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Old 09-13-2011, 07:54   #1
IndianaMatt
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Anyone hunt deer using only iron sights?

Back in the Good Olde Days, there were no 12x scopes. Back in those days, a man had to feed his family using a rifle with ordinary fixed iron sights.

Does anyone still hunt this way? Taking aside for a moment the ethical implications of assuming more risk when you shoot at an animal, it seems this would bring a very big element of "fair chase" back to the sport.
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:00   #2
K1500
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Yes, with both rifle and handgun.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:41   #3
IndianaMatt
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Yes, with both rifle and handgun.
Any major hits or misses hunting this way?
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:10   #4
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Any major hits or misses hunting this way?
Muzzle loader, and pistol, and yes I've had misses. Never really a clear miss per say, if I were trying to hit the sapling I didn't see with the naked eye. That's happened 3 or 4 times that I can remember. Scopes really help seeing small trees that for some reason I seem to hit often. The last time I did that, was five seasons ago, shot at a buck around 50 yards, with my muzzle loader, could not believe I missed. Walked up to where he was standing, and no sign of a hit. Walked back, and about half way between him, and I, was a sapling bent in half. Lifted it up to upright, and there was a perfect round hole about 2/3's of the way through the tree! When you are concentrating on a spot to shoot on the deer, it's easy to not see the trees for the forest.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:25   #5
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Yep, both hits and misses, but misses are more informative. I missed a deer with a 6.5" S&W 629 Classic once. It was a shot across a small draw, maybe 30-40 yards. It was about 5 minutes into legal shooting light. I could see the deer, backstop, and sights well. At the shot, the deer looked up perplexed at the loud noise and then sauntered out of there. It was a clean miss (I checked). What I couldn't see in the low light were the small sticks of an intervening tree. Sure enough, I clipped one with my XTP. That's the excuse I'm running with anyway, as it was a pretty easy shot otherwise.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:32   #6
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I will also tell you this about pistol scopes, from experience! First light, seeing a nice buck, at about 40 yards standing broadside, and put the Redhawk up, topped with a Leupold scope, at least 10x's, and cannot, find the deer in the scope, and it was only a 2 power. Now when I use a scope, it's 0 power with a red dot!
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Old 09-14-2011, 16:01   #7
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muzzleloader, pistol, and rifle. Shotgun has a 0x red dot on it, next rifle will have a small scope.
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Old 09-14-2011, 17:50   #8
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Only thing in the gun safe with a scope, is the Ruger and the Remington 7mm rem mag, because we do a great deal of long range prairie shooting, and off the canyon rims behind the house.. I do not use them on levers, or hog legs or muzzle loaders. Nor sight pins on a recurve or long bow. I am and old dude who likes to stay simple. It works real well for me...

No one take this as offfense...



Bless you old boys and good hunting...






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Old 09-15-2011, 20:18   #9
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... When you are concentrating on a spot to shoot on the deer, it's easy to not see the trees for the forest.
Wow, this is like some serious outdoorsman philosophy.
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Old 09-15-2011, 20:49   #10
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Wow, this is like some serious outdoorsman philosophy.
Yes it's something I take real serious!
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Old 09-15-2011, 20:55   #11
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I shoot iron sights on my Win Model 94 30/30. I shoot iron sights on my .50 cal. muzzleloader. I shoot iron sights on my 12 ga. slug gun. Everything else has a scope.

The 30/30 aims as easily as I point my finger. That may be because I have carried it for years as my sons grew up and I used as a back-up in case they missed. (they never did)

The slug gun shoots low. I've learned to use Kentucky windage to hit what I want.

The muzzleloader is fun to hunt with and its accuracy continues to surprise after all these years.

Last edited by Jonesee; 09-15-2011 at 20:55..
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Old 09-17-2011, 17:41   #12
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I sot with Peer sights and glad for them and my scope rifles. Anything that makes your AIM more straight and accurate is a blessing.

To say the ole'den days they used iron sights , but I betcha a dollar they would glady take a scope or reddot was available. Just like we evolve to use better technology & tools, I highly doubt the massive would revert back to iron only sights.
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Old 09-19-2011, 18:13   #13
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Took my first few deer with a scoped .243 Winchester but the most recent two deer with an open sighted Dan Wesson Razorback in 10mm. I don't really have any plans to go back to ANYTHING with a scope. My primary deer gun has changed from the Razorback to my new (open sighted) Fusion longslide 10mm. The only long gun I might use in the future would be a nice open sighted lever-action in .30-30 or .44 mag.

