I recently got back from a mule deer hunt in South Dakota. It was my first experience hunting in SD. Frankly it wasn't much different than here in Montana. I dont know what I expected, but I felt right at home. We saw lots of animals and the rut was in full swing, so it was quite entertaining. We went looking for a particular animal that the guide was aware of and found him late in the morning. Although not particularly scared, his doe led him away from us and out of sight over a small hill. We quickly headed out after him, since I had no reservations at taking a long shot if needed. I was shooting an APS 338AX.
When we topped the hill, there was nothing to be found. It seems that he had "pixie dusted" us, vanished into thin air!
We hunted hard the rest of the day and didn't find anything that that even remotely matched him. Late in the evening we went back to where we had first seen him that morning. Low and behold, there he was with his does and another smaller buck. I was ready and willing to shoot him from where we first saw him that evening, but the contours of the land were such that I couldn't see him from prone on the bipod. So the stalk was on. The sun was rapidly setting and delivering an absolutely magnificent view from where we were up on the hill. As much as I would have liked to
take it in, I was busy closing the distance to a small rise where I could set up for a shot.
When I finally got in place my spotter gave me a range of 325 yds. I clicked my PST to the appropriate setting and settled in. By this time the buck had bedded and I didn't have time to wait for him to stand up. In fact we were just scant minutes from the end of legal shooting time. I picked my spot on the bedded buck and said "fire in the hole". I heard "send it" in response and tickled the Jewell trigger and sent the 250 grain prototype bullet on its way. My spotter was slapping my back and hollering "ya got him" before I recovered from the miniscule recoil my AX gave me. But then I heard the most resounding WHACK I have ever heard. My hunt was being filmed and you could plainly hear it on the recording! The buck's head whiplashed backwards and then fell forward. That was the complete extent of his movement after the shot. When dressing the deer, the guide said that he believed he had found the COD (cause of death for you non-CSI fans) and pulled out what was left of his heart. It had the top half completely shot off, the bottom looked fine. It was an enjoyable hunt and a very attractive buck.
Oh, I guess this is where I need to post a picture of said beast. Well, ok.
Hope you had as much fun reading this as I did doing it.