Moving to Florida- which rifle(s) and caliber(s)?

Hunting Sailor

AH enthusiast
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
382
Reaction score
398
Location
Florida
Media
12
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
South Africa, Sweden, Austria
Good day Forum,

The family is moving to Florida, East Coast Central.
So what are your opinions of what kind of rifles and caliber would I need? I hope to be able to hunt around Florida and perhaps make a trip to Georgia once per year for white tail.
I have a budget of $3000 for hunting rifles. I’ll utilize the scopes I have.
I have a 7mm Win Mag already, but anything else is up for discussions, style of action, material, make etc.
What would YOU do? Go wild…
 
Already having a 7mmRM, your next step should be a medium bore. 375H&H would be my choice, but anything from 8mm to 378WBY will serve you well. Real hog stoppers.

Then we can start talking about a big bore over .400 caliber.
 
I grew up in NE FL. Spent 25 years in Georgia. 7RM is a lot of gun for the small deer in FL, it's arguably too much for the bigger bodied deer in middle GA as well. But it will work on everything you could encounter. You'll do a lot more sitting in blinds/treestands/high houses than you are used to, so something non-magnum and compact is ideal.

For hogs, same thing. I'd actually go smaller - a 6.5 of some variety? Personal favorite is 6.5x55 but the (gasp) Creedmoor has many more rifle and factory ammo choices. I think a 7mm-08 is ideal for everything you'll encounter, but you don't need another 7mm.
 
I was in Montana black bear hunting in the late 1980’s. Father and son from Florida showed up to hunt.
They had a conversation with the outfitter when they booked the hunt. They told him there weren’t many hunting rifles for sale where they were. They wanted to know if 9mm was big enough. Could they bring Uzi’s?:ROFLMAO:
Both showed up with .30 caliber rifles of some variety as I recall.
Still no recommendation for 9mm Parabellum.
 
Should have written that I have a 7mm Rem Mag and nothing else…
I’ve been raised on .30-06 and first initial thought would be a Winchester M70 Supergrade in .30-06, but appreciate ALL suggestions, from small to medium to .400???

All my life I have had the dream of three hunting rifles, the above Winchester, an O/U in 9.3x74 (No specific make) and a Sako Vixen in 222Rem. Would that be a useful set up for the SE part of the US?

Of course that would be outside of the budget…
 
A big hog is the largest game in the SE unless you go the Carolina Black Bear Hunting. Most guys shoot hogs at the base of the ear. So, you really don't need anything else! ;-)

But, a 375 H&H or 404J for hogs and bear if you like. And, you're set for your trip to Africa.
 
Good day Forum,

The family is moving to Florida, East Coast Central.
So what are your opinions of what kind of rifles and caliber would I need? I hope to be able to hunt around Florida and perhaps make a trip to Georgia once per year for white tail.
I have a budget of $3000 for hunting rifles. I’ll utilize the scopes I have.
I have a 7mm Win Mag already, but anything else is up for discussions, style of action, material, make etc.
What would YOU do? Go wild…
Gus, sent you a PM, I live on the east central Florida coast. A 30-06 or 270 will work fine on deer and hogs. Your 7mm will also work fine to get things started. Welcome to the Free State of Florida
Ed
 
You do not need anything bigger than a thirty for anything east of the Mississippi to include reintroduced elk or a coastal black bear. Show up on a hog hunt with a .375, or God forbid a .404, and you will draw a crowd of the curious and amused. Frankly, your 7 mag is more rifle than you need for southern deer, but will certainly work. Most people who you will encounter will be using a .270, .308, or .243.

The other gun you should consider is a 20 bore OU. There is a lot of great dove and quail hunting around you, particularly southern GA. Most places don’t allow anything heavier than a 20 or a repeater of any sort. In fact, I would be inclined to spend my budget on that, and use my 7 mag until I decided what rifle would be ideal for me (not a bunch of guys on the web who live elsewhere).
 
Gus, sent you a PM, I live on the east central Florida coast. A 30-06 or 270 will work fine on deer and hogs. Your 7mm will also work fine to get things started. Welcome to the Free State of Florida
Ed
Hey,
Thanks for the welcoming words and the recommendations.
I replied to the PM.
 
I grew up in NE FL, now live in Coastal GA, For years I used my 7mmRM. Most shots were under 60 yds, you don't need a magnum for that.
I got a 243 and absolutely love it! If I'm hunting power lines or large fields I use a 300 win mag because that's the rifle I feel the most comfortable making a long shot.

I still have the 7mmRM and a .30/30 that I inherited, so If I'm in the swamps it's the 30/30.

Problably the "best" would be a 308 or 7/08 I'd reckon although all will kill deer and hogs,

Just my opinion...

BTW I've shot one hog and 2 deer with a 375 H&H because I have one and it begged me to take it hunting. Big bullet traveling fast goes through and very little if any expansion (unless you shoot the length of the body) all the animals I took with mine, the bullet acted more like a solid. Went in about the size of my pinky finger and out about the size of my pointer finger, My theory is that by time the bullet started to expand it was through the animal.
 
You do not need anything bigger than a thirty for anything east of the Mississippi to include reintroduced elk or a coastal black bear. Show up on a hog hunt with a .375, or God forbid a .404, and you will draw a crowd of the curious and amused. Frankly, your 7 mag is more rifle than you need for southern deer, but will certainly work. Most people who you will encounter will be using a .270, .308, or .243.

Completely agree...

Specific to FL, I know 4 pretty avid hunters in the state that regularly chase deer, hogs, and turkey..

One uses a .308.. another a .270.. and the remaining two have .45-70 lever actions.. and that is their entire hunting arsenal other than the 12ga each of them owns for the birds..
 
The other gun you should consider is a 20 bore OU. There is a lot of great dove and quail hunting around you, particularly southern GA. Most places don’t allow anything heavier than a 20 or a repeater of any sort. In fact, I would be inclined to spend my budget on that, and use my 7 mag until I decided what rifle would be ideal for me (not a bunch of guys on the web who live elsewhere).
This is an excellent point - there are a load of terrific quail and dove opportunities in FL/GA and a 20 bore O/U is just the right medicine.
 
Seems if I read your question and the comments and answers that you need either a nice combination rifle or a drilling
The problem with most drillings is that they are choked too tightly and have barrels that are too short to be reliable for wing shooting - particularly quail that are generally taken at very close range. Also, the vast majority are 16 bore and would not be allowed on many plantations for quail. Finally some southern states have laws that prohibit bringing a rifle afield while hunting game birds.
 
I am more on the practical side of things. Get some 7mm rem mag reduced recoil ammo to equate to a 7mm-08. You don't need extreme accuracy in a place where 100 yards is a long shot and 150 yards is a really long shot.

That round should be ok for hogs, but I would also pick up a 12ga with both smooth and rifled barrel. Shoot the slugs at the hogs, especially if you are after big ones.

Take that saved money and buy whatever you want to play around with
 
With the likely close range hunting, a 30-30 is hard to beat. A 308 is relatively cheap and not overkill for anything. If want to go true Florida Man, go the AR10 route so can shoot any animals you want but also fit in with Florida crowd.
 
Thanks for all the info and input. Haven’t thought of the shotgun route, although I have had combination firearms, both O/U and Drilling I’ve never shot any animal with the shotgun. May be something I need to look into. Bird hunting sounds interesting.

Seems the consensus though is that I’m pretty OK with the 7 Mag for whatever may come, but there may be “better” options. Perhaps a smaller or slower caliber is in the future.

Thanks again!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
54,737
Messages
1,161,541
Members
94,744
Latest member
RileyBetan
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Our trophy shed is filling up and we are only getting started,

cwpayton wrote on CM McKenzie's profile.
Sir ,is that picture of you packing the shoshone river trail thru buffalo pass? Im trying to get a plan togather for a ride. do you pack professionally or for pleasure. thanks
Cal {cwpayton}
ghay wrote on gearguywb's profile.
Is this rifle sold? If not what is the weight of it and do you know if there is enough difference in diameter between the 35W and the 9.3 to allow for a rebore to a 9.3x62 which is what I am after?
Thanks,
Gary (Just down the road in Springfield)
Woods wrote on Hunter-Habib's profile.
Forgive me if this is the incorrect area, I signed up to this forum just now because I wanted to be on the list to purchase a copy of your autobiography. Please feel free to pass my information along to whomever is selling. Thank you so much. I look forward to it!
I like the Tillie in my picture. They are supposed to fit loose (2 fingers inside hat band), have mesh for cooling, and hold their shape after washing.
 
Top