Yesterday I went antelope hunting
. This season I have passed up on several very nice trophy antelope because they didn't present the test of marksmanship skills that I am seeking. Yesterday it all came together. I harvested (or do we say kill around here?) a very respectable antelope that will score 80 and change SCI. Not a BC book critter, but pretty decent all the same.
The antelope was taken in some fairly rugged terrain as far as what most folks consider Pronghorn habitat. The buck was on the side of a ridge with three valleys between him and my bore. The wind was pretty much quartering from behind at 2.5 mph. The only wind variable was the upslope/downslope winds across the canyons and as calm as it had been I hoped the small canyon breezes would be of negligible consequence. There was very little elevation difference. The temperature and humidity shouldn't play a huge roll at the distance I was shooting.
The animal repeatably ranged at 625 yards with my Leica 900 LRF. His slight quatering away would make up for a few inches if I hit too far back. My rest was rock solid. The bullet entered about an inch ahead of the first rib from the rear and exited through the sixth rib from the back. He was dead on his feet and tipped over shortly without taking a step. That's kind of strange for a "goat". Generally, unless you get a CNS hit they take off like a bat of hell.
For the gadget guys, the rifle is a custom .30-.338 on an old L61R Sako action. Wooden stock, pillar bedded, with the forearm hogged out and filled with glass as was so popular a dozen years ago. The scope is a Nightforce NXS 3.5-15X50 in custom made Warne rings that I had built 10 years ago (It's time to go to a rail and better rings). Weight of unloaded rifle and scope is right on 12 pounds. The ammo was a Nosler 180 grain Accubond at 3100 fps.
This is the first time I have shot an animal over 400 yards. I will start another thread about that issue.