So our general big game season opened here in Montana on Saturday. I brought my 264 Win Mag and my 300 Win Mag for any potential long range shots as well as my 12 gauge over 308 Win combo gun for pushing the brush and shooting pheasants and waterfowl in the river bottoms. We loaded up all 8 of us (me, my wife, our 2 kids 5 and 3, my wife's cousin, her husband and their two kids 6 and 3) in my Suburban and headed out to hunt the ranch that Shane works on as well as his family's properties.
It is the first year Michohn has hunted so my wife, Shane, and I made opening day her day to shoot. The other 3 adults made a couple of stalks while I waited in the 'burb with the kids. Michohn missed a tough up hill shot on a nice mule deer buck (that had a tall 3x3 in velvet running with him that I almost took at 350 yards as they came by the truck but I wanted bigger) so we set up a few targets for her to shoot at and regain some confidence. I found that she was using the wrong part of her finger to pull the trigger (a common occurrence I see in new and occasional shooters) and after a little training we got her hitting pop cans at 100 yards. We decided to get a baby sitter for Sunday as I wanted to get my kill on! I had 4 doe whitetail tags to fill as well as my general deer tag.
We tried a couple of other stalks on mule deer for Michohn on Sunday morning but couldn't get into the right position to allow for an unrushed shot for her. We went down to a river bottom section where Shane and I pushed some thick brush to try and get the girls (who both had doe tags as well as their buck tags) some shooting. The river made a horseshoe bend and left a large brushy area that couldn't be cultivated so I took my combo gun (a Baikal MP94 in 12 gauge over 308 Win) ...See here..
loaded with Hornady's 308 American Whitetail Ammo with a 150 Interlock bullet and Federal's 3" Prairie Storm Steel #3 shot. One would let me shoot deer out to 100 yards (if I could see that far) and the other would let me shoot any ducks or pheasants I saw.
Once we got down off the hill and into the bottom I had the ducks flush out of range and didn't see any pheasants. Shane had me sit in an opening next to a blind that had blown down over the summer while he walked the edge of the river to get to a point where we could both effectively push the bottom towards the girls. After a couple of minutes the brush in front of me erupted with deer. There were deer running every where but they were all fawns and yearlings! As I sat waiting for a full grown doe whitetail to emerge I saw a large framed deer emerge from the brush and right right at me. It was a large bodied heavy framed buck! As he got closer and closer to me I thought I was going to get run over. He turned slightly and passed me at about 15 yards where I brought the gun up and put the 308 through his shoulder. I was excited. How often do you get a chance to shoot a big deer at 15 yards with open sights?
Post hunt and epic snow/ice storm on the way home picture.
After Shane meet up with me we laughed as unknown to me, I had dropped the deer right on a old hay wagon trail and we could drive right to the deer. No dragging for us! We pushed the rest of the brush looking for more deer. As we pushed the thickest of the bottom I saw several deer running towards me. I took a knee with a couple of open shooting lanes. I dropped a small doe at 50 yards with the 308. I broke open the gun to reload and another doe stopped 10 yards away from me before I could put another rifle round in the chamber. I closed the action and put the shot gun bead on the head of the doe. Click! Oh man, grabbed the wrong trigger as the rifle chamber was empty! She hadn't moved so I pulled the front trigger as the bead once again settled on her head. Bang, flop, deer in the pot!
In under 10 minutes I had killed 3 deer, I had filled half of my deer tags for the year with my combo gun, and all were with in 50 yards of me! No need for a range finder or a scope. I still have 3 doe tags, 2 elk tags, and 2 antelope tags so I hope to get some longer range shooting in yet!
Thanks for reading!
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P.S. This was tonight's dinner and my 3 year old son ate 4 of the steaks!
Winchester Model 70, 300 Win Mag, 26" Benchmark Barrel with Snowy Mountain Brake, Vortex Viper PST 6x24 running 215 Bergers @ 2920 FPS.
Winchester Model 70 XTR in 264 Win Mag with Nikon 4.5x14SF BDC running HSM ammo loaded with 140 Grain Bergers. Antelope killer!
APS Raptor LRSS in 338 AX with NF ATACR running 300 gr Berger at 2930 FPS.
Savage M10 Predator in 260 Rem with Vortex Viper PST 4x16 running 120 NBT @ 2900 FPS.