I will be taking my 12 year old son antelope hunting this fall. He has already killed 2 whitetail buck deer with his 243. He seems fine shooting a 308. What would you recomend for a caliber for him? any other suggestions for a young hunter for antelope would be appreciated. Thanks all.
Antelope are not much different in size than a small eastern whitetail. They have fragile bones being as they are built for speed not strength. The 243 with high BC bullets will be fine. Wind may be a big problem so use as much muzzle velocity and BC as you can get and then try to get some practice.
Jim's right on. They are not hard to kill at all. Get your son practicing at some longer ranges and that 243 will do great. Depending on the terrain, you may be able to get him up close to some. Wear a white T-shirt. They may come right in to you. Watch out for rattlesnakes. They live in the same country as antelope. Where are you going to be hunting?
The best suggestion is for him to practice. Get away from the bench and shoot under real world conditions: on the ground, off a bipod, from shooting sticks or whatever you plan to use hunting. Shoot at distances from 200 to 400 yards. Learn the drop and what wind does. This develops confidence, and knowledge of the rifle/bullet combination. Then go have fun chasing the "speed goats". They are my favorite specie to hunt. Your son should have a great time.
Thanks for all the Info. I've loaded up some 55 grain nosler bt's to practice on p-dogs. Hoping this will help him alot. We will be hunting in area 31. Also I was thinking of loading 95 grain nbt's for antelope. Is this a good bullet for antelope?
I have never shot anything with the Nosler 95 and do not usually provide advice on things I have not personally done but nobody else has replied so I will say that the 95 grain has decent sectional density but not really great. For a 243 it is probably a good choice for an intermediate range of say 300 - 500 yards (that would be a very respectable shot for your son and you should be proud of such a shot). I have shot quite a few whitetails with 85 grain bullets and see no reason a 95 grain bullet would not do an even better job on an antelope.
I use the 100g Nosler solid base bullets on whitetail deer (at least when I can find the deer, anyway...) I don't see any reason that the 95g bullet wouldn't work just fine. Antelope aren't hard to kill.