of course distance and also the wind. My first year on the second day we had 40 mile per hour winds. It was strong enough to blow empty semis off the road at least that's what Paul Harvey said on the radio. Having said that we had antelope go past us this year at 20 yards. Neither of us fired a shot. They caught us by surprise and ran right past us. Hard to pick up in my scope set at 8X. At any rate you will most likely fuss over this until time to go. Best of all have a good time I'm sure you'll have plenty of stories to tell. Also after the pictures field dress your goat right away and cool it down. They are great to eat regardless of what everyone says to the contrary. 8)
 

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.243 is a fantastic round for anything up to and including mule deer with the right bullet (Nosler partition), but it is no flatter than a .30-06, and if I'm taking shots over 300 yds. at game animals, give me my .30-06 with a 165 gr. bullet. The .243 loses energy quickly past 250 yds. and the lighter bullet sheds velocity a little quicker. The .30-06, .243 and .308 are my 3 favortie rounds, I think the .243 is possibly the most versatile up to mule deer because of it's incredible varmint potential, mine groups 55 gr. BT's .5" at 100 yds and 400 fps, which is definitely in the .220 Swift category the "mother of all varmint cartridges". Don't take this post the wrong way, I love the .243, especially if you need a light kicking round, as long as the person that shoots it is proficient with it and practices often! It gave me my first three big game animal in one fall, whitetail doe, 4x5 muley buck, and a 15" antelope, a total of four shots, I missed my first on the doe!
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I currently shoot the .243 with the Barnes 85 gr. XLCBT @ 3450 fps. and it is flatter than my 30-06 with 165 gr. Sierra Gameking BT @ 2800 fps. You're correct, the lighter bullet does lose energy faster at longer range, but I have seen (and shot myself) what most people would consider very very long shots on big bodied mule deer, and the results were devestating. In the words of a Navy Seal I talked to at the range, "the .243 is a very effective killer". I don't know why, but with the correct bullet for velocity, and a well placed shot, it seems to perform beyond what my energy tables say it should. Going to try the same load on pigs in three weeks, and then on high country black bears three weeks after that. Again, I can't stress enough that a person must make a good shot, and the light recoil of the .243 makes it more likely to happen. Tim.
 
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