made a poor shot-why?


Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2001
Walla Walla, WA
I am perplexed. I had a late season whitetail doe permit and went out last Thursday evening to try and fill it. I saw a doe in a field as I was driving down a road. I stopped and got out and crossed the tree lined ditch. I sat down with my back to a tree and extended my Kramer Snipepod. I got into my Brownells Latigo sling and tightened it up. The deer was about 200 yards away. I centered the crosshairs on her chest and fired. The gun is zeroed for 250 yards so the bullet should have hit about 1" higher than point of aim. Instead it sailed over her back. I saw it kick up dirt beyond her and she stood there seemingly unhurt. I fired again and down she went. I started to walk up to her and saw that she was still mobile with her front legs so I shot her in the chest offhand from about 50 yards and that finished her. The second shot (first one that connected with her) broke her spine above her shoulders. So it too was quite high, about 7" higher than point of aim. I am a good shot and have used the Kramer Snipepod on many animals. I figured that it was because I had installed a different stock with not enough freefloat clearance and when I went tight with the sling it caused the barrel and foreend to touch. When I installed the new stock I sighted it in with my shorter prone Kramer bipod and no sling. It was shooting good and on at 250 yards. Well I went out yesterday afternoon and shot at 220 yards with the bipod and sling, just like I was set up when I shot at the doe. Shots hit 1.5" high, not 7+" high. I am totally baffled as to how I could have hit so high with those two shots at the doe. Any thoughts? Thanks, Rufous.
Brent, after I typed the question I got to wondering about that. I thought I had duplicated as near as possible the way I was holding the rifle when I shot at the target as when I shot at the doe but after thinking it through some more I think I may have been leaning back against the tree with my upper back and possibly also my right shoulder against the tree, whereas when I shot at the target I was sitting against my truck tire but leaning forward such that just my low back was against the tire. So maybe that made the difference. I will have to try shooting at the target again with my upper back and right shoulder against a solid support and see if I get high shots. Rufous.
This sounds exactly like you didn't have a good rear support. This is quite common; at least for me. Your butt stock slips down slightly at firing time causing the bullet to shoot high. Your gun shoots perfectly at the bench with a good rear bag I'm sure, but out in the field - I'll bet you were using a coat that just didn't give enough friction against the butt stock - you're slipping. Either use a bean bag rear rest, or change your rifle butt pad into somthing really sticky, or get a different coat with a sticky shoulder pad, or best of all - do all three. I took a shooting course and it took me days of shooting to find out I had this problem. It can be extremely subtle and hard to detect. At least you were successful in your hunt. Congrats!!!!
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