Crop damage hunt report...Ernesto did not ruin the entire trip!!
Other than departing half a day late for the crop damage deer hunt, the trip went very well. The Ernesto storm up the east coat had us delayed as the friend I was staying with was w/o power...but I grew up camping so this was nothing new!
Anyhoo...we had thirty tags available for us to fill and only an evening and the entire next day to make as much of a dent as possible in the allotment.
Weaponary consisted of my new APS XP-100 chambered in 7mm/270WSM and topped w/ a Burris 3-12x32 BP Handgun scope. The load is 63.5gr IMR4831SC pushing a 162gr A-Max at 2825fps. The drops in the BP scope when zeroed at 250yds are 306, 406, 498 and 600yds.
My host was toting a Savage 116BSS .300 Rummy loaded w/ 180gr Barnes TSX at some insane velocity.
Evening one had us overlooking a beanfield w/ a maximum shooting distance of 400yds. The evening went slow as the deer were a little messed up from the storm. But as dark neared they started pouring into the field. As we watched, one large doe parted herself from the group and was whacking down beans faster than a harvester. The field edge ranged at 377 yards. I chambered a round, settled her between the first and second dots in the Burris scope and started to squeeze. At the shot she folded w/o even a flinch...high shoulder hit. Upon inspection, she was a nearly a full 30yds from the field edge (making her closer to 345-350yds)...still a new person best for me. The 162gr A-Max was caliber in w/ a 2" exit.
Morning of day two brought a very slow beginning. Deer did not appear until nearly 11AM. Two fawns. The hunt was for deer meat for several needy families but the ultimate goal was crop damage minimization...so as Wayne and Garth would put it..."GAME ON!" John ranged the targets again at 377yds but they were just popping out of the woods so we knew they were on the field edge. I settled in with the APS XP-100 and went live. Bracketed the deer between dot two and three and let the big dog eat! A miss!! What?! Deer scattered nervously but remained in the field...shot number two was loosed to the same results...a miss! All of a sudden I realized I was using the wrong hold! Should be holding between dots one and two, not two and three!! This guns shoots WAY flatter than anything this scope has ever been used on and I simply had a brain fart.
Well...even after two grenades sent there way...the deer remained in the field. I obtained another range reading (376yds), used the correct hold and I touched off...the deer jumped about two feet in the air and ran like a scalded cat. Group concensus (and review of the video tape) was that it was a hard chest hit. We gave the deer a little time then followed up. Upon arrival at the hit site we found a deer! Huh?! Mine ran into the woods. The deer on the ground had a 1.5" hole straight through the neck. Closer inspection (and another review of the tape) revealed that I had doubled the two fawns...the deer in front took the chest hit and ran 50yds before expiring while the other simply folded. After my goof, myself and the two spotters failed to see the second deer behind the first. This distance bested my personal best w/ a handgun that was set the evening before.
Evening two was also slow until about 7PM when deer again started pouring into the field. There were 8 or so standing on the right side at 278yds and a lone fawn on the left side at the same distance. The plan was two take at least two deer from the herd then try to get the left side deer before it made it to the woods. As luck would have it...I had a large doe brake from the group and John (w/ the RUM and TSX's) had two deer brake and stand exactly side by side. John had first shot and droppd both deer instantaneously, a seond later I fired and dropped my deer w/ a high shoulder hit...so three deer down! Then John swung on the left side at the same time I did but he got on the trigger faster and put her down for good. So in a ten second span we dropped four deer. Several less fortunate families are eating well tonight!!
Though it would have been very wishful thinking to want to harvest all 30 tags, I think we did very well in the short 1.5 day hunt. Other than my two misses that were fully the fault of the operator, the shooting was very good and bullet performance was perfect. The doubled deer w/ the Barnes was amazing...the front deer was caliber in and 1.5" out, while deer two was 2" in and 3" out.
I took video of all the hits w/ a regular tape camera and I'm going to try and record very short digital video snips w/ my digy camera this AM from the TV screen. Very archaic I know...but I'm not a real tech savvy fella.