Sitka Gear
Iowa to expand use of rifles for deer
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Huntcell 01-Dec-20
JL 01-Dec-20
KY EyeBow 01-Dec-20
Pat Lefemine 01-Dec-20
Bake 01-Dec-20
Iowabowhunter 01-Dec-20
sticksender 01-Dec-20
IdyllwildArcher 01-Dec-20
Patdel 01-Dec-20
Ollie 01-Dec-20
4nolz@work 01-Dec-20
4nolz@work 01-Dec-20
MichaelArnette 01-Dec-20
TrapperKayak 01-Dec-20
spike78 01-Dec-20
Bake 01-Dec-20
buckhammer 01-Dec-20
WI Shedhead 01-Dec-20
spike78 01-Dec-20
t-roy 01-Dec-20
Patdel 01-Dec-20
t-roy 01-Dec-20
Hans 1 01-Dec-20
LBshooter 01-Dec-20
Cheesehead Mike 01-Dec-20
drycreek 01-Dec-20
8's or Better 01-Dec-20
Highlife 01-Dec-20
Teeton 01-Dec-20
Highlife 01-Dec-20
MichaelArnette 01-Dec-20
Zim 02-Dec-20
Highlife 02-Dec-20
Shawn 02-Dec-20
BOWNBIRDHNTR 02-Dec-20
4nolz@work 02-Dec-20
Teeton 02-Dec-20
Scooby-doo 02-Dec-20
midwest 02-Dec-20
Rupe 03-Dec-20
midwest 03-Dec-20
Patdel 03-Dec-20
KX500 03-Dec-20
IThunter 03-Dec-20
Tradmike 03-Dec-20
Rupe 05-Dec-20
goyt 06-Dec-20
keepemsharp 06-Dec-20
t-roy 06-Dec-20
Thornton 06-Dec-20
keepemsharp 06-Dec-20
scott7030 07-Dec-20
Gunny 07-Dec-20
midwest 07-Dec-20
From: Huntcell
01-Dec-20
It was my understanding one of reason Iowa has high ratio of older age class of bucks Besides not having gun season during rut was gun season was limited to shotguns. It looks like Iowa is phasing in more allowable rifle cartridges to be used during gun season.

Do you think this will have a detrimental effect on Iowa trophy class whitetail?

I think not, as slug shotguns today are not the same as grandpas. They are 200 yard plus capable. And muzzleloaders continue to push the yardage boundary well past that.

Still its interesting that ‘the powers that be’ would even consider expanding the rifle opportunities.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Dec. 1, 2020 For Immediate Release

DNR seeking comments on proposed laws ahead of the 2021/22 deer hunting season The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is asking for public input on laws passed and signed during the 2020 legislative session.

The first is from House File 716 that directs the DNR to develop a list of cartridges approved for use in rifles to hunt deer in Iowa. The following list of cartridges is proposed for inclusion:

.350 Legend

.429 DE

.35 Remington

.44 Wildey Mag

.356 TSW

.44 Remington Magnum

.357 Sig

.44 Automag

9x25 Dillion

.445 Super Mag

9x23 Winchester

.45 Super

.357 Magnum

.45 Wildey Mag

.357 Maximum

.450 Bushmaster

.357 SuperMag

.45 Winchester Magnum

.357 Wildey Mag

.451 Detonics

.357/44 Bain & Davis

.454 Casull

.375 Winchester

.45 Silhouette

.38-55 Winchester

.458 Socom

10 mm Auto

.460 Rowland

.40 Super

.475 Wildey Magnum

.401 Powermag

.475 Linebaugh

.400 Cor-Bon

.480 Ruger

.38-40 Winchester

.50 GI

.41 Remington Magnum

.50 Action Express

.41 Wildey Mag

.50 Beowulf

.414 SuperMag

.500 JRH

.44-40 Winchester

.500 Special

.440 Cor-Bon

.500 Wyoming Express

Allowable cartridges for use in handguns that were considered for use in rifles but deemed ballistically dissimilar from allowable pistol or revolver cartridges include (these cartridges are NOT proposed for inclusion to the list of allowable rifles to hunt deer in Iowa):

.35 Whelen

.356 Winchester

.358 Winchester

.444 Marlin

.45 Raptor

.45-70 Govt.

