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First Deer - 707 yards

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Unread 11-12-2008, 05:26 PM
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Location: Potomac River
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First Deer - 707 yards

We left Wyoming with 8 antelope killed and I still had a doe tag left but had no desire to kill anymore antelope being as we would be unable to give it away and we already had one and a half in the cooler for eating. We arrived in Idaho and set up camp the first day. The second morning there, I got out the chainsaw to cut fire wood but the fuel/oil mixture was cold and the chainsaw would not fire. All of the coughing and sputtering of the chainsaw irritated the nearby 6X6 bull and he bugled one time and then came over the ridge 125 yards away and glared at us for making such a big racket early in the morning. Him and his herd of cows stayed around camp for a couple of days and then drifted around to another ridgeline. Deer season opened up but the bucks were not moving around during the day and we did not see any for a couple of days. The first buck we saw was a spike standing in the middle of the while we were driving to a place to hunt. I asked Cynthia if she wanted to shoot it but she said she didnít care to shoot one in the road but I could if I wanted to. So, with neither of us inclined to shoot the deer, she got out with her camera and took a lot of pictures of it.

So deer season dragged along and we mostly hunted elk or holed up at camp and waited out bad weather. Cynthia had decided in her mind that she wanted to kill her first deer and that she did not care so much about an elk but she wanted a deer.

So we put on our packs and climbed up high for about 2 hours into a basin that nobody hunted and began glassing for a buck. After about 3 hours Cynthia spotted a solitary deer browsing along that had antlers. She grabbed the 7mm Allen Magnum and found her a spot to shoot from and got the rifle laid in. Phil ranged the deer out at 707 yards and worked out the drops for her. I got on the spotting scope and kept track of the buck while they got the rifle ready. I had the video camera in my pack but because of the arduous climb had not brought a second tripod for it.

The buck was a small forkhorn and it was just out in the early afternoon eating. After the rifle was set up and ready it took about 10 minutes before the deer turned to give Cynthia an angle that she liked. She is very patient about waiting for a shot she likes, but when she sees what she likes she is very fast and sure on the trigger. Phil kept ranging the buck to make sure that it didnít browse far enough away that the drops would need to be changed. So when the buck got broadside and still Cynthia eased into the Jewell and the 200 grain Wildcat HP RBBT was off and traveling across the canyon. On impact the buck jumped straight up into the air about four feet, landed, swapped ends and ran 20 yards and stopped. I told Cynthia to reload for a second shot but then through the Kowa, I could see the bucks legs starting to wobble and before she could get a second cartridge chambered it fell and rolled about 50 yards down the hill and lodged against a pine tree.

The bullet hit a rib going in about four inches behind the shoulder, expanded a little and passed through both lungs and then exited the far side of the chest in between rib bones.

The rest of the hunt in Idaho was either unlucky or just plain ugly weather. The unlucky part was the last day of deer season Phil fell on a steep slope and banged the scope hard, and as events would have it, two hours later he found a big buck at 1056 yards but the fall had knocked the scope 2 MOA out of zero and I am a poor spotter and gave him bad adjustments after his first shot didnít land correctly. It also didnít help that he was shooting through the ďescalatorĒ. That end of the canyon had a thermal that all the birds knew about and it was quite entertaining to watch them gain altitude using it. Quite a few bull elk were found and seen and some even had the crosshairs on them with a round in the chamber, but we never got a shot we wanted and we didnít ever break the trigger. While sometimes it is bad to not kill a bull elk after a lot of work, it is good to know that a new hunter will refrain from a marginal shot that might pass through and kill a cow elk.

The first picture is from the place the shot was taken. In the second picture you can actually see the entrance wound.

The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 11-12-2008, 05:34 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 6,508
Re: First Deer - 707 yards

What a dream to spend that much time with your offspring. You must not be such a bad sort if they are willing to do that.

Nice shooting!
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Unread 11-12-2008, 06:27 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canterbury, New Zealand
Posts: 675
Re: First Deer - 707 yards

Congratulations on the first deer! Really good to see that your kids were prepared to turn down shots that weren't quite right. You must be really proud of them. Can't wait until my two are old enough to come out and hunt with me.

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Unread 11-12-2008, 08:04 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Washington State
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Re: First Deer - 707 yards

That's great! Congratulations!
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Unread 11-12-2008, 08:12 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 914
Re: First Deer - 707 yards

Great buck, great shot, great story. Thanks for sharing!
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Unread 11-12-2008, 10:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: MS
Posts: 1,652
Re: First Deer - 707 yards

Thanks for sharing
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
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Unread 11-12-2008, 10:45 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Alberta
Posts: 868
Re: First Deer - 707 yards

tks for sharing, congrats to Cynthia!
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