How to Find the Best Hunting Rifle for a Beginner

The population of people who hunt has declined by millions in the past 10 years. This isn’t ideal for the environment, as hunting is a great way to keep wildlife habitats perfectly balanced. 

With fewer hunters, the habitats of deer and other wildlife are becoming overpopulated. Now is the perfect time to pick up a rifle and learn how to hunt. 

Hunting techniques, clothing, and ways to use the animal remains are all important parts of hunting. However, there’s one thing that is crucial to hunting animals: a hunting rifle.

With so many options, what’s the best hunting rifle to use? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about buying your first hunting rifle.

What Are You Hunting?

There are many animals you can hunt, but they can all be sorted into two categories. You can choose to hunt small game, or you can hunt big game. 

Small game refers to smaller animals, usually under 40 pounds. This can include birds, rabbits, coyotes, and more. 

Big game hunting focuses on larger animals. This includes anything from deer and elk to wild boars and caribou. 

When hunting small game, it’s suggested that you use an air rifle. Air rifles use compressed air to shoot small pellets at your target, keeping the animal intact after you shoot it. 

You can also use a .22 caliber rifle for small- to medium-sized game. This is the best rifle for beginners, as it’s versatile, small, and has less recoil than larger rifles.

When hunting big game, one of the best rifles for beginners is a .30-06 caliber rifle. Pronounced often as “thirty aught six,” these rifles are excellent at close and long-range hunting and can shoot a variety of bullet sizes. 

How Much Should It Cost?

When choosing a rifle for deer hunting for beginners, most people assume the more expensive it is, the better they’ll be at hunting the deer. The fact is, you don’t need to break the bank to have a successful day of hunting. 

A decent .30-06 caliber rifle can cost anywhere from $300 to $500. It’s best to start with something less expensive, in case you find out hunting isn’t for you. 

Best Hunting Rifle for Deer

When going over the deer hunting basics, it’s important to first know how to hunt for deer. There are two main ways to hunt deer: either sitting and waiting or stalking the deer. 

If you sit and wait for deer, normally in a tree stand, you’ll likely be shooting at a range between 300 and 500 yards. The best rifles for long-range are .300, .338, and .375 caliber.

If you prefer to stalk your deer, you’ll probably be shooting at a relatively shorter range. For this, it’s recommended to use a rifle that’s between .200 and .300 caliber.

Know Your State’s Regulations

Different states have different laws and regulations for hunting. These include the time of year you can hunt, what animals are fair game, and even the hunting firearms you are allowed to use. 

Before buying a firearm for hunting, become aware of your local laws, and purchase accordingly. You don’t want to be stuck with a rifle you aren’t allowed to use.

Begin the Hunt

By now you should have an idea of the best hunting rifle for your needs. Keep in mind all of the above, and you’ll be a hunting pro in no time.

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