Two years ago, my friend Oliver and I went to Wyoming to hunt antelope (and were were successful: 2 VA LRHers in eastern WY
). Then a few months ago my good friend James asked if there was any place in Wyoming to shoot a mile. To which I responded Heck Yeah! It was at this point that we started hatching a plan to make a one mile shot (even if it was only to hit a rock).
After some careful planning, me and James and my nephew headed to Wyoming last week to stalk the one mile shot. Here’s the story:
Arrived in Rapid City, SD. Picked up a rental vehicle started our drive to Newcastle, WY. Along the way we made a pit-stop at Mount Rushmore. Rushmore is awesome and recommend that if you’re in the neighborhood you should see it. (L to R: James, Nephew, Trebark)
Not long after leaving Rushmore, we drove into and threw an incredible rainstorm. The cloud-to-cloud lightning was almost continuous and an incredible light show.
We woke up to a beautiful morning in Newcastle. We headed out to a good spot where we could verify our 100 yard zero and collect some velocity data as it was our assumption that we would see some velocity change and maybe a zero shift. Surprisingly, we saw neither.
James and Nephew setting up 100 yard targets:
James coaching my Nephew on his shooting form. (rifle has Magneto-Chrono attached - a great portable tool)
After verifying our zeroes and updating our ballistic software, we moved up on top of a butte where we could confirm our drops. We shot 450, 650, 850, 900 and 1050 (great warm up!). My nephew took the first shot at 450 with a stiff 10-12mph crosswind. The look on his face after a first round hit was priceless!
Did I mention the hardware we took along? Here are the shooting sticks:
From top to bottom:
James rifle: 7saum shooting 180grain Berger Hybrid (pointed) at 2800fps.
Nephew's Transformed Rifle!
shooting 130grain Hornady SST at 3080fps.
My 260 by MCR
shooting 130grain JLK at 3060fps.
My 300RUM by MCR
shooting 208Amax at 3275fps
After ‘warming up’ we moved to a spot where we could help reduce the prairie dog population and shoot farther than 1050.
When we got to the spot, we had a huge prairie dog town spread out in front of us. Nephew and I went to work. While we took care of the PD’s James glassed until he found a dirt mound at around 1200 to shoot.
James succeeded in making the 1200 yard shot in a 12-15mph crosswind. Then I took out the 300RUM and laid down some lead as well. Watching bullets splash at 1200 on the intended target is fantastic!
As for the PD’s, nephew was not satisfied just to give them a bad case of lead poisoning, he wanted to see the bodies. So we took a long walk and recovered a few bodies. Here they are: (taken at 275, 400 and 500 yards in 12-15mph crosswind)
We then moved to scouting for the one mile shot. Not far down the road from our position, we located a spot that was likely 1 mile.
Although we had a potential 1 mile shot located, we decided to scout a different area. At the end of our search, we stopped off at another prairie dog town. James found a spot where he could shoot 900 to 1300. Nephew and I took to executing the PD’s. On this day, the wind decided to BLOW! Our shooting was in a 20-25mph crosswind. James reported his wind-hold was 4.5mils LEFT! Despite the wind conditions, James connected regularly at 900 and 1300.
From there, we returned to the first prairie dog town (nephew loves to shoot prairie dogs). From the same position, there was a butte ~1500 yards away. Because the sun was so bright we were having trouble getting the RF’s to range farther than 700. Because I had been in the spot two years before, we knew the butte was ~1500. As a result, we started conservative and walked out shots up the butte – 1320, 1480 then 1520. The 1520 shot was awesome! The spot on the butte at 1520 appeared to be a different type of stone and there was a .3mil (~15”) hole in the stone. James took the first shot to range it. Based on that we made a minor adjustment and James put a first round hit into the hole. Seeing his success, pulled out the RUM and proceeded to plant a first round hit into that same hole!
As for the PD’s, nephew was absolutely loving it when he could see them blown in the air on impact. Here’s pic of one with a bad headache that had been thrown several feet.
From there, we moved down the road where we scouted what we hoped was 1 mile. The night before, James hatched a plan that if we could place two markers on the ‘target’ hill that were 25’ apart, we could determine the range by milling it. After some calculations, we determined that the range was somewhere between 1650 and 1780. We set up the 7saum and the RUM to take the shot(s). The wind was howling 20-25mph with occasional 30mph gusts. Despite our best efforts we were not able to see the bullets splash near our ‘target’.
As a result, we pointed our rifles at a spot at 1330. Almost miraculously, we both scored hits on our second shot(s). Our vector for the 1330 shot was only slightly changed from the 1650-1780 yard shot. So why we were not able to see splash on the long shot remains a mystery.
When we returned home, we used google earth to determine that the distance was 1665. This compounded the mystery for us because even with a ‘bad’ shot, we should have been able to see the bullets splash and make an adjustment.
Seeing a rain storm on the horizon, we decided to end our adventure. Although we didn’t make our 1 mile shot, it was a priceless experience with family and friends.
Rest assured, we will be back stalking the 1 mile shot!