I prefer to keep deer hunting close and using other skills to git em'
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Old 09-20-2011, 18:44   #14
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the thing with iron sights is...low light. for years i hunted with iron sights on everything from shoutguns to rifles. legal hunting time in maryland is 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset. my iron sights were pretty much useless durring both those times. other than that they worked 95% of the time. rain, snow, ice and woods trash took the other 5%.
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Old 09-20-2011, 19:14   #15
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I can't recall ever firing on an animal with a scoped centerfire rifle or shotgun. I've taken some squirrels and bird with a scoped .22, but that's about it. Deer have all been iron sight shotgun and fowl were the same. I'd like to try
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Old 09-20-2011, 19:33   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walt cowan View Post
the thing with iron sights is...low light. for years i hunted with iron sights on everything from shoutguns to rifles. legal hunting time in maryland is 1/2 hour before sunrise and 1/2 hour after sunset. my iron sights were pretty much useless durring both those times. other than that they worked 95% of the time. rain, snow, ice and woods trash took the other 5%.
Very true, and something most will fail to realize. I have to keep potential shots REAL CLOSE during those times.
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Old 09-20-2011, 20:19   #17
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fwiw anybodu hunting with a 12x scope for deer at normal deer range is serious hamper. More so for a handgun. I more accuaret at 2x than 4x for handguns on paper targets.

Now at early light, the scopes win hands down over iron scope with identifying the target as far as I'm concern.
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Old 09-20-2011, 21:33   #18
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I use irons with levers and handguns. No misses but as mentioned above the dusk/dawn thing is rough on both.

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Old 09-21-2011, 08:25   #19
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Now that I think about it, I've always used a low power scope.

I've only shot three deer in my life, though.

Turkey and upland birds are a different story.
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Old 09-30-2011, 13:53   #20
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I hunt deer in Vermont with a Winchester lever action and open sights. Typical distance in the thick mountainous woods of Vermont is 100yds.
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Old 10-05-2011, 19:38   #21
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whar scope?

I grew up shooting a .22 with iron sights and have always shot iron sights. My first teo deer were taken with a 357 S&W with iron sights and since then it has either been a 30-30 or my longbow. Even killed my last bear with a 30-30 and iron sights(my first was with a longbow)
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:41   #22
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Only Muzzleloader and shotgun in Ohio. I used a scoped 870 one year and I have considered using an inline with an optic, but year after year it is the iron sighted 870 or Hawkins .50. When I get lucky enough to hunt in a state allowing rifles, I always have used a scope. Model 70 .30-06 with a 2-7 Leupold, Savage model 10 308 with a 3-9, or the 243 with a 2-7 Leupold. It seems to help in low light and for animals that are moving a bit, but overall I use them on the rifles because it makes the 200-250 yard shots easier (I have only made two shots at those ranges on deer) in my limited experience. I can shoot irons further just fine, but picking up the animal quickly and making them out against similar colored background makes focusing on the front sight tip a bit more difficult. It definitely isn't a B-mod sitting at 500 yards. I usually limit shots further than 250 to paper or groundhogs/rock chucks.

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Old 10-09-2011, 08:11   #23
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Shot my first deer with open sights. After that I used use a red dot off and on due to low light and eye issues. Also use open sights on my crossbow but will probably switch to red dot by next season.

Regards,

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Old 10-12-2011, 19:38   #24
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Have always used iron sghts with my Remington 11-87, CVA Muzzleloader, and Colt Anaconda 44Mag. here in Ohio. Really don't have those long range shots as you do in other parts of the country.
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Old 10-12-2011, 22:23   #25
Lt Scott 14
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On a deer hunt in 2008, took a 6 pointer w/ bead sight at less than 50yds. 12ga, NEF Pardner pump w/ 18" bbl. Used 2 3/4 standard slug, 1 shot. Scopes are legal, but no laser or bright spotlighting in the field (Indiana). Most hunters use iron sights that I know.
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