I have this week off since the company that I work for shuts down every year. I try to go out each morning, but sometimes sleep in.
Tuesday morning started very poorly, I loaded my rifle without an overpowder wad. I have used one for the last 5 years and as I drove to my hunting spot I debated not hunting, since the load was not accurate to my standards. I have a second spot to hunt that is an afternoon stand only so I decided to go to that spot and shoot the load out.
This wasted a lot of time and by the time I got set up it was 6:40, ten minutes before shooting light. I basically screwed up the woods by walking in so late so I set up by the field. I wanted to glass it for our traditional deer drive that is coming up soon so that it would not be a total waste.
A small 6 point buck walked across the field and I put the scope on him... not worth the drag ....as I watched him he kept looking back from the direction that he came and finally bedded in some grass that was about a foot high. Every few minutes he would get up, graze and bed again. As I watched him I noticed another buck with a high rack and a very nice body....he got my attention, but I could not range him. He was bedded and I have a junky Bushnell rangefinder that is supposed to range 400 but really barely get to 300 yards if it has a good background.
I know the property well, and using Google Earth I have measured every landmark. The problem was that he was in the open field and not near any of my landmarks!
I knew that the rangefinder was out of range. I knew that there was a series of trees that started at 375 yards and he appeared to be a little closer but 80 or so yards to the side. My Zero with the 150 grain AccuBond was right at 300 yards.....
Fortunately the wind kicked up gusting to about 20 mph and it started to sleet so I didn't have to make any decisions. I did not like where I was so I relocated about 40 yards to my left, next to a blown down tree, and a few yards closer to the deer. The tree was about two feet in diameter and had a hump that my legs would fit under. I put my gloves on the top, my hands rested on the gloves and the sight picture felt 100% solid...except for the wind!
Looking at the sky, there were open spots and then very dark areas. I thought that I would wait for a clearing to see if the wind died down. As the clearing approached the wind would get to 20 and back to 5 or 10 then back to 20.
I had some things to do so I decided that if the wind lulled I would take the shot, made my best guess at 325 yards. He was bedded which brings the vital higher from the shooters perspective, which was good since the bottom half of his body was covered with weeds. He was facing me and the wind was directly in line with his body which was perpendicular to me, a perfect setup. His nose made for a perfect target, about 6 inches into the wind and even with his spine. The only thing easier would have been an orange dot in one of his nostrils
The wind died, the trigger broke, then an unmistakable bullet slap. He jumped from his bed and plowed dirt for about 20 feet and went a$$ over tea kettle landing upside down. CaníŽt remember the trigger breaking, caníŽt remember any sight wobble, no recoil, it just unfolded in front of me! Final range was 320-340 since I couldn't find exactly where he was bedded. Not a big buck by any stretch, but by far it is my farthest deer to date with any weapon.
The rifle is a Savage Model 110. I added a #7 taper Shilen Match Barrel in .458
I made a breechplug to accept a 45 acp case as the primer.
I make my own sabots and am using 150 grain Nosler Accubond bullets (0.308 dia. BC listed as .425 )
I shoot smokeless powder and the velocity is slightly over 3100 fps.
Lucky Heart shot!