Finaly!!!! I got something I can eat!!!! Sitka Blacktail success

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Michael Eichele, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Well it has been a VERY long and hard season. I have hunted hard from Aug till now and either the weather or the game wouldnt cooperate. OK and every now and then this hunter would screw up too..... Anyway after having the skunk gods smiling on me all year I finaly broke the curse Sunday after I harvested a beautifull sitka blacktail. Please bear in mind a typical sitka deer is a 3x3 with or without eye guards unlike mule deer or columbia blacktails. 4x4's are rare.

    I flew to Kodiak Island Thursday after work and hopped in a 206 on floats and got dropped off at a remote lake. Friday I awoke to foot steps mere feet away from my tent. In a panic I yelled "Go away bear!!" thinking I was about to become a snack for an old bruin. I was releived when I heard the gait of a deer running. I unzipped the tent and saw a doe 25 yards away on the skyline in the moonlit dark. After it got a little light, I got up, dressed and went out up the hill the same place the doe had gone. I got to the top (35' up from camp) and saw a doe on the other side of the valley. She was 575 yards. I thought about popping her but the grass made it difficult to lay down and get a clear shot. A few minutes later a buck appeared behind her. He chased her away, got bored with her and headed my way. I went to cut him off, loaded my rifle (top loaded it) and closed the bolt. I jummped him about 10 minutes later and wound up with a 80 yard broadside shot. I pulled up, aimed, squeezed.......click. I opend the bolt only to find a round had not chambered. I thumbed one up and locked her down but the buck was gone.

    The next morning I went after another buck in the same spot. I jummped a doe and a youngin. Passed on her for the baby. After watching her for a while hoping a buck would show up I headed off to pound more frozen veggetation. AFter ditching some heavy clothes and walking only moments I looked over and saw another nice buck at 75 yards. He was facing me head on. Against my better judgment I pulled up and aimed, fired. WACK! It sounded like a solid hit in the chest. I watched him the best I could and marked the spot I shot from. Looked for blood, the deer, any evidence of a hit. I spent a couple hours looking for any sign of him or blood. Nothing. Chalk one up for the bears. I know confirmed my fear of loosing a critter to a frontal shot. I WILL NEVER TAKE ANOTHER ONE!

    0 for 2. I head out on my 3rd and last huntable morning. I hiked to a small hill over looking some flat open country hoping I can spot a buck or even a lone doe at this point. Also hoping to see ravens flying over my loss. I was watching a couple ravens far off seeing what they were up to when I saw movement below me about 65 yards away. I looked through the binos and it was a buck. Yes I thought. Round chambered, saftey off, I layed down bi-pod open. He stopped at 88 yards quartering away, aimed a little back, BANG! WACK. The sound of a solid hit. In typical deer fasion he ran about 50 yards and piled up. He is a 3x3 with matching eyegurds. He scores 81" with only 1/8" deduction. He is all but perfectly semetrycal which is rare for a sitka buck. The 155 AMAX liqified part of his liver and both lungs. The best part of this hunt was the struggle to keep my drinking water liquid enough to drink. It was so cold I had to sleep with enough water bottles to get me through the next day. I had to thaw my boots out every morning over my pocket rocket just to get them playable enough to put on. 15 hours of night and getting longer, no whisky, no beer. Just bucks everywhere!

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  2. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations! That buck is very nice looking, cape looks good too. I'd say he was well earned!

    What's your rifle, looks real cool in that camo pattern.
     

  3. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    The rifle is a factory remington 308. Limited 24" barrel 11.25 twist with a McMillan "HTG" stock in desert cammo. I painted the barrel to match the stock but in the last year or so, some of the paint has worn off. Yes he had an awesome coat. It was so pretty and his horns were handsome enough that I decided to cape him out and get him mounted. I dropped off the cape to the taxidermist today. I will be going back next year to get my 3 deer this time!
     
  4. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

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    Thats good, I'm glad to hear you dropped him off at the taxi. It will look real nice.
     
  5. critter

    critter Active Member

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    Wonderful Buck! Congrats. Thanks for the story too.
     
  6. älg

    älg Well-Known Member

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    Nice story.- <looks like you´re having some fun up there in spite of the cold.
     
  7. Mountainsheep

    Mountainsheep Well-Known Member

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    Michael,
    That is a great looking Sitka. They may not carry the mass of some deer species, but that appears to be a good representative trophy. Congratulations on the hunt; the huntable hours are rather limited this time of year. Do you think the A-Max failed on the first buck? No flame on the bullet, as I know you have faith in it, but I have been curious about its ability to handle bone.
    Dave
     
  8. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    You know, I am not sure what happened on the first buck. I doubt the amax failed as they are reliable in the expansion department. I also dont think I hit any bone. I too am leary of their perfomance when bone is involved. The ribs and brisket area of a sitka blacktail isn't very stout. If I had too guess, I would say that a front on shot leaves a small vital zone for a 155 grain bullet at only 2840 FPS. If there were more horsepower involved, perhaps it would have been differant. I will say that if I am ever tempted again with a frontal shot, the bullet will be placed through that white patch under his chin. I shot a Dall ram under the chin like that through the throught and neck because thats all I could see and he rolled over in his bed. That was also with a 308 medium velocity load.

    Not trying to start any arguments but after harvesting a few wolves and a blacktail with the AMAX, I am quite a bit more pleased with the performance of the AMAX's over the SMK's. For my own experiances, I have got very reliable expansion with the AMAX and not so much reliability from some of the SMK's, bearing in mind that under certain circumstances I have got SMK's to expand perfectly.
     
  9. victor

    victor Well-Known Member

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    Meichle,

    I don't know that much about Sitka deer but from what I have seen, that looks like a great buck.

    Congratulations,
    Vic
     
  10. pythonwill

    pythonwill Well-Known Member

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    thats a great looking Sitka blacktail.I lived up in Ak back in the late 80's and always wanted to go try for one but never got the chance. one of these days I would like to try agian.
    Congrats on a nice buck
     
  11. uncleB

    uncleB Well-Known Member

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    Meichele,
    After reading your post it brought back some wonderful memories for me, I hunted Sitka Blacktail on Kodiak back in 1995 around the saltery lake area. I had the time of my life, this is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Because of an impending storm I had to fly back to Anchorage a day early and spend 24hrs at the bush co. also one of the most beautiful places on the planet.great story and pic's.
    UB
    p.s. what area of Kodiak were you hunting ?????