First Long Range Deer

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Colby, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Colby

    Colby Active Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    I haven't posted much, but I've been lurking for quite awhile, and have learned a lot from you folks, so I figured I owed you this post.

    Last year I got the chance to use my Uncle's custom built 300 Wby to shoot a cow elk at 490 yards. That shot really got me hooked on long range shooting, and I was able to talk my CFO (wife) into letting me build a custom rifle last winter. With a lot of help from my Uncle and a friend from PA, I spent the spring building a 7x300 Wby that was smithed by Howard Wolfe. It was a semi-budget build, using a 721 action and a walnut stock that my friend had laying around and sold me. Howard did all the work on the action and hooked it up to a Hart barrell that is just barely under 30" finished length. I mounted a Leupy VXL 4-14X56 scope on it and with a lot of help from my uncle, including using all of his reloading equipment, worked up a load using 168 gr Sierras. I practiced shooting all summer and into the fall, gradually increasing distances out to 700 yards. I did all my long shooting using the B&C reticle, and haven't yet jumped into dialing. For hunting I loaded up some 160 gr Nosler Accubonds. With these loads it was shooting across the chrono at 3,490 fps.

    Finally the hunt. My Dad and I hunted hard for two days in less than desirable weather (too hot and dry), but were able to find a good buck that stopped and gave me a great opportunity to shoot him at 325 yards, but it happened fast and I couldn't get ready. He dropped down through another draw and came up the opposite side of the canyon from us and stopped breifly at 585 yards. As soon as he stopped, I shot and as the gun came back down from the muzzle jump, I saw him flip over backwards and he was dead before he hit the ground. He was in a heck of a hole, and it took my Dad and I about 5 hours to get him boned out and packed back to the truck. The bullet was a clean pass through and wasn't found.

    I have killed several bigger bucks, but this was by far the most rewarding hunt I have ever had, and getting to share it with my dad makes it my best trophy to date.

    Thanks for all the stuff that I have learned from all of you. This is truly a great site.

  2. bigg_sexy1

    bigg_sexy1 Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    That buck is awsome... and you have bigger ones at home holy you must be into some pretty good mulie country. Its great to get out with our dads, I sure enjoy hunting with mine. Congrats on your successful hunt.

  3. MagMan

    MagMan Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2002
    Congratulations Colby...yeah that long range bug will get you when you least expect it.

    That is a dandy buck, I'm hoping to find one like that in unit 181 next fall.

    Great story.
  4. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    Congrats Colby! Great deer, nice looking rifle.

    Thanks fro writing the story. It is easy to spend alot of time here reading, isnt it.


    SUNDEVIL Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Great story! That is a great deer!!!!
  6. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Very nice buck, you will be rapt that all your practice and building your rifle came together so well.
    That 160 accubond must be like a laser! I use a 7 mm rem mag and push the 160 accubond at 3060, an extra 400 fps must flatten that trajectory.


  7. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Congratulations, great buck, story, pix. thanks for sharing. it is rewarding when the build, practice and hunt all come together like yours did.
  8. ebd10

    ebd10 Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    How about some more pictures of that rifle?
  9. long450

    long450 Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2007
    Nice buck and great story !!! Thanks for sharing. Good you got to share it with your dad. Sounds like that may only be the begining for that rifle.
  10. jimbo300

    jimbo300 Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    Man!!! What a great buck. Good shooting and nice looking rifle.
  11. drags

    drags Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2003
    Colby, I have a 300wby annd 7/300wby smithed by Howard Wolfe and they shoot really well. I use H870 powder in both rifles and 190gr smk in the 300wby and 168gr smk in the 7/300wby, I am also trying the 162gr hornady amax in the 7/300 and they seem to shoot just as good as the 168gr smk. My longest kill on deer is 850yds with the 7/300, but I have many kill in the 300 to 700 range with bith rifles.
  12. Marine sniper

    Marine sniper Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    The 7x300 Wby is an excellent round, ever thought about the 180 Bergers ?
  13. Boman

    Boman Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2002
    great story and great deer. Way to go! I love it when plans come together. Can you give us some close up shots on the rifle and some more specs like weight.
  14. Colby

    Colby Active Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    Thanks for all the nice reply's. I would never post this on any other websites because I know I would get flamed, so it is nice of you guys to be supportive.

    I will get some pictures of the gun and post them. It turned out to be a great hunting rifle. I'm looking forward in the future to trying more bullets and powders. My uncle who has been helping me has a 7/300 as well, so we knew pretty much what load would work. Once hunting season is over and I can get back to experimenting and practicing I am hoping to try some Bergers and Barnes, and am going to try to start dialing for distances. I built a range this summer that I can shoot up to 900 yards on. I have only shot up to 700 yards because that is the limit of the Boone & Crockett reticle. This gun shoots much better than the scope is built for. Leupold says dead on at 300, first bar at 400, second bar at 500, dot at 550 and top of heavy cross hair at 600. My gun shoots exactly 100 yards better at all marks, and is only 2 1/2" high at 200 yards, dead on at 400.

    I'm not a big fan of the stock, the distance between the pistol grip and the trigger was too short for me. If my hand had a comfortable grip, the trigger was all the way to the second knuckle on my finger. I had never carved a stock before, but I took a file and dremel to it and made it much more comfortable, although not perfect. I couldn't get the finish to match very well, but I didn't build it to be a beauty queen. The last issue was that I bought med rings from Leupy because they said that is what I had to have for the 56 VXL. I think I can get away with low's, but they are too expensive for me to buy another set right now. So instead, I bought a beartooth comb raising kit. Now I get a good cheek weld with a good sight picture. The foam in the kit is squishy, so I know its not as good as a raised comb stock, but I will buy a better stock down the road.

    Once again, thanks for the positive reply's and all the help.

    I hope to kill a whitetail in MT next month. My goal is to get one as close to 700 as possible. I will be happy with that for now.