Great write up as usual Kirby. First, I would like to say what a pleasure it was meeting and sharing some great memories w/Kirby and his dad. Two of the finest people I know!!
Before we get to the goat, we have to discuss my miss on a ram @ about 740 yds. I was shooting my new 338 AX that Kirby was kind enought to sight in and load some ammo for
. He didn't want to shoot it too much before breaking in so we had a POI @ 100 yds, a velocity and a BC. I used this to print off a hold chart for Swarovski's new BR reticle. Would get me out to about 850 yds.
We were sitting on the top of the same large hill that Kirby killed his rams from. Easily the best longrange spot on the place. My budget was a bit smaller than Kirby and Steve's so I was just going to go for a decent ram or goat of some kind. We glassed a large heard of sheep come out of the timber and wander down along a grass hill. One ram was out infront and clear of the others. Looked like a target of opportunity to me!!
After making sure he was in my budget, I got an accurate range, looked at my drop chart, lined up on the ram and broke the 1# jewell. Recoil was amazingly light. I was expecting much more from the 11# gun pushing the 300 gr SMK @ 2885 fps (in a 26.5" bbl I might add). I guess that titanium vaporizor brake from 308nate works pretty well!!! So well that I was able to recover from the recoil and follow the pressure wave as it parted the hair on the rams back!! I don't guess missing by a few inches is too bad for my first shot w/the gun. The massive dust cloud created my that 300 gr bullet was enought to scare the rams into the timber, not to be seen again that evening.
Now the goat. We were just sitting around the cabin, talking about the day when we noticed a large, brown and white catalina (sp??) goat come out of the timber and make it's way into the open. Now since Steve had shot my 338 a few more times, I really didn't want to shoot it any more before cleaning and breaking in. This left me w/only one choice for a rifle. My Savage 308 w/a suppressor on it. I must admit I was pretty excited about shooting something w/it as this would be a first.
I had this rifle dialed in pretty well and had supreme confidence I could make a clean kill anywhere inside of 775 yds as the wind was non existant. That goat made his way down into the bottom and layed down @ 500 yds on the money. Only proble was that he was facing away and I didn't want to risk being low and hitting him the *****. We didn't have to wait long till an elk wandered close and pushed the goat from his bed. He walked about 20 feet and layed back down, only this time, facing us. I ranged again and got 495 yds, then 515 yds then 495, the 515. Since there was a fenceline infront of the goat w/some taller weeds, I thought that was why I was getting 495 yds. I just knew the goat was 515 yds so I dailed in 12.50 moa, placed my crosshairs on the goats chin and sent a 175 gr Berger on it's way!! I saw the pressure wave fly right over his head between his horns!! He jumped up, walked a few feet and I let him have it. I knew to aim a little low on this shot and it landed squarely. We all commented on the shockwave that was sent throught the goats body. Still, he managed to run off.
We waited a few minutes and then went down to find my prize. We looked around but found no blood. As we made our way up amongst some old, falling down buildings Tyler, Shawns skinnin' hand, said "I bet he's in one of these barns." I just dismissed this, not really even considering it a possibility. What I didn't know was that this thing had a history of hanging out in barns!! We walked up on the old chicken coupe and sure enough, there he was standing inside!! Another shot from the 308 knocked him off his feet but he refused to die!! I had to go in w/my Ruger LCP .380 and finish him off!!
I later learned that the goat was actually 495 yds, not 515 as I had dialed for. This was more than enough to make my first shot sail high. Range is much more critical w/the 308 than a flatter shooting round. Oh well, bottom line is I got my mexican house goat!!
All in all it was a great time. I know Kirby wanted a bigger axis and so did we, but it was a great hunt despite everything. A big thanks to Kirby and his dad for coming down. I am definately looking forward to getting that 338 AX going and heading up to MT to whack speed goat!!!