New guy from Central Coast, CA

Niccok30

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Oct 29, 2019
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Hi everyone, Nick here from the Central Coast, CA. I haven’t ever hunted but plan on next year 2020 going on my first deer hunt. To make a long story very short I didn’t grow up hunting b/c my dad didn’t hunt, he was big into fishing. We fished both fresh & salt water. I had registered for the last hunter safety class this year but the week of my class my dad passed away (2 weeks ago) so I wasn’t able to make it. I plan on registering as soon as the classes open up for net year. For the last few years I have felt that I really want to go hunt so now at 41yrs it’s my time and I hope that it’s something I can pass onto to my kids.

So I have now been researching all different make/models/calibers of deer rifles. I own a Rem700 .308 w/20” barrel that I built as more of just a fun target rifle that I can reach out with a little bit. Here in my area on the central coast, CA we have blacktail deer and would like to find the right rifle for what I plan on hunting. Lately I have researching the .257 Weatherby magnum.

Just looking for some advise from experienced hunters on where to start.
 

brnsvllyjohn

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Oct 7, 2017
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California (for now)
There is nothing wrong with a 308 for big game hunting. No need to worry about getting a magnum to hunt deer. Your time and money would be much better spent on learning an area to hunt and figuring out the tag system. I shoot a 7 mag but almost never shoot further than 200 yards in California. Your 308 with take deer to well over 300 yards if you do your part.
Welcome to Hunt Talk. I grew up in Monterey Co. and had a lot of success hunting Central Ca.
 

LuketheDog

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Nov 29, 2015
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Sedalia, Colorado
Sorry for your loss, but welcome to HT! That .308 will kill blacktail deer just fine for now, but don't let me ever talk you out of buying a sweet new rig if you want one, I have my eye on a .257 Weatherby myself. I shot numerous wild pigs and blacktails with a used .270 when I was a kid out there in CA and none of them went far. I grew up in Santa Ynez, the south end of the Central Coast.
 

Bigjav

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Aug 3, 2016
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Central California
If you want to buy a rifle by all means go for it.. however keep in mind that in Cali you’re required to be lead free now. So if you do decide on getting a new one be sure that there is lead free ammo for that caliber readily available, preferably locally because a lot of the online places shy away from here because of all the BS gun laws or charge you handsomely because of them
 

hank4elk

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Welcome Nick from NM & another ex-Central Coaster.
Lived most of my life in SLO county & hunted those BT deer,pigs,turkey, and once for elk. The 308 will do just fine. I started with my Win.30-30 & moved to a 30-06 that I still use. I see the 308 as the new 30-06, as it is a common and ammo readily available and will take most any game you will find in CA & the west.
 

Ben Sellers

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Oct 29, 2018
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Welcome! My only concern about your current rifle is if it was built heavy. A 20 pound target rifle would suck in the mountains. Otherwise, it would be ideal.
 

Nitekast

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Sep 26, 2019
Messages
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Welcome from AZ! Sorry to hear about your father, hope you can get some good hunting advice from this community to learn and take your kids out to enjoy the great outdoors!
 

kiwi hunter

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Jul 21, 2013
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408
welcome to our world,,one feature of the 257 is lack of projectiles,,imho the new 6.5 prc would be far more suitable,,85 gr up the the new lr 156grs to when you xpand your hunting range to include elk at some point in the future,,good luck and i hope you find a experienced hunter to mentor you in you new journey
 

Ridge Ghost

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Missoula, MT
Where in the Central Coast are you from? I went to college in San Luis Obispo and spent lots of time exploring up and down the coast surfing, hiking etc in places like Montano de Oro, Morro Bay and Cayucos.

Nothing wrong with a .308 for deer or any other big game. Ammo is cheap and readily available in many varieties. That's not always the case with the .257 wm you mentioned. Unless you reload I would stick to something more standard like .308, .270, 30-06, etc. No need for a magnum unless you plan to practice and shoot at long ranges.

How heavy is the .308? If it's a decent weight for hiking around with I say stick with it, find some ammo that it likes, practice, practice some more, scout, and go hunt.
 

LuketheDog

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Sedalia, Colorado
Where in the Central Coast are you from? I went to college in San Luis Obispo and spent lots of time exploring up and down the coast surfing, hiking etc in places like Montano de Oro, Morro Bay and Cayucos.
I went to Poly for a year, surfed in those places plus Hazard's and a few others that were a little sharky for my tastes! When were you up there?
 

hank4elk

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I went to Poly for a year, surfed in those places plus Hazard's and a few others that were a little sharky for my tastes! When were you up there?
Sounds like the old days. Have a few units from CowPoly. Was a member of the dawn patrol @ the Canyon for many years. Grew up with Whitey & the finned ones there at Hazards. Saw a few very large ones,and knew a guy who got chomped @ Cayuseless. Fun times.
 

Niccok30

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Oct 29, 2019
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Wow, thank you everyone for the warm welcome and all of the advice. So I got my .308 out of the safe and put it on the scale.. I would say it’s on the heavy side at 11.2 lbs unloaded. It’s a Rem700 SPS Tactical w/20” heavy barrel and I put it on a Magpul hunter stock. Picture attached. Like I said early I built this for just having fun out at the range. A few of you have asked I live in “North County” of San Luis Obispo County.
 

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LuketheDog

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She's a beast, that won't be too fun to carry. I built an AR for target shooting, it was 12 lbs without a scope or bipod, sold it without ever firing it. You should get a new rifle, just 'cuz :)
 

SG25

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Oct 26, 2018
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California
Welcome to HT! Sorry to hear about your father. I am Central, CA but more inland though. Lots of great hunting opportunities here in this area. Your gun is a little heavy to be hiking around with, but it will work just fine. Lots of very knowledgeable people on here if you have any questions. Good luck!
 

hank4elk

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Location
SW NM
I was a North County guy for years too. Go Eagles. My avatar is a La Panza/Carrizo cow.
SM Lake Patrol. Knew a Nick in Santa Margarita,had the lumber yard. My bro still lives there.
I would look for a Howa, Tikka, Weatherby Vanguard in 308, 22".
 
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