And the debate rages!

This is just my opinion, so take it for what you paid for it...

The one gun I got the most use out of was one I had when I was a kid...
I took more game and terminated more ground hogs with that one gun than any other single gun I've owned since...

Are you ready for this... It was a .22 LR over 20 Ga. shotgun!
I'm sure a 12 gauge would be more versitle simply because of the staggering amount of specality rounds available, but the little 20 gauge did the job!
In our area, there is a lot of both water and land wing shooting, rabbits, squirrels, deer, turkeys, and I even bagged a few of the local varmit type critters, like fox, coyote, ground hogs, ect.

I personally would like to see a .223 with .22 LR insert over 12 gauge, but I think I'm just dreaming now...
I can't think of a single critter I'm likely to come across I couldn't bag with that combo.

If I were hiking and could only take one gun, I'd choose a .22 LR or .22 WMR simply because I'd be able to pack more ammo.
A .223 Rem. or 12 gauge would be nice, but they are heavy, and would make a mess out of most things one would hunt for dinner.
I'm a confident enough shot that a .22 WMR would knock down anything but a bear or cougar at short range, (and I don't shoot things at long range just because they 'might' become a hazard).
Even with a cougar or bear, the report of a .22 would probably deter them...
(Pepper spray works pretty good with black bears!)

I used to be a pretty avid backwoods hunter, hiker and camper, and I can tell you now that hostle plants and insects are going to pose more of a problem than bears and cougars!

I'm pretty fond of my AR-15. For those of you not familiar with the AR-15, it's normally chambered in .223 Rem., and the .223 Rem. round will knock anything in North America down with a well placed shot.
The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle, and mine is legal for large capicity magizines, so knock down power isn't a problem, cost of practice ammo can be a problem...
I often store a .22 LR conversion in the butt stock compartment where the military cleaning kit is supposed to ride.
This makes converting from .223 Rem. (5.56x45MM) to .22 LR. about a 1 minute job.
I like to shoot, and nothing is cheaper to shoot than .22 LR.

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