How many rounds of ammo to take?

Prerylyon

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Apr 25, 2016
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So, this occured to me the other day; how many rounds do guys take with them on a western big game hunt, say, for 1 tag?

I've only been on 4 hunting trips over the last 7 yrs out west. I've taken 20 rounds each time. Thinking about it, that seemed like a lot, and each time where I filled a tag, I only used 1-2 rounds to anchor the critter. I guess the 20 rounds makes me feel better? 😂
 
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Hilltop

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Feb 25, 2014
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So, this occured to me the other day; how many rounds do guys take with them on a western big game hunt, say, for 1 tag?

I've only been on 4 hunting trips over the last 7 yrs out west. I've taken 20 rounds each time. Thinking about it, that seemed like a lot, and each time where I filled a tag, I only used 1-2 rounds to anchor the critter. I guess the 20 rounds makes me feel better? 😂
Things can happen on a hunt. Lost packs, scope knocked off zero, broken scopes, accidents, etc. I always have 2-3 boxes of ammo along on a hunt with one box being in the glove box or tool box away from the other ammo.

One box doesn't leave much room for error. That said, I rarely have used more then one bullet per animal for the last 30 years. It's just nice knowing I don't have to worry about it.
 

Colorado Cowboy

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Like everyone else, I always take at least 2 boxes (40 rounds). Like Hilltop said....too many things can happen. I have taken at least 25 backcountry wilderness horseback hunts and it's too damn far to head back to civilization for ammo. I usually always take a spear rifle if possible too.
 

JimP

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I have always gone with 40 rounds in two boxes plus the loose rounds that I might have.

As has been mentioned, you never know what might happen. If you need to rezero your scope you could go through a number of them. Then it all depends on what kind of a shooter you are. The vast majority of my animals have been one or two shot kills, but then there are a few others that I really don't like to talk about.

Even for my upcoming trip to Africa I will be taking 60 rounds for 10 animals and that includes the shots to check the scope out after the baggage folks get through with my rifle case. On my first trip I also took 60 rounds for 8 animals and only shot 20. 3 out of 6 animals were one shot kills, one took 2, I missed the first shot and one took way more than it should of. You just never know what is going to happen.
 

kidoggy

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Things can happen on a hunt. Lost packs, scope knocked off zero, broken scopes, accidents, etc. I always have 2-3 boxes of ammo along on a hunt with one box being in the glove box or tool box away from the other ammo.

One box doesn't leave much room for error. That said, I rarely have used more then one bullet per animal for the last 30 years. It's just nice knowing I don't have to worry about it.
x actly!

I don't recall ever having to shoot more then twice on any big game animal. but ,sometimes it is better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

I always have a few boxes in the truck. when out hiking for only a day I will take whatever the gun holds and enough to reload it once in my pocket. if backpacking in somewhere and gonna stay a few days I will generally pack one box.

if I ever need more it is probably time to quit anyhow.


most of my hunting buds shoot .270 as I do so if it ever came to a pinch we could probably make do. this is just another reason why I am not a multi caliber buyer . I figure it is better to pick a weapon and learn to shoot it well.
 
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kidoggy

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It's nice to be able to shoot one rifle very well, but it is even nicer to be able to shoot multiple rifles just as well as that single rifle.
yeah . I would agree . and kudos to those who can. you know who you are!
I would say I am about an average shot. not exceptional but far from terrible . my vision is not great. knowing this , I take into account my limitations and will seldom shoot at anything further then a couple hundred yards and about 400 is my limit. not that I can't make a further shot . I just will NOT!


but let's be honest . most hunters nowadays don't really shoot all that great. a great many only fire their guns during season and have zero range time. most have no idea of their own limitations or the weapons.
it is not uncommon during general season to hear someone shooting 15 or 20 times in a minute .

I am sure we all know many who can't group their shots. I even know a couple guys who opened up on a deer . when it went down both claimed they hit it . it turned out one didn't even fire a round . he was so excited he was just cranking out unspent shells and actually thought he was firing the gun.
no. he is not to bright.
the sad thing is, it is getting to the point where he is the rule rather then the exception.

I bet most on this site have a few, "things that make you go hmmmm , " stories!
 
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RICMIC

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i was on a guided horseback hunting trip in 2010 with a trap shooting buddy of mine. I told him to pack in a couple boxes since we would be traveling in some rough country and would be unable to return to my truck if he or the horse falls and knocks the scope off zero. When we were unpacking in the tent, he pulled out 4 boxes for his 308 BLR. I asked him why he brought so much ammo, and he responded, "The last time that I ran out of ammo was in Vietnam, and I swore that I would never run out again." He used 2 shots to anchor a nice mule deer, and the Viet Cong never did over-run our camp.
 

mallardsx2

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Pretty much the same as the guys above, I keep a box of shells with me in the truck and a box back at camp.

While hunting I carry enough ammo on my person to do 1 full reload while in the field. 3+1 + 3+1. So a total of 8 rounds on my person while actually hunting.

Never used more than three shells to kill a deer.
 

memtb

Active Member
mallardsx2, You kind of touched on a question that I was gonna ask...... how rounds do you bring to camp and how many rounds do you carry when in the field?

This is my “go to” package......belt worn over clothing with, knife, diamond sharpener, and 14 round leather cartridge pouch ( very comfortable, and quiet)! I like to use as many leather components in the field for their quietness in brush.....I avoid synthetics as they tend to be noisy. Though.....I’m stuck with my synthetic stock on my rifle! 🤔

I’ve used that pouch since the late ‘80’s.....not sure if it’s still manufactured! memtb

 

JimP

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A group of us from High School ventured out one year for the annual deer hunt in Utah many years ago. With us we had one nimrod who was going on his first trip with his granddads trusty old 30-30 model 94 Winchester. The night before the hunt started he carefully loaded up a bandolier with what must of been a box and a half of ammo. All the while proclaiming that he was going to get his buck with a single shot.

The next morning came and after breakfast and coffee we all went in separate directions to find the buck of the woods with plans to meet back at camp at sundown. The nimrod slung his bandolier of ammo over his shoulder and headed out as well. Well, we started to trickle in and were starting to get dinner ready but old Daniel Boone hadn't show back up yet. We ate dinner and he still hadn't showed up. Come a couple of hours later when we were planning on heading out to see if we could find him he cam walking into camp. His bandolier was empty, none of us said a thing as he sat there drinking a cup of coffee. Finally he looked up and proclaimed that he had missed.

To this day 50 years later we don't let him forget it.
 

Colorado Cowboy

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In the field I have what's in the stretch sleeve that fits on the rear of the stock, it holds 9 nine rounds and what's in the gun, usually 4 or 5 depending on what gun I am using.
 

HuskyMusky

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2 boxes, 40 rounds.

I suppose 1 game animal, 1 box is probably enough, but as a non-res.... do you really want to be in the middle of nowhere with 1 box. Plus it's such a small item, store in the truck, camp, pack etc...

also again if traveling a ways....vs your backyard.... you get to camp, check your rifle, and it's way off!? now what? nice insurance to have.

my last hunt took 2 bullets.
 

Prerylyon

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Apr 25, 2016
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Wow, I feel pretty cheap now for taking only 20 rounds with me! 😂

I don't consider myself a great shot or anything like that; more I think it's a matter of finding the time to reload/laziness reloading/OCD reloading perfectionism on my part.

Re-checking zeroes, among other reasons brought up, are all legit consideration for bringing more rounds. Also too is the caliber itself, if you're really in a pinch, odds are the hardware store or whatever might have a box or two of 270 Win or 30-06; but maybe not something more exotic. These days, maybe not even those common calibers.
 
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