That's what I'm shooting right now because of the head. I needed something light in the recoil department and already had a Ruger Varmint Model. I've never shot a deer with it but I'm going to get to hunt the last couple of weeks of the season and if I find one I'll let you know how it does. I'm shooting the 100gr. ballistic tip and 100 gr. partition. I've not chronographed the partitions but the ballistic tips are doing 3440fps.. Recoil is still very mild. I'm only going to use them in box blinds at long range.
Yeah I quoted myself.
I connected with an 8 pointer this morning with the 25/06... my first with this caliber. I was pleased. It was with the ballistic tip at 3440fps and I was pleasantly surprised. Buck was hit broadside at about 100 yards. He ran about 50 yards and piled up. He started to stumble after only 20 or 30 yards. I really didn't expect an exit with a ballistic tip at that speed but it did. That was a pleasant surprise because I was a little wary of those bullets at that velocity. I still don't think I'd want to hit one at 25 yards with the same load.
One thing I have learned on the BT's is you never know what you will get with them,speaking of exit holes.
My brother guided elk hunters in Colorado and Idaho back in the '80's and early 90's and his only rifle back then was a Ruger 77 in .25-06 with a 24" varmint barrel. He's killed truckloads of elk and mule deer with that thing using 120 grain Nosler partitions. He doesn't guide anymore but he still uses the rifle on whitetails in Alabama with Remington 100 grain core-lokts.
Personally, I prefer a .243 for Southern whitetails but the .25-06 will certainly do the job.
The Ruger 77 25-06 is a sweet gun. That's all I've ever used hunting Whitetail. It's comfortable to me, kinda like an old dog or your favorite jeans. My last Buck ran approx. 30 yards after a 75 yard shot. A Doe the year before didn't take a step when I put one behind her left ear. And my only Bobcat got a last jump in after taking a 100 grain through her left eye at about 80 yds.
The only one 25/06 I have played with was my friend Craigs gun a Ruger in 25/06 . It was good for ground-hogs and deer but he eventually got a 280 for deer and traded the 25/06 in.
The 25/06 was created as a super 257 Robert to be even faster and be suitable for the varmints and deer back when the coyotes had not arrived in the East and there were still some varmints to hunt.
I once found two 257 Robert shell casings on a canyon overlook in Colorado and I thought what a story those casing must hold I wonder if the guy got the deer he was after that day in the past.