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Most memorable shot

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Unread 02-16-2006, 11:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,831
Re: Ok,,, One More,

Here's my luckiest Mule Deer shot,

During the 1970 deer season, three of us from McCammon ID rode up to the water tower east of town on horses. It was pretty much a fruitless ride so we rode headed back to town down the Harkness Canyon road. About 1/3 way down, we spied two doe and a fork horn up on the horizon to the south. Ron and I immediately dismounted, Jeff looked at us like we were nuts. Not too far wrong, he was (in yoda speak). I was quoted as sayin' "you can't hit something if you don't shoot! Ron and I knelt down on the road while Jeff held our horsed.

Ron was shooting a 06 w/flat base bullets, I was shooting my 270 W/Sierra 130gr boattails. Ron's scope was a fixed power; mine a Leuy 3X9 on nine power.

We had no idea of how far the shot was, plus we could only see the head and full neck of the little buck and it seemed like a 45 degree up angle. I have no idea of where Ron held, I held the very bottom edge of the scope on the top of the front shoulder. Jeff did the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 thing so we would both fire together, and we did.

The deer disappeared??? Ron headed up to where the deer were. Jeff went home fairly disgusted. It took me over 30 minutes to get to where the deer were with the horses.

I noticed blood on Ron's hands [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] One of us had done it!!

When we skinned the little fella we found that the bullet had entered the front left shoulder and lodged under the skin just ahead of the right ham. And it was a boat tail [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] And yes it shed its core. Still have the jacket somewhere in my collection,

I can still picture that head and neck just above the bottom of the scope and the vertical post right on the shoulder.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 02-17-2006, 11:44 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,375
Re: Ok,,, One More,

I been watchin' this thread for days waitin' for that coon dog story. I was all excited when I saw you'd posted again. The suspense is aging me.....

DB, That is one pretty kitty! Congrats!

I'm gonna tell another one, see if we can't keep this thread movin'. Second year I hunted elk, I'd bought myself a brand spankin' new 300win mag. I was fair in love with this rig. Matter of fact, it was my first (very own) big game rifle. I practiced for months. I shot milk jugs every weekend. I dry fired at a picture of an elk incessantly.

Night before the opener took 17 years off my life. I was in my spot by 4:30 am. The elk were screamin' everywhere. I knew I was about to tag my first elk. With painful slowness the sky turned a smoky gray. A bit of color starts to creep into the sky. I can hear the elk coming into the top of my draw. I watch breathlessly as they drift through the trees an hundred yards below me. Still too dark! By mabey ten minutes.

There are about thirty cows, and a herd bull. The herd bull is screamin', runnin here and there chasin' off the little bulls. My tag's for a spike, and I can't pick one out in the dusky predawn shadows.

Afer they pass, I sit on pins and needles listening to them drift down the draw to the chokecherry thicket. Should I follow? I think they'll come right back past when they're jumped. A few minutes pass with the bugles and mews echoing up the draw to me. I can't take it. I rise and creep after them.

A couple hundred yards, and I'm in the thicket. I catch a glimpse here and a glimpse there. I'm in the middle of the damn herd! Where's a spike? Where's a spike? A bull bugles so close I feal it. Followed by the slam of antlers. I watch with shaking hands, as the bulls shove each other back and forth through the brush. Spikes forgotten.

A gunshot rings out, then another. The herd blows out of there like elephants. They drop into the draw and head back toward my spot. I scramble up the ridge and race to my spot, catching glimpses of them every few feet. I skid to a stop and drop behind my log. With heaving chest I frantically check the elk as they trot and run past. Cows, cows, cows, a big bull, another bull... Where the hell's a spike?!

Then, they're gone. A long silent minute passes, then another. My breathing slows a bit. I listen intently as the mountain starts to crackle with gunfire. What's that? A lone spike trots into the top of my draw. He mews plaintively. Here it is! It's gonna happen. I watch him for a moment, then look for an opening. There's only one.

I swing my gun to cover the opening. As the elk aproaches the opening, I swing back and follow him into it. The crosshairs hang on the shoulder. My finger tightens on the trigger. I'm boiling inside. I know he's mine. Why hasn't the trigger broke? Now! I pull the trigger harder, and harder. Then he's gone. Through the opening.

I flip off the damn safety and jump to my feet. Frantically I track him through the trees. Please, just one opening! Finally, he's gone. All those months of practice, and I hardly ever touched the safety.

