Mule Deer Hunt Next Week

Len Backus

Staff member
May 2, 2001
Next Friday I head back to NE Montana and the Missouri River Breaks region to hunt with outfitter Scott Sundheim. Last year he did a great job for me. The biggest mulies he has been seeing lately would gross score around 180. That's gotten me fired up!

Sioux Pass Outfitters

Last week Chris Matthews re-barreled my 7mm Dakota with a lighter, shorter pipe. It is a Schneider polygonal, 1-9 twist, 28 inch with an M40A3 profile.

I have about 70 rounds fired so far. This afternoon I was out confirming my 100 yard zero and establishing come-ups at 500 and 700 yards. 6.25 moa got me out to 500 and 11.0 worked for 700 yards. I am shooting Cauterucio 176 grain VLD's at 3150 fps.

The groups shown on the steel targets in the pictures were 3 shots each, fired prone with Harris bipod and sand-sock.



I am ready!

[ 10-11-2004: Message edited by: Len Backus ]

You been shooting the weather vane again???

Good luck on your hunt, hope you catch a big one!
Hey, in a 10 mph wind, and I call which propeller I'm going to hit! Yea, I shoot at the wind vane. So what......!

(for those who've never shot at steel...bullet hitting steel splatters upwards

Now...I need someone to come along and lug just one of these 120 pound plates of steel up into the hills of Montana so I can check my zero in local conditions. Someone with a strong back who doesn't know any better...!


Spatter is a real problem, ask any weather vane or ignorant bystander.

Carry steel plates, 120#s.
I wear a size 2 hat and a size 44 shirt, do I fit the ticket???

BTW, that's pretty good shooting off that Harris and sand sock.
Thanks for the pics! Good shootin' and have a great time! I've always wanted to hunt Mule Deer, but haven't done so yet. Maybe next year.... Looking forward to seeing the pics from your hunt!!!!!
Len, I know Scott and he's a good guy. I can also back up his claims of 180 class mulies. I have seen some in that class myself while scouting this year. Hope you get one of them and take lot's of photos. I live about 20 minutes from Scott's house. He has great country leased up and he is a good hunter as well as guide. I must admit I envy the land you will have access to. Have fun!
You just have to love those high powered 7mm's nice shooting. Your Dakota was a case type I considered years ago. I've got a 5.5x22 power NightForce on my 7mm. What kind of scope were you using?

I really only shoot 175 grain spbt's and the gun came with a slower 11:1 twist.

180 is quite the score

Safe Hunting!
Cowboy, Nighthunter, Taos, Big Sky, budlight: Thanks for the good wishes.

Dave, thanks to you too...for offering to lug my steel!

budlight, my scope is exactly the same as yours.

Taos, I head back out west on Thanksgiving day...that time to Wyoming near Sundance.
Hey Len-- got a buddy of mine that's shooting a 6.5-284 XP-100 with a big 17" Shilen on it. He was running <3" @ 600 yds. recently with 140 A-Max. We went to the ITRC this yr. in Gillette, WY, and i watched him run 8 in a row @ 585 on 8" steel circles, then 2 more @ 685. All this with a screwed up (zero) 3-12X Burris LER.

He comes out here around Durango every year for a cow elk hunt, but then it's an XP-100 7.82 Patriot.

Good luck on you hunt.
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