If you're serious about deer hunting, you need to be equally serious about your gear. The right rifle can take your hunting game from average to extraordinary. Today, we've assembled the top ten best rifles to get you the best bang for your buck, pun intended.
You could go with a basic, trusty bolt gun, but if you have more specialized goals, like long-range, lightweight, or amplified accuracy, explore the choices below to choose the best gear for your next hunting trip.
1. Beanfield Sniper Remington Sendero SF II
This 26-inch barrel rifle is heavy, weighing in at over ten pounds, but it's worth the weight when it comes to the velocity and accuracy of the shots. If you're not intimidated by the idea of lugging this rifle around, or if you only have a little way to hike, this is a perfect choice. Be sure to bring a sling with you, just in case. ($1,465)
2. Timber Classic Marlin 336C
Lever guns are a classic choice for deer hunters, not only because of the history and nostalgia associated with them but also because of their versatility. They have unmatched balance, portability, handling, and firepower. This reasonably-priced rifle is perfect for hunting in a small blind. ($610)
3. Alpine Shooter Sako Finnlight
The Sako Finnlight is famous for its mild recoil, killing power and accurate loads. Weighing in at 6 pounds, it is superbly accurate and reliable. ($1,699)
4. All-Purpose All-Star Weatherby Vanguard Series 2
This rifle firmly holds its place as an all-around top-notch bolt gun. The Series 2 boasts a better trigger and shock, and a three-position safety, which make it a great option for big-game hunters. ($799)
5. Penny-Pincher Ruger American
Despite its less-than-stellar appearance, this is a solid rifle at an unparalleled price. It's got a three-lug action and Weaver-style scope bases, which add to its already incredible value. ($499)
6. Small-Plot Smasher Ambush 300 Blackout
This rifle is sure to knock an animal down quickly. With a 16-inch barrel and a powerful semi-automatic operation, the Ambush 300 is perfect for hunting in small areas. ($1,799)
7. First-Timer Outfit H&R Handi Rifle
If a basic rifle is what you're after, this is the gun for you. A great choice for the unexperienced or young hunters, the simple, single-shot Handi Rifle is easily loaded and fired. Coupled with an accurate shot and good triggers, this means no stress for the user. ($322)
8. Slug-Zone Specialist Savage M220 Stainless Camo
The Savage name stands for reliability and accuracy, especially when equipped with Savage's Accu-Trigger. The 20-gauge slugs offer a much softer shooting experience, without compromising its effectiveness. ($582)
9. Muzzleloading Workhorse Thompson/Center Pro Hunter FX
One of the best muzzleloaders on the market, this well-made 26-inch barrel rifle is easy to clean and shoot- great for black powder hunting. ($649)
10. Open-Country Stalker Nosler M48 Patriot
Carefully designed by craftsmen, this rifle is designed for long-range hunting of medium-sized game. It's sturdy and well-proportioned, with hard-hitting firepower. ($1,695)
Once you've got your high-quality gear, be sure to check out X Factor Whitetails of Indiana, which boasts over 1,000 acres of challenging hunting grounds and a beautiful lodge. Located an hour north of Indianapolis, X Factor Whitetails is sure to suit all of your deer-hunting needs.
Danny Shetler works as a forest ranger and spends a tremendous amount of his downtime hunting and fishing. Living in the Pacific Northwest affords him the terrain to spend the majority of his time cruising the forests of Mount Baker and Mount Rainier or taking his small fishing boat out into the waters around the San Juan Islands.