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7mm Mag Rifle for Deer Hunting

Ken Reeves | Mossy Oak ProStaff

Ken Reeves buck with rifle

I purchased a Thompson/Center 7mm Mag rifle to hunt with during gun season. The 7mm is my favorite round to shoot, because it’s so flat shooting. I like to hand load my ammunition, and I've taught my son Kyle how to hand load, because he has a 7mm Magnum rifle also. 

youth with trophy buckBecause I do hunt in a lot of thick places, I don’t really need a rifle with a big cartridge like the 7mm. However, when I have the opportunity to travel out of state where I may have a long shot, I know my 7mm will do the job. Having said that, I should mention that I have friends in Walker County, Alabama, who have leased some reclaimed strip mined lands. On those properties, we often have an opportunity to shoot a deer from 200 to 400 yards. 

My favorite 7mm is the Encore single-shot rifle. That’s not to say I don’t like an automatic or a bolt-action rifle. However, with a bolt action, by the time you bolt the rifle and try to pick up the deer in the scope, you probably won’t get a second shot. I've hunted with a single-shot rifle for so long that I've learned not to squeeze the trigger until I have a kill shot. I settle down and make sure when I squeeze the trigger that the deer will fall. I keep some extra bullets affixed to the stock of my rifle. If I do need a follow-up shot, I have a bullet handy and I can reload the rifle in a hurry. 

I've taken several 10-point bucks, a good number of big 8-pointers and a heavy main-frame 9-point with my Thompson/Center Encore. My best bucks will score about 140 points, but my son Kyle, when he was 13, took a buck that scored 162 inches. At that time, Kyle was shooting a Thompson/Center 7-08. 

Besides rifle hunting for deer, I also enjoy using a pistol to hunt deer, but that’s for close shots.

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