.460 S&W Mag

.500 S&W Mag

Hunters interested in additions or subtractions are asked to send their request along with a brief justification to wildlife@dnr.iowa.gov by Dec. 14, 2020.

From: JL
01-Dec-20
I always wanted to get a Henry 44 or 357. I suppose if it passes I could smooze mama into letting me buy one....then still use my ML if I ever went again. :-)

From: KY EyeBow
01-Dec-20
It will impact your herd. Lot of difference shooting a 7mm or 30-06 than even the best muzzleloaders out there now. Those calibers are not on your list now, but they likely will be soon. IN did the same thing a few years back. If I were you, I'd want to keep the limitations the way they are right now. This is quite similar to the Xgun expansion throughout the US during bow season,,, not to bring up a bad subject!!!!

From: Pat Lefemine
01-Dec-20
I’m not a rifle expert but on a quick glance they appear to be straight wall cartridges. Ohio legalized that too. My understanding is they have less range than the necked down calibers.

Is that correct?

From: Bake
01-Dec-20
Other than the slippery slope argument (which has merit), I don't see a problem with those calibers. I'd personally think a muzzleloader could shoot farther with more zip than any of those listed calibers.

I bought a Remington UML muzzleloader this year. I've been playing with it a lot, and it's dead accurate to 300 yards from the factory with an inexpensive scope and the factory recommended load. If I spent the money to have it upgraded to what some of the long range guys are doing, I bet it could shoot 500 easily. If I cared to mess with measuring powders and sabot-less bullets, it could shoot farther still.

Google "long range muzzleloaders" and look at the companies upgrading muzzleloaders and that whole craze. It's nuts how far they're shooting them now. . .

01-Dec-20
Straight wall cartridges have been legal here for a few years now- so no 30-06 or 7mm.

Honestly the 450 Bushmaster wasn't any more impressive than the 50 cal muzzy from my experience. Sure you get more shots, but it's not like it's a high power rifle.

Southern 2 tiers of counties in Iowa can shoot high power rifles during an extended doe only season after the rest of the hunting has closed-IMO that does more harm than good because a lot of bucks have/are starting to drop by that point and guys think they are shooting a "huge doe" drop one at 300+ yards and then come to find out it's a shed buck.

just my opinion of course.

I wouldn't mind a 350 legend for putting meat in the freezer, but I won't shoot a buck with my guns- they are strictly for meat gathering to me.

From: sticksender
01-Dec-20
I believe KY EyeBow may be correct. At least, this was similar to the way it was slipped through here in Indiana. Sounds like the first step towards eventually legalizing most necked center-fire cartridges. That was the approach the rifle advocates used here. Start with getting straight-wall cowboy guns approved, then in a couple years add a few big bore necked cartridges, then finally allow virtually anything. After this process, we can now hunt with 270, 30-'06, 300 Win Mag, etc.

01-Dec-20
IMO, the bulk of the reason for Iowa's quality is because of their season dates first, distance second is that they don't allow many NRs to get tags, and a distant 3rd is their disqualification of rifles.

From: Patdel
01-Dec-20
Id say no gun season during the rut is the biggest factor...I know guys building 400 yard muzzleladers. So 150 yard straight wall rifle ammo doesn't concern me much.

I think iowa is way too densely populated for centerfire rifles to be a safe option, but they're already doing it in spots, and the DNR is all about the green, so I wouldn't be shocked.

From: Ollie
01-Dec-20
I see no reason for this. Hunters have plenty of options with inline muzzleloaders and shotguns. Yes, it will have a negative impact.

From: 4nolz@work
01-Dec-20
SO THEY ARE REMOVING 45/70 GOVT FROM THE RIFLE LIST? THATS WTF I BOUGHT IT!

