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Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting Forum' started by 10ga.goosehunter, Jul 11, 2003.
What is the best caliber for Big Horn Sheep? Thanks.
my vote would be for anything in 257 WBY up to the 300 Mags. For sheep you want a flat shooting accurate gun but dont want much weight. The best sheep gun i have ever held was a Rifles Inc Strata in 270 WBY it weighed 5 lbs 7 ounces witha VXIII 4.5 -14 and was accurate as hell. Somethign makes me think you will see moxt guys suggest a .270, .280, and possibly a few 06's and 7mm-08. I would say the best overall is the .270 Win or 7mm-08 in a nice accurate light rifle.
I would have no problem taking my Wby. 257.
A Model 70 Featherweight in 7mm WSM or .270 WSM would be my choice today if I was looking at a factory rifle dedicated to sheep and goat hunting.
after a little resesarch i would go woth a 7mm weatherby in a ultra light weight rifle.Flat shootin , light and enough knock down power.
what ever caliber you decide on make sure the rifle is available in either mountain rifle, or ultra lite. I would choose the 270 cal, with a 130gr. Nosler Partion
I wouldn't hesitate one second in taking my .243 with 100 gr Sierra Game Kings. It hasn't let me down yet and they aren't any tougher than deer. Shoots well, its a Win Mod 70 Fwt with a 4X12 Nikon so its well equipped. Matter of fact when I decide I want to draw my sheep license in Wyoming (have max pref pts) it's what I'll use.
I just got a Browning A-Bolt in the new 270 WSM, this would be a great sheep gun. Jack O'Conner was a big sheep hunter and he used the 270 Winchester almost exclusively (sp), the 270 WSM is the same thing in a short action on steroids. This gun being a short action will be lighter than some of the long action (257 Weatherby) and shorter. Hunting in the mts. every ounce matters. My pick would be the Winchester Modle 70 Feather Wt. or the Browning A-Bolt stainless stalker.
You will never have a problem with any of the Weatherby calibers for sheep. As for the 243 that someone suggested, for a tag such as this, I would leave that caliber home. I have seen many whitetails that were lost due to this and the 6mm caliber and I would not risk this hunt on a marginal caliber. These sheep can be much tougher than you might think if not hit properly. When I decide to draw my tag, whats with that? Max points in WY doesn't mean you will ever see that sheep tag. Go with the 257 WBY, 270 WBY(My Favorite) or 300 WBY, which I have killed sheep with them all and you won't go wrong. Whatever you choose, put the best optics you can afford on the weapon. The weapon is only as good as the scope, which is only as good as the mounting system. I see way too many hunters each year that neglect this part of their hunting weapon.
I have killed bear, moose, whitetail, mulies and everything else I've shot at with the .243. Proper shot placement is the key to taking game. If you know your rifle (and if your going sheep hunting you better know it better than your wife) and you take your time to make a good shot within your capabilities you will take your game. I can say for a fact that I have never lost a single animal to the .243. But I also know my rifle and its and my limitations. Mulie was shot at 400yds and the moose went 80 yards after the shot.
I have watched guys at the range beat the heck out of themselves with the big calibers and can't hardly even hit the target consistently at 250yds. I laugh cause I can put 5 shots in a 2 inch group at that range and shoot 200 rds through the gun and go back again tomorrow. Most of those big cal guys can't shoot more than a box of 20 and they are spent.
Shoot a comfortable capable caliber that you have confidence in and know well and you will take your game as well or better than most.
And Chiefs, I'd would bet you my .243 I pull that license the first year I put in for the actual tag and not the pts but I'm not a betting man. But I'd be happy to send you the picture of my ram when I do. And your wrong, it doesn't matter how good the rifle and scope combo, if the guy pulling the trigger can't shoot it, it's just wounded or missed game.