America’s Most Popular Rifle/Caliber: .300 Magnum

America’s Favorite Trophy Rifle: .300 Magnum

I am interested in knowing what caliber of rifle you are shooting. A very interesting press release recently came out of the Boone & Crockett camp about the rifles being used over the last three years on big game animals being entered into their record book program. Below are some very interesting results and numbers for the popular .300 Magnum. I personally have a .300 Win Mag along with my trusty 30.06. Give me some feedback on what you are shooting and for what.

MISSOULA, Montana – Although the venerable .30-06 and .270 remain among the favorites, Boone and Crockett Club big-game records show that hunters with a .300 Magnum are taking more North American trophies than any other caliber.

Surprisingly, the second-most-popular trophy-taker isn’t a firearm – it’s a bow.

Boone and Crockett compiled the data from its records book entries from 2007 through 2009. This three-year period of big-game trophies, fair-chase hunting and success in conservation and game management will be celebrated at the Club’s 27th triennial Big Game Awards, June 24-26, 2010, at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev. Free attractions include a public exhibition of top-ranking North American big-game trophies in 36 categories taken since 2007, plus a variety of seminars and exhibits.

“Trophy entries have increased 400 percent over the past 30 years, which not only means wild, free-ranging, trophy-class specimens are more plentiful now than ever before, it also means we’re getting larger samples and better snapshots of today’s culture of hunter-conservationists,” said Tony Schoonen, chief of staff for the Boone and Crockett Club.

Here are the most commonly used calibers (Note: Records do not distinguish specific variations, i.e. .300 Win. Mag, .300 WSM, .300 Wby. Mag., .300 Ultra Mag, etc.) across all Boone and Crockett categories over the past three years, along with percentages of trophy entries credited to each:

.300 Magnum – 18 percent
Bow/crossbow – 16 percent
.270 – 12 percent
.30-06 – 11 percent
7mm Magnum – 11 percent
Muzzleloader/shotgun – 10 percent
6mm – 3 percent
.338 Magnum – 3 percent
.257 – 2 percent
.30-30 – 2 percent
.308 – 2 percent
.375 Magnum – 2 percent
Other – 8 percent

The .300 Magnum appears among the top three calibers in 11 of the following 15 species recognized in Boone and Crockett trophy records. A bow/crossbow appears in 7 of these 15. Species are arranged by frequency of records book entries 2007-09.

Most popular calibers by species include:

Whitetail deer – 1.) Bow/crossbow, 2.) Muzzleloader/shotgun, 3.) .270
Black bear – 1.) bow/crossbow, 2.) .300 Magnum, 3.) .30-06
Pronghorn – 1.) .300 Magnum, 2.) .270, 3.) 7mm Magnum
Sheep (bighorn, Dall’s, desert, Stone’s) – 1.) .300 Magnum, 2.) 7mm Magnum, 3.) .270
Mule deer – 1.) .300 Magnum, 2.) 7mm Magnum, 3.).270
Elk (American, Roosevelt’s, Tule) – 1.) .300 Magnum, 2.) bow/crossbow, 3.) tie: .30-06, 7mm Magnum
Moose (Alaska-Yukon, Canada, Shiras) – 1.) .300 Magnum, 2. ) tie: 7mm Magnum, .338 Magnum
Caribou (barren ground, central Canada barren ground, mountain, Quebec-Labrador, woodland) – 1.) .300 Magnum, 2.) .270, 3.) .30-06
Blacktail deer (Columbia, Sitka) – 1.) .30-06, 2.) tie: 7mm Magnum,.300 Magnum
Coues – whitetail deer – 1.) 7mm Magnum, 2.) .270, 3.) .300 Magnum
Cougar – 1.) bow/crossbow, 2.) .30-30, 3.) 6mm
Rocky Mountain goat – 1.) tie: .270, .300 Magnum, 3.) tie: 7mm Magnum, .30-06, bow/crossbow, muzzleloader/shotgun
Brown bear/grizzly – 1.) .375 Magnum, 2.) .338 Magnum, 3.) .300 Magnum
Muskox – 1.) Bow/crossbow, 2.) .300 Magnum, 3.) tie: 6mm, .375 Magnum
Bison – 1.) .338 Magnum, 2.) tie: 7mm Magnum, bow/crossbow

The Boone and Crockett Club system of scoring big-game trophies originated in 1906 as means of recording details on species thought to be disappearing due to rampant habitat loss and unregulated hunting. Science-based conservation efforts, led and funded by license-buying hunters, brought those species from vanishing to flourishing.

Boone and Crockett records remain a classic gauge of habitat and management programs.

In addition to its prestigious history and tradition, Boone and Crockett scoring is strongly associated with the highest tenets of fair chase and hunting ethics.

For more about the Club’s 27th Big Game Awards, visit www.biggameawards.com.

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