From: 4nolz@work
01-Dec-20
45/70 rifle previously was legal now they want to remove the most historical caliber on the list? WTF?

01-Dec-20
Yes it will have an impact

From: TrapperKayak
01-Dec-20
I think it will be positive impact for the most part. Used to be only sjotguns in southern tier of NY, now rifles are allowed. There are fewer crippled or wounded deer IMO and believe and losses have decreased too I bet. There have not been more accidental shootings and incidents of wayward bullets striking unintended targets, at least none that Ive heard of. It is a plus in terms of 2A. They are more accurate and kill quicker. I used to find alot of dead deer with slugs in them, or wounded deer that I shot with slugs and or slug wounds. I dont see it as a problem for trophy deer potential. NY has more big bucks than ever before in history. Trophy buck numners have more to do with herd mgt. not weapon methods where gun seasons are concerned. Allowing NO guns would probably result in higher buck mumbers, but rifles vs shotguns. Nuh Uh.

From: spike78
01-Dec-20
I think what will have the most impact is that a lot of those calibers are for handguns such as .357 Sig, 10mm, 40 cal so I’m thinking their may be some wounding going on from lack of accuracy on longer range.

From: Bake
01-Dec-20
I think a bigger impact for Iowa (not that I'm a resident and have a say), is if they did away with party hunting . . . .

From: buckhammer
01-Dec-20
My dad hunts with a .450 bushmaster. The .450 has nothing in common with a shotgun. It has twice the range and knock down power. Having hunted for over 40 years in what was once a shotgun only zone but is now open to straight wall cartridge's there are few people still using a shotgun. The straight wall cartridge is to shotgun season what crossbows are to archery season.

When my dad bought that gun I sighted it in based on the recommendations of the gunsmith who sold it to him. I thought he was blowing smoke up my ass when he told me to sight it in dead on at 25 yards. He stated that if you do, it will be 2 inches high at 100 yards. 4 inches low at 200 and 15 inches low at 300. And your groups will be sub 1 inch at 100, 1 inch groups at 200 and 4 inch groups at 300. He wasn't lying.

At 100 yards you can put one bullet through the same hole multiple times. At 200 yards I had a 3 shot group of 2 inches with 2 of my shots touching each other. I didn't even shoot it at 300 yards. I had seen enough. There are few if any shotguns that can perform at those ranges with those groups.

The motivation for straight walled cartridges in what was once shotgun only zones is the same motivation for crossbows in the archery season.....$$$$$$

From: WI Shedhead
01-Dec-20
Bake and buchammer x2

From: spike78
01-Dec-20
Buckhammer, I shot a bear with the 450 BM and rolled it over first shot devestating round.

From: t-roy
01-Dec-20
One of the best things they could do, would be to change the party hunting regs. Each tag holder should be the only one to be able to fill their own tag. The way it is now, is total BS!

From: Patdel
01-Dec-20
T-roy, or at least hold them to one gun season...

Lots of guys buying anterless tags, going 1st season shotgun and killing a buck party hunting, then get a paid statewide late muzzleloader and kill another one. I dont care for it either, but its legal and they are just using the system to their advantage.

Add in bow and landowner tags, there are probably guys killing four or more every year.

From: t-roy
01-Dec-20
^^Agreed, Pat. Lots of loopholes for abuse by nonresident shotgun hunters, as well.

From: Hans 1
01-Dec-20
Strange that they are talking about this now this will be the third gun season that straight wall cartridges have been legal. Also strange if they would revisit rounds like the 45-70 and 444. As far as it’s effect on the quality of Iowa it will have some. It makes every person that chooses them more effective. Had a group drive out a section north of my house, standers were along the road and shot away from the road. They all walked over to see the buck that at least 2 of them had shot. All of these guys had 450 bushmasters on AR platforms they carried them with front carry tactical slings. Much more effective than the old slugs shot thru a bird gun.

From: LBshooter
01-Dec-20
Huntcell, please tell me what sluggun shoots two hundred yards, I'll go buy one.

