I don't know anything about hunting.

Hey all,

I’m in the process of getting my firearms license and recently did a post seeking advice on my first rifle. In this post I was set on a 6.5 Creedmoor caliber with the purpose of getting into target shooting at all ranges. The post had some great responses and I’m now virtually 100% sure that I’m going to go with a Howa 1500 in an MDT XRS. That’s all fine, it just that I may have to change my desired caliber of 6.5 Creedmoor if I’m going to consider getting into hunting as well.

Until today hunting was something I hadn’t given much thought to because I hadn’t considered eating meat outside of what’s sold in the supermarket. However I realized that Deer probably tastes pretty good and if I can get 20-30kg of lean meet at zero cost outside of processing then that would remove a huge chunk of the weekly food cost in my life.
I understand that in Victoria a .270 caliber is the minimum that can be used to shoot Deer. A 6.5 Creedmoor works out to .264 (I believe).

Anyway onto my questions:

Does this mean I can’t legally use a 6.5 CM for Hunting? I wasn’t sure given that it’s so damn close to .270 and has great velocity. If it is illegal to hunt with, then I’ll probably do with the .308 and just compromise a little at longer range target shooting. Unless there’s other calibers people would recommend for a target shooting and hunting rifle.

What does the process of transfering a Dead Deer to meat in the freezer look like/cost? I take it processing is something you’d get done somewhere. So, is it literally a case of taking the shot Deer to a processer, paying them a fee and then picking up the meat when it’s ready? Are there other factors in this process that I need to consider?

And can anyone describe the taste? Is it nice? I’d hate to start hunting only to find that I don’t like the meat. Though if it’s going to save me hundreds of dollars a month, I’m willing to compromise.

I can’t see how I can go wrong with the MDT XRS as a hunting/target shooting hybrid given that it’s relatively light and bipod can easily be detached etc. But if anyone thinks this would be a bad move, I’m open to more suggestions.

I think that’s all the questions I have,


Hey sbd850 a lot of info there.
Unfortunately yes those 6 thou do make a difference as far as the law is concerned and a min 270 is required. That is only for Sambar deer smaller fallow have a smaller min cal.

Personally I think there are more options available to you in target shooting with a 308. The difference in calibres is next to negligible I wouldnt let that drive your first purchase.

Processing a deer. I believe there are places or people that will do that for you. However doing it yourself is also very much a possibility. In fact I think you would have to at least Gut the deer if you were to take it somewhere as you dont want to leave the guts in for any longer period of time than necessary. Getting them out and the skin off so the meat cools quickly not only reduce the chance of any risk due to bacteria growth but also a affect the meats taste.

To add, to what @sungazer said… It’s actually illegal for butchers to process your meat or any meat for that matter, that didn’t come from an established supply chain. To be blunt, you will have to gut it, field butcher, carry it out and do the rest at home. there’s not a lot involved in that, but it is what it is. You could probably find some mobile butcher that would do it for you, but honestly, a good knife and doing it once before - you’d be done in no time.

I’m not a hunter but I recommend you check out Aussie Bush Harvest on YouTube. If I ever get into hunting he will be my role model.

Also, and maybe this is just me, I wouldn’t start out with deer. Get a .22 and start on rabbits. Get used to gutting, skinning and butchering them and then move on from there.

As to taste, I like venison but it isn’t for everyone. Some people find it too gamey.

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Just sussed a few of his vids and they’re great, thanks for the recommendation.

I don’t think I’d eat Rabbit meat but I can see how it’d make good practice. I’ll likely target shoot more often than I’d hunt and while a .22 is great fun on spoon targets at the shorter distances, I’d prefer to go for some nice groups with a larger cal. A .22 would likely be my second rifle down the track anyhow.
I know starting on bigger game is going to be more in the deep end but I’d enjoy the process of learning.

Oh I see, sounds like quite a learning curve but I’d be happy to do it myself with guidance. I thought that there would be private burchers etc. who would prepare Dead carcasses and transfer them down to meat for you etc.

Mate, unless you have a private property where you can sit and snipe from, you will have to hunt on public land and hunting deer on public land is incredibly hard. Don’t buy into YouTube hype, because for every video of deer, there are hundreds of hours in the bush seeing nothing. And to top it off, shooting unsupported is not the simplest task either. It will be months of practice until you think you’re ready and then tens of hours in the bush.

Just get your self what you really want, go to the range, shoot a tone and then go bush with expectation of seeing nothing. And then when you do shoot something (when, not if), you’ll learn that even a heart shot doesn’t really drop them, so you will have to go looking for it and hopefully won’t lose it. Worry about meat when it’s dead in front of you. For now, get yourself a brand spanking new gun and just practice :slight_smile:


Hi and welcome to the forum @sbd850.

