My friend Rob and I are just getting started at long range hunting. We have chronographed our loads and made up drop charts and practiced out to 400 yards. Rob uses a Sako 7 mm Remington Magnum and I use a Remington 700 SS 3006. My load is 165gr Nosler BT with 58gr ADI 2209 for 2726 fps.
Back at the end of May we went for a Chamois hunt in Kaikoura in the South Island of New Zealand. This is the end of the Chamois rut so we were hoping to see a few bucks running around.
We were going light as we planned to fly camp on the tops. The country is very steep and broken so we were glad for the light packs.
We spent all day climbing to the tops but unfortunately did not see anything. Eventually we set up camp just off the ridge top in a sheltered hollow. The wind got up during the night making me wonder if the tent was going to stay there.
Rob got up early and started glassing, we noticed some fresh marks in the scree across the valley. We moved to a closer lookout and I noticed a couple of animals moving through the tussock. I thought they were goats and pointed them out to Rob. Rob took a better look and saw they were deer.
I raced back to the tent to grab the rifles while Rob kept an eye on them. When I got back I ranged them at just over 300 yards. The wind was quite strong so we moved down the ridge to get a closer shot. We eventually got to about 220 yards across from them just as they moved in to a patch of scrub. I lost sight of them but luckily Rob could see the hind. She was lying down chewing her cud as I lined up on her.
The wind felt strong so I aimed right on the upwind side of her chest to allow for some wind drift. Squeezing off the shot I saw her rolling down the hillside. The yearling came out and I offered the shot to Rob, he declned it so I lined up on it as well. Once again I dropped it cleanly first shot.
When we eventaully got there we saw I had shot both animals through the neck! We butchered the animals and started carrying them back out to the car, about 4 hours away.
Rob carrying back the yearling
On the way back out I glanced up a slip and saw a Chamois buck sitting there watching us. Getting Robs attention we glassed him but Rob decided he was too small to take.
We moved on 20 metres and I saw two deer at the top of the slip, about 230 yards away. I talked Rob into shooting one of them.
While he was getting ready a young stag appeared behind the deer. Rob took him cleanly and the stag cartwheeled down the slip to stop just above the river.
We butchered him and added the meat to our already heavy packs, getting to the car just on dark.
I returned by myself a month later and managed to take a Chamois buck at 268 yards.
We have since upgraded our scopes, Rob a Burris 6 - 24 x 50 and me a Leupold 4.5 - 14 x 40 LR. and are trying new loads in our rifles, Hornady SST's. My load of 165gr SST and 58gr ADI 2209 gives 0.7 - 0.5 inch groups at 100 yds.
Can't wait to see a deer at 400 yards now!