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The Noisiest Few Seconds of Hunting
– Gear & Guns

This month Hunting Guide Marc Clinch talks about rifles, scopes and calibers for hunting at Poronui.

Generally, one of the first things asked on a hunt is ‘what are we going to be using?’ or ‘what will I need to bring to hunt Poronui?’. There is an endless and ever-evolving conversation surrounding these topics, it’s something you can talk to any hunter about.

Where do we start? 30cal. Nice and easy, there it is in all its glory, versatile, hits hard and works well from 10 yards to 1000 yards. This is your .308 Winchester or for the big Red stags at Poronui, .300 Winchester Magnum and your .300 Winchester Short Magnum. Now for those of you that don’t have one of these, not to worry you don’t need to rush out and buy one, your Poronui guide can provide you with everything you need to take your stag. When hunting Poronui Sika, anything from .243 7mm08 .270 .25-06. is fine.

What you can probably work out is that there are plenty of calibers that will serve your purpose at Poronui. These matched with quality optics and a well-maintained rifle, will point you in the right direction for success.

Now here’s where we get into it, shot placement. AIM SMALL, HIT SMALL. I can’t preach this enough. You could go out and buy the most expensive rifle and most expensive scope, but a poorly placed shot will still have disappointment written all over it. A well-placed shot from any caliber will do the job and you’ll get a clean kill. I was told this at a young age and haven’t changed my game plan since. If you’re unsure where to place your shot, ask your guide. They are full of knowledge and are more than happy to share it with you – you never know you might even pick up a tip or two. Fun fact: A 1” group at 100 yards will be a 10” group at 1000 yards.

I personally use two different rifles depending on the job. My .308 Tikka rifle is paired up with a Swarovski Optic Z3 3-10x42mm scope, perfect for all light situations and can comfortably shoot to 300 yards. I also have it suppressed, which saves my ears and anyone shooting it. The recoil is reduced by 70% which is just fantastic for our younger hunters out there. The other is a Tikka 300 Winchester Short Magnum. It’s paired with a Leupold 6.5-20x50mm mk4 with tactical turrets, this is my big stag gun for big Red stags and Sika stags that may be just out of range of the .308. I’ll be taking this when we are hunting Red stags in the rut, Sika stags and Fallow stags when opportunities need to be taken, I know this rifle will do it well. Sometimes you can hunt for three or four days and on the fifth day the stag of your dreams shows himself on the bush edge at 400 yards, you need to make that shot count.

Both these rifles have swivel bi-pods on them, this allows the shooter to get a good solid rest and steady on the target with the rifle being level. This allows you to be confident on shot placement, a day bag can work well also as a rest.

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