I've a lot of memorable shots. My favourite is my first elk with a bow. A broadside shot at ten feet on a six point my partner called in. But this one hurts. It's not the only one that hurts. But it hurt the worst. I never wanted anything more than I wanted that elk. Betcha we could start a whole other thread about these kind o' shots.
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Unread 02-18-2006, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Ok,,, One More,

Great story, very well written. I think I know what you went through. A few years ago my son and I were drawn for mule deer and we found a great spot with some excellent bucks to hunt. We were driving out to the spot when I saw a bunch of deer out in a field, several hundred yards from the country road we were on. This was a muzzleloader hunt, I had a fancy custom built Knight thumbhole that they had built for me, had a very light trigger and shot very well, 2.5-8 Leupold scope. Anyhow, there was a huge buck with about six or eight does. One doe was hot and he was in lust. We glassed him and recognized the old rascal - heavy and black and gnarley non-typical. Huge rack. All of a sudden the hot doe decides to go, and she runs right at our truck and crosses the road a short distance in front of us. I know that the big buck is going to follow in her tracks so I jump out and run across the ditch and stand in the field he is in. Look over my shoulder and here comes a car down the road, behind our truck - my son is tagged out so he is watching. I hate shooting around people, but I am on legal land, aiming away from the road and into safe ground. Look at the buck, he's starts to come. Look at the car, its getting closer. Look at the buck, he is less than 250 yards and angling right to me. Look at the car - elderly man and lady in a big Ford four-door. Buck gets to 100, sees me the whole time, speeds up to follow the hot doe. Car is about same distance over to my left. Got to take the shot. Pull the Knight up to my shoulder, finger twitches the hair-trigger apparently because I never put my finger on the trigger till it is time to shoot, shot goes off into the ground about twenty feet in front of me... Mud flies, smoke blows towards the damn deer. Buck digs into a higher gear and bounces past me at 40 yards, flies across the road in front of the car and into a draw. Lady and man drive by, look at me like I am nuts. Buck shows up again about 200 yards out on a ridge with the doe and slowly disappears. Never saw him again. Son was laughing so hard he almost peed his pants. Not my best day. Why that rifle went off I still don't don't know, but I did crank the trigger back up to 3 pounds when I got home. He was a dandy.

Another great shot. During a CWD hunt my partner was backing me up on a 705 yard shot at a buck. I knocked him down hard with one 180 Accubond from my .300 WSM GAP rifle. Bucks head came back up. Partner had a clear shot so I told him to finish it off. Bang, nice pause, SMACK! Deer is down flat. When we got to him, only one hit, my shot through the chest. Ron's bullet entered the ear canal, blew up where the spine and skull join. Only one tiny drop of blood inside the ear. Head was in front of chest the way he was down. Now Ron is our "ear-canal" shot specialist, we bug him about making those shots out past 700 yards but he is a bit leary about trying for another one.
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Unread 02-18-2006, 06:31 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: west of Little Rock ,Ark.
Posts: 1,271
Re: Ok,,, One More,


Oh me oh my [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] I hate to ay it but a similar " finger twitch " cost me a nice Mississippi river bottoms deer a few years ago.

I will say this in my defense , I was trying to shoot left handed so I wouldn't have to stand up cause the deer would have spotted that much movement . [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

Roy ..........well heck ! thats alright , keep em waiting on that coon dog story, that way we'll get more good stories [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Jim B.
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Unread 02-19-2006, 11:39 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Notthwest MO
Posts: 169
Re: Ok,,, One More,

alright I have one I just have to post. About 5 years ago I took a good friend of mine out for a whitetail hunt on the second day of the MO season. We were watching a huge crp field settled in a valley. The grass was well over our heads so we just parked the pickup in it and sat in the bed in lawn chairs. We were well camoed and could still see across the valley to the short grass and crops on the other side. Well about 9:30 here comes a shooter dogging a doe.
They are heading for the tall grass to bed so when he stopped at 325 I told my buddy JB to take em. JB is a heck of a prarie dog shooter but hadn't done much deer hunting and this would be his first good buck. Well Jb settled the crosshairs of his 7 mag on that buck and fired again and again.....He emptyed his gun and had to reload. At this point the doe took off and the buck was following. Amazingly they stopped at 350 and Jb shot again and preceded to emty his gun a second time. Jb was out and had to get in the cab for more ammo. At 369 quartering away I settled the crosshairs just over his tail with my 243 and dropped him in his tracks. That was my first long shot and made even better because jb had already sent about 8 rounds down range. That doe took off and stopped to look back at 530 yards Jb was reloaded at this point and decided he was going to shoot her. One shot later she dropped as well. Talk about a big buck trigger jerker......
That was a hunt I'll never forget. The look on JB's face after he emptied his gun a second time was priceless.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 06:48 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: west of Little Rock ,Ark.
Posts: 1,271
Re: Ok,,, One More,

Thanks Frequentmisser ,

Portions of that tale are uncomfortably close to some of my own inexplicables ( the missing part [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] )

Roy , , , just cuz you're old doesn't mean you have to be mean ! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Everybody is on the edge of their keyboards .

Where is our coon dog story ? I hope its not the one with a monkey and a flashlight [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Jim B.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 08:40 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,070
Re: Ok,,, One More,

Elk @ 1100 yds. Fall of Season of 1980

I guess this is an appropriate time to tell the story being as we have been through the sniper school thread and it is the jumping off place for this shot. I had talked my fiancé first into marrying me and second into moving to the Rockies from Alabama. After a couple of years in Utah, I discovered elk hunting. Then I discovered that there were always more elk on the far ridge than on whatever ridge I was on. I knew what I had seen my snipers do and the ranges that a 308 could reach and the far ridges were easily closer than that.

