Well, just got back from my annual trip in Kansas. Unlike other years this was a terrible year for us. We saw very few bucks and the ones we saw were not the same caliber as we are used to seeing.
On our 8th morning I spotted a buck over 2000 yards away. He was keeping a doe in a plumb thicket on top of a canyon. I could tell he was a 9 point and appeared to be a mature deer. I watched him bed in the plumb thicket and I decided to make my move.
One of my buddies was with me and we started hiking. We only closed the distance 1000-1200 yards when we felt like we were at the last piece of cover we could get to. I tried to get my buddy to make a stalk but, he wanted to pass.
With that said we looked the deer over and I decided to set up on him. We got the Swaro rangefinder out and started toaking readings. 1005, 1006, 1005 and 1005 yards is what it said. We were in chest high grass but, right next to a lone oak tree. This part of the country has tons of rock in it and at the base of this tree was a lot of rock mounded up. I started stacking rocks and getting as high as I could in the prone position to get set up on the buck. Once I got setup, we started pulling the grass up in front of us to about 10 yards out for a clear shot. Luckily I was shooting just barely up hill or this may not have ever happened.
On the 3rd day of this hunt I had ripped a hole in one of my backpack compartments unknowingly and I had lost my Kestrel
. Because of this I had to guess at the wind. The weather report had said 23mph gusting to 30 and it was at exactly 90 degrees to us.
Making our best guess I dialed in windage for 23mph. The wind was gusting so we debated this for a good 5 or 10 minutes. I then dialed up 24.5 MOA for elevation and I got in behind the rifle.
I waited about 45 minutes for the buck to finally stand up. He walked a circle and then got broadside to me. I was rock steady and I squeezed the trigger. I saw the buck flinch and dust come up behind him and then he spun in a circle and stood there. I could see I hit him back and I had dialed too much wind so I cut it down to 20mph. The next hit was solid and had him wobbling. I was more in the middle this time so I took the windage to 18mph and let her rip again and then it was game over!
I had to walk to the buck as there were no roads. It was only 1000 yards in a straight line but, I think it was about 1.5 miles up, down and around canyons and creek bottoms. It seemed like it took forever!
All 3 shots exited the deer with major damage. I only hit bone on the last shot and that was the final killing shot. If I had my Kestrel I bet it would have only taken I round and it would have been over!
I do not have any good pictures because my camera was dead when I got there and I had to cape him out and pack him back down to a road.
Sorry for the terrible picture but, it is all I have. He scored 139 7/8" gross. Not anywhere near my best deer but, I am awfully proud of shooting him at just over 1000 yards!
Also, I used my 338 Edge built by Defensive Edge topped with a 8-32X56 Nightforce. I use a Jewel Trigger, HS Precision stock, bottom metal and box magazine. The load was 92gr of H1000 with a 300 SMK, at a COL of 2.860. It is a little heavy for all that hiking but, well worth it!
The next morning my buddy used the Edge to take this nice 10 point at 400 yards. That is his furthest shot and he was proud to make a 1 shot kill. He was above us and about to walk in to a canyon an out of sight forever when he squeezed the trigger. He was quartering very heavily towards us but, the 300 SMK made short work of him.
Not by design, but, by accident you can see the massive exit hole out of the buck in his picture!
I also shot a doe at 375 yards with my new 257 WBY just to see how the Accubond performed. I was amazed at the entrance and exit wound. She never took a step!