First Long-Range Experience
Hello everyone. I am new to the sport of long range hunting and new to this board. I wanted to introduce myself and share my first LRH experience.
I live in the northern portion of Kentucky, but all of my extended family is from western Oklahoma and Texas. For years, I have made multiple trips to OK each year for quail and turkeys. But last year, I made my first trip for whitetail.
I was hunting with my brother, who had invited his father-in-law and brother-in-law. His father-in-law builds custom long-range rifles and he was kind enough to bring a beautiful 7mm STW for me to use.
My brother and I were hunting along the Canadian River near Roll, OK. We were positioned on a hillside roughly 60' high overlooking the wide, flat river bottom, broken with trees, brush and an occasional wheat field. It was late afternoon and we had seen several does, but were waiting for a buck to show itself. My brother detected some movement to the south about 500 yds way. A doe was running to the south, away from our position. And, sure enough, there was a buck following not far behind.
She finally stopped around 800 yds away and the buck stopped not far from her. It was difficult to determine the size of the buck, but through the Leupold binoculars, it appeared to be an 8-point shooter -- nothing spectacular, but we only had one more day to hunt and this was the best buck we'd seen all day.
We kept an eye on them for quite some time hoping they would work their way back toward us before the daylight waned -- I figured we only had about 45 minutes left to get a shot.
There was another hilltop to the south about 250 yds away that would offer at least a hope getting a shot, but there was a steep ravine between it and our current position. I decided to try to make the move while my brother stayed and kept an eye on the deer. We didn't have radios, so we quickly devised some hand signals so we could communicate as I worked my way over.
After 10 minutes or so, I had gained the opposite hilltop and, remarkably, the deer were still in about the same location. I ranged them with my brother's Leica 1200 at 593 yds. I set up in the brush and with the 7mm STW resting on Harris bipods and began going over the shot in my head while I caught my breath. I knew the ballistics of the gun out to 500 yds, but hoped to get something closer. A cedar tree 460 yds away in the river bottom made a good point of reference and I made up my mind I would take the shot if the buck came that close.
For about 20 minutes, the doe meandered about, all the while keeping an eye on the buck who kept several yards between them. Then, with the light beginning to fade, she began making her way closer to the cedar. It's funny I picked that cedar as a reference point, because she stopped no more than 5 yds from it. The buck was still 20 yds behind her beyond the cedar and he turned and stopped offering a perfect broadside shot.
I put the cross hairs right on top of his shoulder and lightly touched the 2-pound trigger. BLAM! By the time I got my eye back in focus through the scope, I saw the doe run across my field of vision, but I didn't see the buck anywhere. Then I caught some movement in the grass about 10 yds in front of the cedar. He was down! There was one more kick, then he was still.
I stood up, looked back at my brother on the opposite hill and gave him an ethusiastic thumbs up. When we worked our way down to the buck, we found him with a bullet hole in perfect placement behind the front shoulder. I was never so excited in my life. A 480 yard shot! I was instantly hooked on this sport.
By the way, my brother took a beautiful 13-pointer the next morning at 380 yards. What a great weekend. Our next trip is planned for Nov. 19 and I am counting the days!