The 6 Best Youth Deer Hunting Rifles

by Braxton Taylor

Love it or hate it, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a swift, accurate, and low-recoil cartridge, which makes it a no-brainer for youth hunters. Because weight and size factor into youth deer hunting rifles, you can still opt for a compact, lightweight hunting rifle without worrying about the added recoil. Sig Sauer’s Cross rifle balances these factors well, which is one reason MeatEater’s Steven Rinella and Janis Putelis both reach for this rifle when they’re playing guide for their kids.

“Both of my hunting-age kids shoot Sig Cross rifles chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor,” Steve said. “They get excited about shooting and haven’t developed any fears or flinches from these low-recoil (and relatively quiet) rifles.”

Another feature Steve highlighted is the M-Lok system, which he uses “to add an Arca rail so the rifles can be placed on a heavy bipod or glassing tripod when we need to get above some grass or brush.”

While the Sig Sauer Cross might not seem like an obvious youth rifle, it’s adjustability makes it a worthwhile investment that kids will be able to shoot “until they’re certified old-timers.”

MeatEater’s Janis Putelis also spoke to the rifle’s adjustability, “the length-of-pull and cheek height are both adjustable, making it easy to fit me, my big 12-year-old, or my smaller 10-year-old.” He also noted that the two-stage trigger helps kids “wrap their heads around clean trigger breaks,” allowing them to perform a consistent shot process.

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