Yesterday was the end of an era. A 10 year goal of becoming the youngest VHA grand slammer was accomplished with a 2051 yard shot on a rockchuck. The mission has been a long road, full of frustrations and supernatural highs that only dedicated hunters can understand. The race to the 500,1000,1500, and 2000 yard clubs has taken many turns and has costed me and my friends tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and gas and components, but when it all ended yesterday, it felt like it was well worth the effort. Now the pressure is gone, and the memories will last a lifetime. All in all, yesterday was one of the best days of my life!
The morning started out at 11,000 feet in 50 degree weather and found 7mmrhb and myself peering through my Swaro 60x spotter at a very distant colony of unsuspecting rockchucks. After several minutes of glassing, a few 2000 yard possibilities presented themselves. Adjusting my rest and chambering a shell into the MOAG, I couldn't wait to start the 300 grain MK on it's way. With 7mmrhb spotting for me, I began to unleash the barage. My first several shots were not seen as the high elevation made my bullets hit much higher than what the computer progam was telling me. In fact, they hit probably 40 feet too high! So after a quick dial down, I started getting real close to a few of the bigger 2k chucks. The problem was that the sun was not really strong, and the chucks didn't want to hang around in one spot very long. But after awhile, we found one medium sized chuck sitting on a rock that the Wild rangefinder ranged at 1875 yards. It got a really good read because of the unexpected lack of mirage.
I dialed the rest down until the crosshairs of our Leupy 14.5-35x50 scope came to rest over the target. I then tickled the 1.5 ounce trigger and sent the Matchking on the way. 7mmrhb and I called out the miss together at about 8" high and 2' right. I quickly dialed in 2 clicks down and one minute left and fired again. After about a 2.5 second flight time, the bullet was spotted hitting about 5" low and about 5" left hitting the large rock under the chuck and blowing bits off it. A switching light wind had moved me too far.
The chuck was frightened by the smack (which was audible to us over 1 mile away) and he jumped down and went slightly farther out into the grass. I then dialed up 1 click and right one click and let loose on a third bullet. As it flew, 7mmrhb said that he felt like he had a "good feeling" about that round as it was en route to the target. Sure enough, as we both watched the bullet fly for the antagonizing 2.5 seconds, we both saw it land abruptly into the chuck! It blew mud out from behind the target on both sides of his body and he immediately went stiff as a board. He then rolled down the hill completing 3 full rollovers and came to a rest upside down about 10 feet from where he was hit!!
We began screaming and jumping around like school kids! The impossible had just been done right before our eyes!
It was the best feeling in the world and we celebrated for hours!
After the commotion had settled down, we set out to recover the chuck and take pictures. The Wild had gotten a good read of 2051 yards, but my gps actually came up with 2086 yards so we took the lesser of the two measurements.
The bullet had zipped right through him and made him bleed, but no huge disruption was evident like what we get from the polymer tipped varmint bullets at closer ranges.
After the pic session, we then went and dug out the smaller short range guns (it sounds funny to call 1000 yard guns short range!) and proceeded to lay waste to about 20 other yellow bellies. The conditions later in the day were absolutely amazing as the wind completely died and the skies were overcast making it extremely easy to connect on distant targets. At one point, between the 3 6mmbr's we had, there were about 7 or 8 one shot kills from 400 to 710 yards!! Absolutely amazing how deadly accurate the BR's are.
After a long day, we packed up and headed for home. We talked about the end of the road and what is next for my varmint hunting career. I could retire right now a happy man!
Now that it has all sunk in, a small sadness has set in. I have been striving for the goal for so long, I hate to see it end. It is kind of like climbing Mt. Everest I suppose. Once you have climbed it, no other mountain can match the experience so you look for other things. It is a bittersweet accomplishment and I only wish it would last forever.
What's next? I suppose the 408 chey tac improved with a USO 50x scope for trying the 2 mile chuck would prove a worthy goal, but for now I feel very content.
Anyway, I know you guys would like some pics so here you go:
Here is the shooting spot. I was shooting at the chucks in the rocks in green circle next to the snow drift. The red circle is a lone tree about 75 yards behind the chucks and it is roughly 15 feet tall.
Here is a pic of the rock pile where the chuck lived. The blue circle is a shrub patch about 70 yards across and can barely be seen in the above photo. The red circle is kill spot. The green bracket is the snow which is about 50 yards tall. It can also barely be seen in the pic above.
This is a zoom in pic taken thru my spotter on 30x and camera zoomed all the way in. The green circle was were he was perched and the yellow circle is where he rolled to.
Here is the little critter and the little killer!
Another view of all the gear needed.
Another angle with more essential gear. Notice the most important pieces of equipment on my tailgate. Shooting don't happen without the jug of apple juice and a little salsa!
Here's my shot spotter. Oh, and by the way, he will need that Swaro surgically removed. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] Thanks for all your help 7mmrhb.
Here is 7mmrhb looking for more vermin to slay with his deadly 6br. Notice how deep the snow still is.
And finally, here is my little 6br set up on the sniper's nest overlooking a big canyon (not shown for confidentiality) full of targets.
I also just wanted to say thankyou to all my friends and family who have helped me and incouraged me along the way. A huge thanks to my #1 shooting partner and colleague in mayhem, Uncle Brian. It has been a long and winding road my friend, and I'm sorry you couldn't have been there when it ended.
Also, to my other partner in crime, Roland. Thanks for your help in the quest. I could not have done it without you and some of your inventions. This odyessy has been a fine line between a hobby and a mental illness!
And also, thanks to everyone here on LRH that have kept me interested in the shooting sports and whom have helped me with my questions. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]