Originally Posted by Topgun 30-06
Been hunting myself for almost 60 years and can't argue much with what you've said, but I've never used anything smaller than a .243 for deer and some say that's too small. Proper bullet placement with a caliber big enough to impart a decent amount of ft/lbs of energy into the vitals is what's needed for a humane kill. The old school says that's 1000 on deer and 1500 on elk at POI, far more than a .223 imparts at any real hunting distance.
Just a note on ft/lbs of energy. I shoot a 70 gr VLD out of my 223 and it carries 1000 ft/lbs out past 200 yards. Now for even more fun I shoot a 80 grain VLD out of my 22-250 A.I. and has 1000 ft/lbs out past 400 yards. Also worth noting my 22-250 with my 80 gr VLD hits harder at 100 yards than my 6mm Remington shooting 100 gr sierra SBT. Also my 22-250 with my 80 vld muzzle velocity of 3300 fps has more ft/lbs at 450 yards than a factory Federal 270 win loaded with a 140 gr trophy bond.
Some jurisdictions will not let you use any 22 cal but with allow something like a 25-20 on deer so please using what is legal or not legal as part of an ethical debate is just foolish.
A 223 is not my first choice for deer I like my 22-250 much better or my 6MM Rem or my 30-06 or my 6.5 x 55 but a 223 will work just fine.