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Thread: small fur bearer calibers

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    Default small fur bearer calibers

    All,
    I was curious if anyone had any input on calibers for small fur bearers like otter, muskrat or arctic fox. I am looking at all of the small .2's and maybe leaning towards .204

    My one questions is has anyone had problems with damaging the fur with a .223, 22-250, .204 or the like on the smaller animals? Thanks in advance for the input.

    Johnathon

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    Member H20Dogg's Avatar
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    WHy not just use a standard .22, Thoose really don't leave a big hole.

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    Member Mel Roe's Avatar
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    ajsnowflake, I have a .17 remington and it is great on foxes and coyotes. The advice I got from Walt Berger at berger bullets was to use the 20gr max expansion bullets. I started out using 30gr but it was leaving silver dollar size holes and that is when I contacted berger. As far as the .204 I had a friend here on Kodiak that had one and it made some really big holes in the foxes and the same problem occurs with the 22-250. Another of my favorites is my .22mag, I have taken many foxes with it and virtually no damage. Good luck

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    I use .22LR to great effect, and with no regret, but my ultament Rifle for fur was a Winchester M61 pump action in .22mag, FMJ's.
    A little more power, a bit flatter shooting to 120 or so yards, no big holes.

    .22hornet with FMJ's can do as well, but not the higher end loads or soft points.

    If Ive gotten as far as getting fur shot, I do not want any more "hole" than nessesarry.......
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    H20Dogg,
    I have had a few chances to shoot at otter about 100 meters away and it is very flat out in western Alaska where I am at right now so getting closer is hard. with the wind and distance I didn't feel good with taking a shot with my .22 thought something a little flatter and faster with FMJ would work better.

    I hadn't considered a .22 mag never really looked into them at all actually I will have to do that tonight.

    Thanks,
    Johnathon

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    I've used the 223 and standard 22 on sea otter. I prefer the 22.
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    I think a 223/22-250 with a FMJ will keep damage to a minimum. I took a lynx a few years ago with my 223 and a FMJ at about 10yds and the exit was a bout the size of a quarter. The things I have shot with the varmint bullets leavs a really big hole.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0321Tony View Post
    I think a 223/22-250 with a FMJ will keep damage to a minimum. I took a lynx a few years ago with my 223 and a FMJ at about 10yds and the exit was a bout the size of a quarter. The things I have shot with the varmint bullets leavs a really big hole.
    My next otter hunt will be with the .223 and FMJ. Shot my last one with varmit round at 15 yards and it vaporized the head.
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    well of course you had so much damage don't head shoot em, zip one thru their ribs and they will die soon enough
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    Otters in the water do not present an easy side shot.

    Too big of a round often pushes swimming mammles down into the water, hence small, low powerd bullets being most effective, as shooting ranges are usually under 100 yards and pelt damage is avoidable with those calibers/velocitys.

    A 12 gauge with #4 lead shot, and not 'too' close, is a great slap upside the brain for Otter, Beaver, ect as well.

    Fox have thin skins and hitting bone will do serious damage to the skin, even with a FMJ .223. Ive done that. .223 is really no different than my 7.52X54R FMJ's in effect, 'cept the entry hole size. Head shots are the only shots , if possible.


    Muskrats by the pound or by the ton in spring breakup hunts with a .22lr is an awesome hunt.
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    My favorite for that kind of work is the 25/20 using 73gr cast bullets at about 1950 fps. Kills very well with a minimum of hide damage.You would need to reload as ammo is hard to find and expensive.

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    I have a .204, and I hate to say it, but DO NOT get a .204 for fox. They cause A LOT of pelt damage. Enough damage that I am currently searching for a .17 hmr or a .22mag. To be fair, I'm not really using the .204 for what it is designed to do, long range shooting. I have been taking most my shots under 50 yards, and at that range a .204 is just going to fast. I "might" just bring 2 guns, 1 shotgun and 1 rifle and use them accordingly. Just need to figure out what everyone shoots with the shotgun?

  13. #13

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    I shot a small fur bearer with my .22-250 and HP ammo once, nothing left.
    Use FMJ and anything .22 cal and you will be fine.
    I would recommend a .22 magnum rifle, LBT has one, maybe he could chime in.

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    Anything will work for the occasional fox of course, but if you want a caliber for the purpose of collecting fur a 17 centerfire is the ticket. Especially if you are a hand loader.

    17 Fireball is a great start.

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    Member WaterWolf's Avatar
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    22 long for most small stuff, maybe a 17 hmr,22 mag, for fox, lynx and further otter shots. Heck might even play with a 22 hornet for the fox and such. I'm now toting a 5mm that I need to play with some. That .204, 223 and 22-250 will get the job done, but for the smaller critters you'll have more messes to clean up, if your not picking the little critters up in multipul pieces.

    By small I'm assuming you mean anything lynx and down, and not coyote and up?
    I'm Pro-Pike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ironartist View Post
    well of course you had so much damage don't head shoot em, zip one thru their ribs and they will die soon enough
    Like stranger said, shooting otter in the water is quite a different task. Typically all I'm presented with is a head shot. Couple that with a otter moving on the water, and you moving on a boat, and it makes for a great time.
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    22 mag all the way. ammo is cheap. you can still us it for grouse and rabbits, you can get full metal ackets or soft points and you can pop em out to about 100-150 yards with a reliable kill.

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    I am doing a little testing on this subject. I have a 22-250 on the way in the mail and i also barrowed my friends 22mag. i plan to use 50grain fmj bullets with my 22-250. and with the 22mag i cant decied between 30grain hornady V-max and the 37grain CCi standard or hollow points. i plan to try and test thease out on some coyotes this spring break. i cant wait, one more week and i will be coyote calling non stop!

  19. #19

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    We caught a otter this year in a foothold trap. My trapping partner shot it with a 22 long rifle solid point bullet. The otter was moving when he shot and he hit it in the neck and exited on the other side in the neck. The bullet did not expand much at all leaving two holes about the size of a 22 cal. bullet. Our fur buyer cut the price in half because of two holes. That was the only thing wrong with it at all.

  20. #20

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    if your looking to shoot them when there not in a trap then get a 22 mag, that gun will do it all and leaves minimal to no damage...as for a muskrat, grab a stick..a good wack and they dont twitch

    otter and fox shoot with a 22 short from a few feet back, do not stand overe the top of them and shoot because thats what will leave damage. Just make it a good head shot and there done for

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