01-Dec-20
FWIW, I have a Glock in .357 Sig and it's not a straight walled cartridge, it has a bottleneck.

From: drycreek
01-Dec-20
Mike, there are several cartriges on the list that are bottlenecked, and several more that I would never shoot a big Iowa deer with at more than bow ranges. I’ve hunted with handguns all my life off and on, and a .357 mag, a .357 Sig, a .40 S&W, and a 9 X anything ain’t what I would use to shoot a deer, even these 150 lb. deer in East Texas.

I have a .450 Bushmaster, and it’s a hog hammer, but the ammo is expensive and fairly hard to find. If I need to kill hogs, the 6.8 SPC is what I use.

01-Dec-20
I invested in the CVA Paramount last yr. I would take that gun over any of the others listed.

From: Highlife
01-Dec-20
Savage's 220 bolt action slug gun I only know about this one. Supposedly their twelve gauge can also cloverleaf

From: Teeton
01-Dec-20
LBShooter, a friend of mine has a Savage both action, I believe rifled barreled with a 4 to12 scope. He shoots out to 200yds with it. I dont believe it's even a high end gun.

From: Highlife
01-Dec-20
They run around 500.00 here in northern Illinois.

01-Dec-20
Yes it will have an impact

From: Zim
02-Dec-20
"I believe KY EyeBow may be correct. At least, this was similar to the way it was slipped through here in Indiana. Sounds like the first step towards eventually legalizing most necked center-fire cartridges. That was the approach the rifle advocates used here. Start with getting straight-wall cowboy guns approved, then in a couple years add a few big bore necked cartridges, then finally allow virtually anything. After this process, we can now hunt with 270, 30-'06, 300 Win Mag, etc."

Are you serious I can now use my .300 Win Mag to deer hunt Indiana? It actually doesn't matter to me because the buck quality on Indiana public land is such a dumpster fire from all the other liberal regulations like 3 months of crossguns and 16 gun rut days I'll never waste another day hunting here. Lucky for me I got an Illinois LL so I don't have to look at spikes and pencil thin 8 pointers all day. Got 3 points in Iowa and I am not happy about this further erosion of quality management. You bet it will degrade buck quality. It’s just a foot in the door for further exploitation down the road. Why is it deer regulations never get stricter, only more liberal? Same as taxes never go down, only up. Where does it end?

From: Highlife
02-Dec-20

From: Shawn
02-Dec-20
I find it funny that guys don't realize that slot of those guns mentioned are easily 300 yard guns and farther. Don't take much energy to poke a hole through a whitetail. It's all about the shooter and their ability. For example I shot single shot pistols for a long time. I killed a lot of deer over 200 yards with a .375 winchester as well as a 35 Remington T/C Contender with my handloads. I would hate to see Iowa allow any more than they do now. It will make a difference. Shawn

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
02-Dec-20
This really isn't "new". Iowa has allowed most straight wall cartridges to be used during shotgun season for the past 3 years. For some reason now they seem to want to revamp the list of what is allowed and what is not. It bothers me most that many of these rounds are inferior to slugs and will probably result in more wounded deer. They seem to want to remove some rounds like the 45-70 which is sad to see. These rounds perform very similar to ML or Slug and have ample knock down power. I don't believe many of the other "pistol" rounds can perform the same at 75-100+ yards yet we know guys will be "sending" them.

From: 4nolz@work
02-Dec-20
BOWNBIRDHUNTER my point exactly the "new" calibers are poor compared to the 45/70 being removed! WTH? I bought a dang $$ 45/70 just for Iowa.If you get a chance email them your opinion there is a link in the DNR email.

From: Teeton
02-Dec-20
I hunt often times with a 41 mag S&W with a 8+ barrel revolver. It's killed a doe right at 100 and one at 110 yds. Now both were in a field broadside and gun was on a rest both times. Also aimed for right behind shoulder. Both slugs, 170 jacket hollow points made it to the off side hides. Would not think of a shoulder or any other shot, but behind the shoulder at that distance with this gun.

