The top 10 cartridges for hunting deer in Canada

The Ruger Hawkeye Hunter pairs perfectly with the .30-06 Springfield

.30-06 SPRINGFIELD

Why not begin with what is arguably the most popular hunting cartridge in Canada? While the .30-06 Springfield is widely acknowledged as the do-it-all cartridge for North American big game, some hard-core deer hunting enthusiasts might suggest it’s really not an ideal deer round—it requires a long-action rifle that can be unwieldy in blinds, treestands and many deer haunts. Plus, its bullet energy is arguably more than what’s required, the recoil can be on the high side, and there are simply many alternatives that are better suited for deer.

But how can you argue with success? I love the .30-06 because it’s ideal for the one-rifle hunter, ammunition is widely available and it’s loaded with virtually every bullet imaginable. It’s also chambered in nearly every rifle made. You could argue that, in an era when long-range hunting is popular, the .30-06 is somewhat limited, but I would suggest it shoots flat enough for all but the most wide-open landscapes. Sure, maybe the venerable .30-06 isn’t sexy these days, but at some point we all come to understand that dependability and reliability are more important than fashion.

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Perfect pairing: Ruger Hawkeye Hunter