I officially have my first big game kill over 450 yards!!
It all started when I went and picked up my non-typical pronghorn from the taxidermist last weekend. Having that antelope smell sitting next to me on the 3 hour trip home made me long for the hunt. I couldn't wait two more weeks for my buck tag to be open, so I went and bought a leftover doe/fawn tag at the sporting goods store, along with a shiny new gerber gator 2 knife. I have misplaced my gator 1. I came back to the house, gathered up my 300 rum, shooting duffle, and ammunition. 20 minutes later I had parked the truck next to an access road and was heading for a stock pond that is hidden from all the roads in this heavily hunted area. I set up about 500 yards from the pond and started glassing the area. There was a large heard about a mile up the draw that was headed my way. I could make out 20 antelope; 5 of them were mature does, 4 were bucks, and the rest fawns. All of a sudden I heard an antelope bark behind me.
I turned to look and there were two yearling bucks and a young doe staring at me. They saw my movement and headed strait for my truck. Just as the two bucks cleared the small ridge and went out of sight, the young doe stopped and turned to look back at me. I took a range readings; 463, 463, and 462. A quick look at my drop table confirmed I needed 5.5 MOA from my 100 yard zero. I then dialed in the scope and held for her right shoulder, as she was quartering towards me. It was time for the shooting routine to take affect.
I thought to myself, "Stay comfortable, she isn't sure what you are. Take your time. Two deep breaths. . . sight picture is good. Safety off. One more deep breath and slowly let it out. Hold steady, let the rifle do the work."
Now I can feel myself feathering the trigger then BANG, whack and I get my sight picture back just in time to see the doe crumble where she stood.
I thought the impact sounded like a gut shot, so I was very, very unhappy with myself, but happy with the performance of the rifle until I got about 200 yards away from the doe. that's when she lifted her head again. I dropped down to prone again, leveled the crosshairs at the base of her head, and just as I was squeezing the trigger, it dropped. By the time I stood up again and walked to her she had expired.
She was angled towards me more than I had thought and standing with her rear side about 2 feet above her shoulder. I had hit dead center on the upper leg bone about 2.5 inches lower than where I was aiming. The 180 gr. hornady interbond blew through the bone, both lungs and half of her intestines before it blew them out and through the left rear leg just above the knee. Not as clean of a kill as I had hoped for on my first longer range kill, but I am still sure that I can make a clean kill at longer ranges. I believe she would have died instantly if I would have been there at first light before they had been run by other hunters.
The new gerber held its edge well. I caped, deboned and cut half of the meet into jerkey strips before I had to touch up the edge.
"I am a stone. I do not move. Very slowly, I put snow in my mouth and he won't see my breath. I take my time. . . I have only one bullet. I aim at his eye. Very gently, my finger presses on the trigger. I do not tremble. I have no fear"