Montana 2006 Success

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by TMR, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    Well, this started out as a bird hunting trip with my Dad around Forsyth/Miles City area. Before I left, I saw that there were still some antlerless mule deer and antelope tags left, so we picked a couple of each. I figured this would be a good test for my new 243AI and a chance to get some great meat in the freezer. Might not be the longest range shots or trophy horns, but it was still fun. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Day 1: After seeing several huge mule deer bucks in the farmers fields, we decided to head to some Block Management Land. We were about to overlook a huge basin below us that looked like it might have some critters in it. We found a small group of antelope in a coulee getting out of the wind. I setup on a small burm and waited for them to stand. My dad ranged the lead doe at 432 yds. I dialed the scope and the waiting game began. Here in Washington, I don't usually have to deal with wind, so I was a little new at the 10-15 mph winds. When she finally stood up, we rechecked the range and the scope. I held 2/3 up and just behind the shoulder figuring the wind would get blow the bullet to the center of the shoulder. At the shot, she instantly folded. When we got to her I could see where I hit. I hit just in front of the shoulder, my elevation was right on, I just didn't account for that much drift. The little 105 gr Berger did its job perfectly. The exit wound looked like a softball came out of her neck, but it didn't look like the bullet came apart. [​IMG]
    After that, we decided it was Dad's turn, so we headed to another BMA unit. We found an Antelope right off, and Dad shot off his sticks at about 200 yds. She hit the ground and I asked where he aimed. He said "for the head, didn't want to waste any meat". His 243AI almost took the head off. No pic on that one. Butchered that one, looked up and about a mile down the valley was another herd. We decided to go after them. We found them bedded alond a ridge and we sent up again. Dad ranged them at 405 yds. I dialed the scope and waited for them to stand. When the middle doe stood, I put on the high shoulder, used the first windage hash mark on my Varmit Reticle, and squeezed one off. She hit the ground hard. I hit her right where I wanted. Again, large exit wound with the berger. [​IMG]
    We couldn't believe by 2:30 we had 3 antelope in the coolers. So we decided to shoot prairie dogs the rest of the day. I was getting used to the wind and connecting at dogs out to 620 yds. It was a good day.

    Day 2:
    Woke up and it was 15 degrees with about 4" snow. Big change from the 75 degree temps the day before. Went up to some state land we found and saw some deer feeding in the creek bottom. We snuck across the sage and a very large Mule deer doe was feeding through the bottom. I rested on a tree and touched off the trigger. She folded up and hit the ground. Dad then ranged her at 256 yds. We looked at the bullet exit again.....on the mule deer the bergers did not do as much damage, 6mm hole going in, maybe 1 1/2" hole going out. [​IMG]

    We drove around the rest of the day and tried to stay warm and shoot prairie dogs. We were heading back to the state gound for another evening hunt, and we saw some deer in another creek bottom. I setup and dad ranged them at 276 yds. I adjusted the scope and there was no wind, so I waited for the doe to clear the rest of the group and squeezed off another. Dropped instantly, and the bullet damage was about the same as the other mule deer. [​IMG]

    We ended up learning quite a bit about long range shooting and got some very good meat for the freezer. I could not be happier with the performance of the 243AI and the 105 gr berger. Heck, we even got a couple of pheasants to boot. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  2. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

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    Nice shooting TMR! Good meat for the freezer. That 243AI looks very nice, can you give us the details on it?

    Congrats!
     

  3. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    Slopeshunter...

    Thanks, I will see if I can use this link to get you the details.... web page
     
  4. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    When you get some time you might try the 115gr Berger. It does pretty well and might give you just a little more "smack" if you get to shooting at a big buck. Probably depends on the throat you have and whether is has to be seated deep in the case.
     
  5. Mountainsheep

    Mountainsheep Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you and your Dad had a great trip. Lots of good shooting and a freezer full of gourmet delight. Congrats on your success.
    Dave
     
  6. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    buffalobob,
    I might have to give them a try. I have about 600 105 gr bullets now to go through.
     
  7. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link. What does the rifle weight?
     
  8. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    It weighs 13.5lbs ready to go with bipod. I usually carry it in my Eberlestock pack, so it is not to bad. I wanted to be able to watch the bullet hit through the scope, and usually you can. It just torque's a little, buy you can still see the animal or target after the shot. I was going to put a brake on it, but it is really not needed. I am going to build another one that is lighter that might have a brake, just have not decided yet.
     
  9. wildcat

    wildcat Well-Known Member

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    TMR/AWESOME/STORY

    WILDCAT
     
  10. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    You guys were having waaaay too much funn !! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

    So , 243 AI 's rock , yes ?

    Great your dad is able to do this along with you ,

    Jim B.
     
  11. älg

    älg Well-Known Member

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    TMR, nice hunt.

    Where did the bergers hit the animals???
     
  12. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    alg....

    All of the shots were high shoulder except for the first that drifted to just in front of the shoulder.
     
  13. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    You guys were having waaaay too much funn !! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

    So , 243 AI 's rock , yes ?

    Great your dad is able to do this along with you ,

    Jim B.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Jimm,
    It was a blast /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif I couldn't be happier with the 243AI.....If I had to do it again, I would probably build it the same way. I will probably end up using my 7mmAM for elk (when it is finished), and the 243AI for everything else. It was great having Dad along. I try to take him somewhere each year to do some hunting. We usually just end up in Montana. Since he built the rifle, I am sure he was very pleased to see the results. He is becoming hooked on this long range stuff also.
     
  14. JD338

    JD338 Well-Known Member

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    TMR,

    Congrats on your hunt. Great to hunt with your Dad.
    Hope you both have many more hunts in the future.

    JD338