Porsches preach success. Hondas reek of practicality. So goes the reputation of a car guy. For hunters, the deer rifle you choose is no different. Every time you sling it over your shoulder and step out into the field, it speaks to your reputation.
Personality: You’re a weekend warrior. Don’t get me wrong, you love hunting, but it’s a hobby not an obsession. Your deer rifle makes its weekday home in the basement gun safe, only to be handled on hunting's biggest days (season opener and the following Saturdays). You and your reliable bolt action take a trip or two to the range each year, fire a few rounds at 100 yards and call it a day. A low maintenance, dependable and less-than-pricey rifle will do you just fine, as long as you can take it out on those treasured days in the field, as few as they may be.
The Dirty Harry
Personality: Your deer rifle better be feeling lucky. You’re about to drag it up every muddy/snowy/rainy hillside on God’s green earth. Each scratch and scar on your deer slayer is a badge of courage, and you’ll be sure to test its mettle at every turn. Tracking through rolling hills of the whitetail-heavy western U.S or the crop-dusted flats of the Midwest buck paradise shouldn’t be a problem—you work hard and so must your deer rifle. You’ll take every chance to hunt whitetails no matter how far you must travel or how big a dent it puts in your wallet. You’re a hardcore hunting soldier and your rifle needs to be a tank.
Personality: You love to watch Tom Berenger work his magic – one shot, one kill. You demand perfection out of your deer rifle. She probably has a name like Lola, Marie or the always-eccentric Gen. Robert E. Lee (true story). You may even prop her at your bedside come October, just so she knows you care. You know your rifle inside and out, in fact, you probably have the exploded view hanging neatly above your kitchen table. Your deer rifle is more than a tool with which you dispatch game; it is a part of your camo-clad soul.
Personality: Aesthetics, sir, are what hunting is all about—at least for you. Some may call you pompous, arrogant and downright vain, but no matter, you’re probably a better shot anyway. You demand a gun that exudes importance or maybe even royalty, the most regal deer rifle a man can buy (that isn’t custom). Which is undoubtedly a rifle with ripe historical value and the pristine condition to match. You won’t go afield just anywhere or stoop to hunting on public land. Your rifle deserves better. Boone & Crockett bucks are all your rifle will ever harvest. Well, that is if you ever decide to pull the trigger for fear of dirtying up your hunting scepter.
Personality: Fudd, Elmer Fudd that is. You’re a traditionalist, an old-timer and a man who has spent more time in the woods than most young folks have been on this earth. You don’t need a fancy deer rifle or some tricked out sniper tool, and your firearm is just as stubborn as you are. It may have a few flaws or glitches but it’s trusty, timeless and shoots with the best of them. While your take-it-slow methods may be maddening to the iPhone crowd, you never come home empty handed. You’ve been hunting the same tract of land for decades and you can be found in that same old blind from dawn ‘til dark every rifle season.
Tyler Kreis contributed to this article.