First Shot and First Kill for my 30-378 at 450 yards
After nearly two years not hunting sambar deer since I started my job at a construction site overseas in New Caledonia I was eager as all hell to get out into them hills with my hunting buddy Norm.
My rifle for this trip was my 30-378Wby Accumark with its standard 26” barrel pushing them 210 Berger VLD’s at 3250 fps.
Earlier in the week I went to my local rifle range to check out the zero and had it shooting 2’’ groups at 550 yards.
As we were descending the ridge entering this particular gully Norm and I disturbed a deer to our right. We held still for a while then continued on to where we would glass for a deer. Some time later Norm spotted a doe bedded up in dogwood some 250 yards away but she didn't present us with a clear shot so Norm decided to move further down the ridge to see if we could get a better shot at her.
Whilst looking through my scope I noticed another deer walking through my line of vision through the bottom half of my scope as I was watching and waiting for the bedded doe to get up to present me with a better shot.
I could not believe what I had actually seen and took a look outside the scope to be certain and yep sure enough there were now two deer on the move.
Earlier on as we were descending this ridge Norm and I had disturbed a deer to our right and we believe this is the same deer and also believe it was the doe's 3/4 grown offspring which I am sure had caught my scent and was hightailing it out of the gully heading towards its mother to alert her of the present danger lurking in this gully.
The doe and her offspring then made a run for it which once again did not present me with a good shot until the doe stopped behind a large tree a long distance from me.
I used my Leica 1200 CRF Range Finder and had the doe ranged at a distance of 447 yards.
I had previously entered other vital information into my palm held PDA computer and all that was needed now was for me to input this distance to determine the amount of adjustment I needed to make to my NightForce scope over that distance.
The large tree had provided the doe with a high degree of cover leaving me with a fairly difficult shot as it exposed only her head, neck and allowed a shot between her shoulders at a distance of 447 yards and so basically I was looking at a 3 to 4 inch kill circle where I had to hit with the bullet for an instant kill.
I decided to take the shot between her shoulders and as you can see in one the photos the 210 grain Berger VLD bullet I used for this purpose hit the spot right on target and did its job perfectly and resulted in an instant kill.
This was the first outing for the 30-378 and its first shot and kill on a deer.
We retrieved both back straps (fillets) and only the rear legs as both of the front legs were turned into a pulped jelly mess sustained from the massive wound and resultant hemorrhaging from the bullet’s impact.
We spent the rest of the afternoon checking out our rifles and ballistics programs by shooting and smashing football sized rocks out to 1194 yards across the gully from where we camped for the night. The Night Force Exbal program was spot on at all ranges for the 210 Berger VLD.
We did this to observe and note the impact and effects a small breeze of around 3 mph has on the bullet path out to that range.
Hope you enjoyed the story.
I'm sorry that I wasn't able to attach any photos, any suggestions on where I went wrong with this would be welcome.