So how would this load work in a henry long gun with a 20 inch barrel. Guessing it would go from 1400 fps to 1700 fps in the long gun and maybe an easy 150 yds. All my shots at 75 yds or less have been pass through's with the pistol. This caliber (41mag) is not even close to as good as some of the other on the list. Ed

From: Scooby-doo
02-Dec-20
44 magnum 240 grain bullet out of 14" Contender barrel and you can push it at 1500-1600 fps, 375 Winchester out of same Contender with handloads will do 1900 fps with a 250 grain bullet. Put that in a rifle with a 20" barrel and in the right hands is a legit 300 yard gun as is 4nolz's 45-70.. Lots of custom straight walled cartridges will do even better. I guess its all about the hunter and what they want to spend. Custom ML's will easily hold MOA groups out to 600 yards and beyond,, Shawn

From: midwest
02-Dec-20
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wanted to clarify that there are no changes to legal firearms for the 2020 shotgun hunting seasons starting this weekend.

The Iowa DNR is asking for hunter input ahead of the 2021-2022 deer seasons.

Prior to beginning the rulemaking process, the Iowa DNR is first soliciting information from hunters on cartridges commonly used to hunt deer in Iowa. Hunters may submit their calibers along with their justification to wildlife@dnr.iowa.gov by Dec. 14, 2020.

A draft rule will be presented to the Natural Resource Commission for initial approval and if approved, available for official public comment in 2021. A final rule will not be developed until all public comments and feedback are considered.

From: Rupe
03-Dec-20
Patdel, Pennsylvania has over 5 times the population density as Iowa and they use high powered rifles. I prefer the state stick with what it has now. Yesterday I had a conversation with some guys who work with the DNR. I asked about allowing bow hunting all year long and the 2 gentleman said it’s not going to happen especially with the current proposed expansion of rifle cartridges. Personally I didn’t think their reasoning as to why made any sense and that’s not a knock on them as they were really good guys. I see no biological reason not to allow the use of the bow in all seasons.

From: midwest
03-Dec-20
Bowhunting all year long? You must really want a velvet whitetail! ;-)

From: Patdel
03-Dec-20
Rupe, I've never been to Pennsylvania, but isnt that population localized in big cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia? I just look at all the small Woodlots with houses scattered every where in Iowa and cringe at the thought of high powered rifles. We just don't have the vast tracts of timber that I picture in the rugged parts of PA. Maybe I am assuming too much. I can think of a couple spots I would feel comfortable hunting with one. I can think of a lot more I wouldn't.

Small tracts of timber, deer drives, and lots of rural homes mixed with high powered rifles make me cringe.

From: KX500
03-Dec-20
For about a decade, the only gun I hunted deer with was a modern muzzleloader - .45 caliber bullet at about 2300 fps. Even with the limitations a ML presents, this was such a huge step forward compared to a 12 gauge. A 400-450 grain slug for deer? I guess you have to fill that (almost) 3/4" bore with something. I've also read studies showing that 12 G slug will travel about as far as a bullet from a 30.06 - energy matters more than the bullet profile.

Real world experience with the ML showed me that bullet is dropping like crazy much after 225 yards. I think my drop at 250 yards is 16-19 inches. Of course it could be stretched out further, but how many are really ready to deal with bullet drop measured in feet? Not me & very few others I'd think. There is a difference between common & possible.

The 450 Bushmaster load is very much like what I shoot out of the ML, except about 100 fps slower - and it about the most energetic of the straight wall cartridges. Other than convenience, It'd be no different than shooting my ML.

So in reality, there is no real reason these straight wall cartridge shouldn't be legal.

I'm not advocating for every cartridge out there to be legal in all the mid-western states, but if it's no more powerful than what is already in use, let them in.

The only reasons I can think not to is simply fear mongering & resistance to change - things this type of thread is always full of, no matter where you find it!