I was not a bench rest shooter and knew no one who would even think about shooting over 500 yds, so I had no one to turn to for advice and had to just do the best I could. All I had was a reloading manual that gave energy and drops and wind out to 600 yds. These were the day before PCs and when programmable calculators had just arrived. Engineers worked with slide rules and graph paper. I bought a brand new Ruger number one in 7 Rem Mag because I had a #1 in 25-06 that I had been successful with out to 450yds so I reasoned that with more horsepower I could go the distance with a #1 action. I took this to Shilen and had it rebarreled in 7mmWby with a 26 heavy sporter barrel. I drove from Salt Lake City over to Denver where a gun shop had a 6x-18X Redfield Accutrack scope and bought it.

I then bought some 168 SMK, some Hornady 162 HPBT and some Nosler 160 Partitions and went to the range. The SMK and Hdys had equal groups at 100yds so I took some of each and shot penetration tests on newspaper. They all penetrated about 11 inches with the partitions edging out the match bullets by maybe an inch. There were some details of the penetration tests that I observed and wrote in my note books such as retained weights but being as I had never done penetration tests before I did not know what these things meant and just relied on total depth as the criteria.

With groups and penetration being equal the compelling factor became the Hdy HPBT match bullet BC of 0.625 and so I selected it as the bullet to go with. With a little load development to shrink my groups down I was ready to dial the gun in. I got out my graph paper and curve templates and began a graphical analysis of he flight of this bullet out to 1400 yds. This is an extremely complex analysis if you should ever be tempted to try it. The analysis that took me hours and hours to do can now be done with any of the ballistic calculators in about 2 seconds depending on your internet connection speed. I dialed in the gun at every hundred yards with five shot groups out to 1200 yds where I ran out of clicks on my scope and then estimated out to 1400yds with the cross hair plexes. I practiced relentlessly and the story of the twice shot rabbit up above was such a practice session.

Skipping some details I simply will say time passed and it was elk season. Opening day no elk were seen by me and my partner. Second day came and I saw nothing in the morning but the afternoon saw me watching a valley with water and a meadow that ran up to the ridgeline. The day was bright and sunny with no wind. As the sun set a cow came out on the far ridge. I got into prone with my #1 resting on my rolled up towel which was resting on my pack. I ranged the cow and tried to grow horns but none would grow. After a little two more cows came out of the aspens and stated feeding. From the look of the aspen leaves on he far ridge I believed I had about a 2 mph evening thermal wind starting up. The cotton dangle on my rifle barrel confirmed what I could feel which was abut 2mph on my side. At that moment another head began to show on the far ridge and it had some spike s sticking up. As the clock ticked it finally grazed up over the ridgeline and joined the cows to where I could see it clearly. A young spike bull. I ranged it as I had the cows and I corrected for body size and I compared that to the diameter of the aspens on the ridge and everything said 1100yds dead on. I rolled over on my side and pulled the gun back and dialed the scope to 1100 yds and began putting the gun back when I noticed a bird flying from the far ridge to my ridge. I watched the bird for any sign of an unusual wind and saw none. I checked my range card for 2mph wind and put the cross hairs right on the spike's guts. Oh that felt bad to hold for a gut shot and believe the wind would drift it into the chest, but I had to believe and so I kept the cross hairs there. I watched the spike as he grazed and saw he would walk a couple of steps and stop and get a bite and then walk a few more and get another bite. So I decided that I would shoot the next time he took steps right as he stopped. He was directly broad side to me. As he took the next steps I eased my finger to the trigger and as he stopped I fired.

Watching through the scope I clearly saw the dust fly from the hide directly on the shoulder. I had struck maybe six inches from where I wanted but it was still straight into the shoulder blade. A dark spot appeared on his shoulder and as the sound echoed across the canyon he took off in a run down the slope quartering way from me. The dark spot grew larger but he never went down and made 300yds to the dark timber at the head of the canyon. It was maybe 15 minutes till full dark and there was no way I could get over to the dark timber and do any tracking that night so I went on back to camp.

The next morning me and my friend went down in the canyon and tracked him across the meadow. We found two drops of dried blood in the meadow and then in dark timber we tracked him until he got mixed in with other elk tracks. Search patterns we ran did not find him.

A couple of weeks later I found out what had happened with the elk. I shot a mule deer at 30 yds with the same bullet and the Hdy match just blows up. The strike on the elk’s shoulder blade had caused the bullet to splatter on the bone without breaking it and without penetrating through it. The retained weight issue that I had not understood from my newspaper penetration test was important after all. The bullet construction was great for flying through the air but worthless for breaking elk bones.

A few months later I left the Rockies and came east and put the Ruger in the cabinet where it has stayed for a long time.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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