Its not easy to convey taste with words, I like it but you may or may not.
Its a full flavoured meat or “gamey”, similarly some find kangaroo too gamey, I don’t. There are a number of things that can effect the flavour, one example being able to hang the deer in a cool room for a number of days. What meats have you tried ? roo, emu, camel, rabbit etc. If you like those things then its quite probable you would like venison. It really is something you need to try for yourself.

Butchering it yourself is the way to go imo, as @juststarting indicated it’s not that dificult to learn. The more challenging part is actually successfully stalking and taking the deer to start with.

Given that you are just getting your licence, getting some range time will be of significant importance, prior to doing any hunting imo. Not trying to deter you by any means, just saying that its best to aquire a good level of confidence in your marksmanship first. Then you have a solid foundation to build on to start exploring hunting. Just my two cents mate.

You’ll get there mate, it just takes a little while. :beers:


Definitely will get there :slight_smile: Everyone gets there. Just need to practice and boil one frog at a time.

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Yeah fair points. I do like Roo meat, a little tough but nice and rich in flavour. I haven’t eaten Emu or Camel or Rabbit though.

I’ve been to the range 3 times under licensed friends and have put a good amount of rounds through .22’s, 22-250 and .308 and put some nice groups together. I still have heaps to learn obviously and am definitely keen on heaps of range time, I just thought it’s worth mentioning that I have shot before. I agree though, get good range time in and gradually explore hunting. I’ll still choose my caliber with eventually hunting in mind.

It’s doubtful I’ll be able to afford a second bigger cal rifle for quite some time so for the time being it’ll either be the 6.5 Creed or .308 depending what I choose, which I’ll give some good thought to and then a .22 as a second some time after, given that they’re pretty low cost.


As an all rounder centrefire, you just can’t go wrong with 308. Good round, legal for all game in Vic, commercial ammo is reasonably affordable and very common…

To do your due diligence, perhaps look into 270 and 7mm-08 as well, but you most definitely won’t go wrong with 308. Especially for hunting.


Seconding the advice for a .308 rifle. It’ll do everything you need, ammo is affordable and plentiful, and it’s something pretty much everyone has experience with across a range of situations, so people can help you as you learn.

I would also strongly recommend getting a .22 rifle with which to learn the basics of shooting. Nothing fancy, and ideally something with open (iron) sights. You can get lots of practice and get your head around the fundamentals without having to pay $1 a shot that way - and .22s are also great for rabbits as well.


Plan is to get a bigger cal first and a .22 soon after. I have .22’s on spoon targets a few times though both were scoped.

My advice would be to go the other way and get the .22 first, unless you have a friend with one you can borrow. I mean, you can go straight to a bigger rifle but a .22 really is a great gun for learning to shoot with and also generally having fun with.


@sbd850 Have you spent much time in the bush mate? If not, there are some saftey considerations. #1 it’s easy to get lost and it’s not safe to simply rely on a gps, like all electronic devices they can fail, had one fail on me once when I was deep in the bush and it could have ended really bad. Its really inportant to develop sound navigational skills and trip planning. I was able to get myself out because I had thoroughly prepaired for such a situation and knew that if i was to head on a specific compass bearing I would hit a road and from there I was able to get back to the vehicle.

As long as you can safely go bush etc… There is nothing to stop you developing your stalking technique without a firearm, bung on a blase orange vest if in designated hunting area and go bush walking, look for sign such as tracks, wallows, rub trees etc… go slow and try to be heading into the wind, perhaps sit quietly for a while overlooking a heavily used game trail or a wallow if you find one and you may see somthing mate.
It’s a good way to begin learning to read the bush while you’re doing all the licencing and or developing ya marksmanship etc…

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Tikka T3 CTR in 308 was my first rifle. I turned out okay lol

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That’s debatible :joy: pokes gentily with a stick lol

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I started with an air rifle (because they weren’t guns when I was growing up) and then went to a .303; because I’d learned the basics the transition was seamless. I’ve got mates who started on telescopically sighted centrefires and they’re doing OK, but the main thing is they don’t get the practice because it’s harder to find ranges to fire a bigger rifle at, and ammo costs more.

$50 buys a lot of .22 ammo, it’ll get you maybe two boxes of larger centrefire rifle ammo.


When it comes to taste quite often I would not be able to tell the difference from Beef. It takes practice to cook as it is very lean meat so can be tough if you cook it just a little bit over the correct amount.

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Welcome sbd850, mate I’d stick with the 6.5 for your range gun if that’s what you want and practice at the range for a while then by the time you’re confident & competent enough to go and spend hours in the bush trying to actually see a deer (without spotlighting on private land they’re tricky bastards to find and get a shot on) you’ll have saved up enough money for a decent hunting rifle (which doesn’t need to be an expensive package) in whatever cal you choose. Taking a heavy target rifle and trudging through the bush with it sucks. They’re different tools for different jobs.

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