And if it makes the states more tax money in gun sales so be it. The sabot slugs your 12 or 20 gauge likes can be really hard to find and when you do the price is pretty stupid compared to so many other cartridges.

From: IThunter
03-Dec-20
Indiana did this a few years ago...started with straight wall cartridges' only...then allowed other necked down calibers...then said WTH as long as the case length is less than 3" shoot what you want on private property. State lands are still "pistol caliber rifles only."

Indiana is also one of the most bass akwards states as it relates to deer and its population. Huge potential but has had years or poor management.

From: Tradmike
03-Dec-20
Adding additional firearm options will have a negative effect on deer populations. Its all about money.

From: Rupe
05-Dec-20
Yep, like Teton said in a pm it’s all about money.

From: goyt
06-Dec-20
I picked up a 350 legend for use in Ohio instead of my 50 cal ML. I never wanted to shoot long distances and I never took the time to get my ML to shoot better than say 2 1/2" at 100 yards. Not sure if it will or won't shoot long distances as I am happy with a 100 yards. The 350 legend is a little tack driver and it is easy. Throw in a cartridge and go. Clean once at the end of the season. So far everything I have shot at has gone down quickly. For those of us bow hunters that just want something to control the herd or for someone who wants an accurate 150 yards, hassle free rifle the 350 legend is a game changer especially for kids. It certainly makes it simpler and easier to gun hunt which should help increase hunter numbers. I think that there will be an impact from the straight walled cartridges. Sure MLs and rifled shoguns can be shot long distances by an experienced hunter wants to take the time, has the money and has the aptitude but those people are the exception and not the rule. Some hunters struggle making a 100 shot with the best equipment and struggle to get anything shooting accurately so these new options are great for them.

From: keepemsharp
06-Dec-20
What do these states about coyotes? No good rifles?

From: t-roy
06-Dec-20
^^^^???? Keepemsharp? If you’re asking what guys use here for coyotes, pretty much any caliber of gun is legal on yotes. My personal preference is a .220 Swift.

From: Thornton
06-Dec-20
All the bullets you listed are either pistol/carbine calibers or straight walled cartridges. Most will have a dramatic drop at 300 yards. I know a 180 gr .350 Legend drops 20" at 300. There are guys on YouTube shooting elk at 500 with muzzleloader and deer at 300 with 20 gauge slugs. I do not think these cartridges will offer much of an advantage over what is already legal.

From: keepemsharp
06-Dec-20
Its OK to shoot good rifles at some stuff but not others. Makes little sense.

From: scott7030
07-Dec-20
Hey at least it won't impact the herd like turning your muzzle-loader season into a second week of rifle hunting like they did here in Michigan. Now you can gun hunt for over 3 weeks and by the way there is another 3 weeks of late doe season that way you can shoot all the bucks that shed early the last 3 weeks of season. On top of that they created a new muzzle-loader season for public land that last 3 weeks that starts right after the new second gun season. It used to be pretty fun chasing buck late in the year with a bow, now it will be March before you see them in daylight again.

From: Gunny
07-Dec-20
Live in Wisconsin now so use a rifle, never understood why we couldn't use a rifle in Iowa. Shotguns and muzzies are almost as accurate as rifles, at least to 150 yards.

I have a Marlin Slugmaster 12 Gauge, with a rifled barrel topped with a 3x9x40. I use 3" Brenneke slugs, and I guarantee I can put it in a soda can every time at 150 yards. Never sighted in past that. BTW, hurts like hell to shoot it and it's heavy. Nicknamed the "Tank".

I also have a Thompson Center Bone Collector .50 cal will do about the same with 150 grains of powder.

Shot many whitetails in Iowa when I was growing up and while on leave from the Marines. 100 yard shot was my furthest. Come to think of it, I haven't had to shoot a deer from that far out up here in Wisconsin.

I know you rifle experts that these two weapons are not as accurate at long range as rifles. but both of these put a pretty heavy round out there a ways...

From: midwest
07-Dec-20
The way most guys hunt in Iowa, they might be better off with a scattergun.

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