I went for a scouting trip into a new area yesterday. It was very hot over 30 C (86 F). I headed up through the forest and broke out above the the bush after 1.5 hours of walking. The basin I came into looked very promising for deer and chamois, lots of guts, bluffs, streams and patches of bush.
There was a bit of old sign around but nothing fresh. I even came across some old pig rooting.
After sidling through the basin I climbed up to a saddle and dropped over into a big valley. This valley was very open, mainly tussock. There was some old pig wallows down in a swampy patch in the valley botom.
I was starting to write this day off in terms of seeing animals, it was just too hot. I walked along the main ridge and found a good vantage point to finish my lunch and do some glassing.
I glassed all the obvious areas, nothing, then started on the less likely areas. Imagine my surprise when I see 3 fallow deer sitting right out in the open and very high on the opposite face! They were miles from cover and water but they did have good view. I ranged them at 934 yds, too far for me, so I dropped down into the valley bottom and sidled along to a set of rock outcrops, all the time I was in full view and wearing a blaze orange top.
I eventually got to the outcrop and ranged the deer at 638 yds, 5 degrees up. There was a slight down valley breeze that occasionally gusted.
I was using my 7 mm rem mag with 162 a-max at 3068 fps. My scope is a leupold VXIII 4.5 - 14 x 40 LR. I checked my drop chart and decided on 11 MOA up, I decided not to change the windage as the wind was a tail wind and I would wait for the gusts to die when I shot. It took a litle while to get the shooting position ready, I had my bipod on the front and daypack and raincoat under the butt.
I got in behind the scope and set the parallax on 14 power. Two of the deer were lying down, but a spiker was standing feeding, broad side on, but head down, rump high. I dry fired on him to check how steady the shot would be, then chambered a round. If I hit him this would be my longest shot by over 200 yds. I resighted on him and took up the trigger pressure, the shot felt good when the trigger broke.
I lost sight of the spiker in the recoil, but then got a view of him tumbling down the hillside. Eventually the smack of the hit came back to me.
The other two deer stood there for awhile before taking off around the hillside.
View of where I took the shot from. The red arrow points to where the deer were.
I made my way across to where the deer was. My shot had hit within an inch of where I was aiming, taking him high in the shoulder, exiting through the backstrap on the opposite side. His spine was also broken, not sure if it was the shot or the fall that did this.
The fallow spiker. If you look at his backline you can see where it was broken.
So now I had two firsts, my first fallow deer, and my first shot over 600 yds.
All that was left now was the 3.5 hour carry out. My legs and shoulders are still aching.
(Sorry about the quality of the photos, all I had was my cellphone)