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The 11 best cartridges for downing Canada’s big game animals

Sure shots

Making the case for the best cartridges for Canada’s big game

OC hunting editor Ken Bailey makes his picks. Now let the campfire debates begin…

Howard Communications
Howard Communications

At one time or another, most hunters have engaged in the ongoing debate over the perfect all-around cartridge for Canada’s big game, the one round that can do it all. My answer has generally been the .30-06, if you take big bears out of the equation. You may disagree, but in today’s world of seemingly endless cartridge choices, why settle for just one option anyway? Let’s take it up a level and select the perfect cartridge for each of our big-game animals.

Again, there’s tons of room for argument, but what follows are my choices. Admittedly, while I’ve hunted most of our big game, I haven’t hunted them all. And of the species I have hunted, I haven’t pursued them in every region they’re found. So, should you have different opinions on any of my cartridge selections, I look forward to a lively campfire discussion some cool autumn evening.

Ken Bailey

Ken Bailey

An all-around hunter, Ken Bailey enjoys pursuing waterfowl the most. Based in Edmonton, Outdoor Canada's longtime hunting editor Ken Bailey has hunted every major Canadian game animal, in every corner of the country. For many years, he’s shared his deep knowledge of game behaviour, and wide expertise with all manner of firearms with OC's readers. His work has been recognized numerous times by both the Outdoor Writers of Canada and the National Magazine Awards. Ken is a committed conservationist, dedicated to habitat preservation, sustainable harvests, and passing along our hunting heritage to the next generation. He's also an avid fly fisherman, and a pretty darn good game chef.

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