"Long" day with the muzzleloader
I used opening morning to make the longest shot I've taken yet with my muzzleloader.
Right after daylight I hesitated on a shot at a nice buck from 282 yards, quickly realizing it was silly to wait for it to close the last 30 yards to closest approach when I had practiced for much longer shots and it was dead calm. But it was too late and he took off. Lesson learned, trust your preparation.
A couple hours later I crawled a quarter mile across an open field to close in on a buck I saw bed down in the same ditch. I'd had to decide whether to take my "close range" peep sight ML for jumping the buck, or my heavier long range rig. I decided the peep sighter would leave me impotent during most of the trip, so I took the heavy rig. When I got across 3 does ran up, crossed the ditch and stopped out in the opposite field. I crossed and got as close as I could, 209 yards. I cranked up 6.5 MOA and held straight as I was firing into the wind. The first doe dropped, and while the other 2 milled around I reloaded flat on my back. The second adult doe was 180 yards, and I dropped her with the second shot. I let the yearling go.
I figured any deer in the ditch were long gone with the shooting as I was less than 100 yards from the last buck sighting, but decided to sneak down anyways. I did, and a nice 8-pt launched out of the grass almost at my feet (how can such a big animal hide in 6in of grass??). Finding the deer and point blank range in a 3.5X scope was the nightmare I feared when deciding which gun to take, but I managed and fired. He went down and I backed up with my pistol.
After locating the two downed does, I returned to the buck and saw 2 more does back across where my crawl started, 300 yards away. I set up and cranked the scope, but they'd seen me and ran further down. I ranged again at 338 yards, added 4 MOA more, held and fired. She went straight down.
I later found that I got about 4 more inches of wind drift than I planned, but was still within the vital zone. I figure that's not bad for a shot requiring 19 MOA of elevation adjustment. 338 yards is a new long one for me.