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Blizzard for Montana's Opener

 
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2008, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 122
Re: Blizzard for Montana's Opener

It was definitely more of a challenge this year. Between Bozeman and Livingston the afternoon of the 11th there's a stretch of I-90 that's two-lane only because of bridge construction. We were eastbound to Big Timber and for several miles saw no cars headed the other way. Turns out a semi had dropped the tractor off into a drift and was blocking miles of cars and trucks behind him. Other than the roads, I was excited that there wouldn't be any problem cooling the meat.

A big general thanks to LRH and its members. From what I've learned here and have put into practice at the range, I was pretty confident making the 310-yd shot that it took to get a nice buck this year. I had a 10-15 mph cross-wind and should have corrected more for it but the vertical placement was perfect and horizontally was 2 inches farther left than I aimed. Last year, we were done at 10:30 in the morning but this year (with two more animals to bag as well) we took until 5:00 p.m. to get out. Average snow depth was around 8 inches with drifts up to 3 feet and the antelope were just farther out where they could shelter in the lee sides of the hills. Blowing snow and fog made it otherworldly out there.

I know bagging an animal around 300 yards ain't much by some shooters' standard but I couldn't help notice how much I've progressed compared to my hunting buddies. A few years ago, they taught me the ropes and now it's kind of painful watching how little preparation they put into hunting. (I took one of them out to range in his .30-06 and every time we adjusted his bargain scope something screwy would happen. I moved it 4 clicks to the right and the vertical dropped 5 inches!)

And it showed: One buck stood around with a broken hind leg for several minutes until the shooter decided to walk closer and dispatch it and a doe left a blood trail that they had to follow for 200 yards. Also, although I simply learned it all by watching a video several times, there's better ways to field dress than what I got to see out there. I know what to get them for Christmas! I'm not trying to dis on good friends but just to point out that you can put in a little more knowledge and effort and achieve much more reliable and humane kills.

Jon
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2008, 05:41 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 5,953
Re: Blizzard for Montana's Opener

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonoMT View Post
It was definitely more of a challenge this year. Between Bozeman and Livingston the afternoon of the 11th there's a stretch of I-90 that's two-lane only because of bridge construction. We were eastbound to Big Timber and for several miles saw no cars headed the other way. Turns out a semi had dropped the tractor off into a drift and was blocking miles of cars and trucks behind him. Other than the roads, I was excited that there wouldn't be any problem cooling the meat.

A big general thanks to LRH and its members. From what I've learned here and have put into practice at the range, I was pretty confident making the 310-yd shot that it took to get a nice buck this year. I had a 10-15 mph cross-wind and should have corrected more for it but the vertical placement was perfect and horizontally was 2 inches farther left than I aimed. Last year, we were done at 10:30 in the morning but this year (with two more animals to bag as well) we took until 5:00 p.m. to get out. Average snow depth was around 8 inches with drifts up to 3 feet and the antelope were just farther out where they could shelter in the lee sides of the hills. Blowing snow and fog made it otherworldly out there.

I know bagging an animal around 300 yards ain't much by some shooters' standard but I couldn't help notice how much I've progressed compared to my hunting buddies. A few years ago, they taught me the ropes and now it's kind of painful watching how little preparation they put into hunting. (I took one of them out to range in his .30-06 and every time we adjusted his bargain scope something screwy would happen. I moved it 4 clicks to the right and the vertical dropped 5 inches!)

And it showed: One buck stood around with a broken hind leg for several minutes until the shooter decided to walk closer and dispatch it and a doe left a blood trail that they had to follow for 200 yards. Also, although I simply learned it all by watching a video several times, there's better ways to field dress than what I got to see out there. I know what to get them for Christmas! I'm not trying to dis on good friends but just to point out that you can put in a little more knowledge and effort and achieve much more reliable and humane kills.

Jon
Glad you got your buck Jon, and a real nice write up, thanks for sharing. How far did you have to drive and how long did it take? I've driven the Bozeman pass many times in the winter comuting from Bozeman to Livingston where I did a few jobs. There were always at leas one slide off/ roll over after some snow, which was quite often in the pass. Also saw many Semi's blown off the the interstate into the ditch on the Livingston side.

Cheers,

Mark
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  #10  
Old 10-14-2008, 06:13 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 122
Re: Blizzard for Montana's Opener

I used to live in Bozeman and sometimes went over Bozeman Pass at 10-15 mph (with chains). We left Helena about 3 p.m. and got into Big Timber at 6:30...stayed at a motel packed with guys from a Texas seismic crew. They looked like they all wanted to be back home the next morning. Our worry was that the roads up north would be drifted in, but they were mostly okay. We hunted about 15 miles NNE of town.

One clarification: I meant to say that my POI on the animal was 2" farther than I compensated for. The buck was NE into the wind and I aimed right in front of his shoulder, thinking it would land about 8" inches left (just behind the shoulder). When I looked at a ballistics table after first posting, I saw that it's more like 10" at that distance. I gotta confess I never paid a lot of attention to windage before this year. Most of what I know about it was from a training video on the M1 (http://www.archive.org/details/Rifle_Marksmanship_with_M1_Rifle_Part_1). Amazing to think that adding a 13 mph crosswind will deflect the bullet as much as my total rise and drop (8").

Jon
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