Spent a few days in Wyoming this week with a friend of mine on a speed goat hunt and we had mixed success. We bagged a nice buck but we really wanted to do it at long range if possible but the speedgoats weren't cooperating very well. We chased one in particular for miles and hours and it would never stop. When we got all the stuff out to shoot him, he would go from a walk to a trot to a dead run and then we'd have to try and keep up. And the ground was so flat that there were no good shooting points or vantage points. So we just had to try to get ahead of them and already be set up.
About mid-day, we finally found a buck that was only walking and we could get ahead of him. Then when he spotted us, he froze instead of running. This gave us some time to size him up and determine that he was a shooter.
I quickly got the 338 Thunder out and the Swaro rangefinders and my PDA and dialed it in. My buddy got the Docters (big double barreled spotting scopes) set up on him so I could watch the hit.
Microseconds after the Thunder barked, I saw the famous watermelon sized vapor trail that the 300 grain SMK leaves heading straight for the buck. It hit with tremendous consequences. It entered the neck far back and penetrated through to break the spine and far shoulder. A shovel full of hair blew off the buck and a cloud of steam escaped from the hole and drifted away. The shot dropped him without a step and his back end hit the ground before his front and it looked like he whipped his chin into the dirt! So much for the fear that the SMK would just zip through a 10" wide body of an antelope without causing damage! The hole on the far side was stretched out to tennis ball size and there were little bits of meat in the sagebrush behind the buck for at least 30 yards.
It wasn't real long range (only 544 yards) but it was one shot and over and when you're trophy hunting, sometimes you just have to take them were you get them. Long or short range.
The buck ended up going 15.25" long and had 6" paddles with great mass. He'll gross about 80" pretty easy.
Enjoy the pics: