My friend Rob and I went out for the weekend hoping to get some venison or pork for the freezer. Rob had invited along a neighbours young son, 11 yr old Robbie. The intention was to tramp up a river valley and then cut up a side stream and hunt above the bush edge, hoping to catch a deer or pig in the open scrub country.
Tramped in late Friday night camping 2 hours up the valley, making camp where the track stopped. I had decided to try and go really light this trip, I left my sleeping bag behind and just used a fleece sleeping bag liner and a bivy bag. A bit of a mistake as even with ALL my clothes on and my legs inside my pack my legs were pretty cold. It was really easy to get up at 4:50 am.
By 7:00 am we had managed to get upstream to where we wanted cut up the side stream and bashed our way up through the scrub to where we could start glassing.
After half an hour of glassing I saw a chamois feeding on a bluff in the beech forest. He was 1080 yds away and too far for a shot for us, plus we wanted to get in closer to check out the size of his horns, as half an inch in length makes the difference between an average and a good head. Eventually the chamois feed in to the beech trees so moved in closer. The way over to him was not too bad and eventually we were on the ridge looking down onto the bluff he had been on, but no where to be seen. We figured he had bedded down in the trees for the day, so we would come back either tonight or the next morning to try and find him.
Me glassing for the chamois
There was a stream marked on the map about half a kilometre around the face that might make a good bivy spot and give us some water, so we headed off in that direction. After a bit of sidling we were looking down on the stream but it looked dry from where we were. Rob decided to leave his pack and go down to check out the water supply while Robbie and I stayed up on top. Robbie and I stood around having a talk waiting for Rob to come back.
After 10 minutes or so we saw Rob coming back, I glanced across the other side of the stream and noticed something that looked suspiciously like a deer sitting on a clearing. I grabbed my binoculars and confirmed it was a stag lying down having a rest in the sun.
View through the scope of the stag after I had shot it.
I told Robbie to sit down as we were, and had been, in full view of the stag. I ranged it at 358 yards and less than 5 degrees down and checked my drop chart. I use a 7mm rem mag with 162 a-max at 3060 fps, zeroed at 100 yds (see Re-barrel to 7mm rem mag). I had to come up 4 MOA, ignoring the 5 degree angle. Rob was coming back at this stage so I frantically signalled to him to stop and get down.
I set the bipod legs and put my rolled up jacket under the butt. The deer was now partially lying on his left side and resting his head on the ground. I centred the crosshairs on his chest and squeezed off the shot. The rifle barely moved under recoil and I was able to see the stag throw his head to the left and lie a bit further on his left side.
Me and the stag!
The a-max had taken him in the crease behind the right shoulder, taken out two ribs, put a two inch hole through his lungs, clipped the bottom of the spine and exited just above the left shoulder blade. We recovered as much of the meat as we could, getting about 30 kgs (66 lbs) of meat.
Looking back up to where the shot was taken from (red arrow)
We saw some good pigs that evening, but they disappeared before we could get close enough. On Sunday we looked for the chamois again, to no avail.
Young Robbie had done really well, keeping up with Rob and me and never a complaint. He even shot my 7mm mag, just clipping a small rock at 248 yds. He’s keen for another trip!
My daughter and I were up in the Paw Paw bends of the Potomac this morning. It was 14 degrees F and there were sheets of ice on the river!!! That was cold. We saw one small buck but never could get him clear of the trees and limbs to take a shot. Hoepfully we will get him on Friday.
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Re: Longest shot yet!
Very nice. Thank you for sharing!
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.