First off, this was a season that anything and everything that could go wrong, did. I kept plugging away, but many times during my hunting season, I kept asking myslef "What else can go wrong?" Stung by bees gutting my wifes deer, bit by a dog, ruined 2 camp trailer tires, employee issues back at work, kid buries his quad in a reservoir, issues with our kitchen remodel, issues with my rifle, and of course crapping on my shoe laces. Which is another story in itself, and all in a matter of days during the hunt.
The set up is a savage 338 Lapua Mag, topped with a Leupold 4.5-14 50mm. I pulled the scope off another rifle of mine, a 300 win mag. I wanted to see what I was capable of doing with this gun, before I spent the money on a scope. Anyways, I am shooting Berger 300 grain OTM.
I bought the rifle in late July, so it was a mad scramble finding a load, getting all the ballistics dialed in, and of course shooting the gun itself before the October opener for deer season.
The rifle actually cost me a larger deer earlier in the season. One morning I was camped on some rims, and a hunter coming up from the bottom kicked 2 large bucks up into a basin I was watching. The trigger was set so light from the factory, that if you bolt the gun very hard, it would engage the safety mechanism part of the accutrigger. Anyway, I had a true gaint at 340 yards, and couldn't get the gun to fire. I must of bolted that rifle 50 times trying to get the **** thing to fire. I later learned, the light trigger was the culprit. Never had a problem shooting it off the bench, but in the field, in a hurry to jack a shell in....Cost me a good one. I Had to watch it walk. I about threw the rifle off the rims.
So, I get back to camp, take it apoart to find the problem, I learned that if your "easy" loading a shell into it, it'll fire everytime, but throw in a little excitement, it had an issue. Anyway, figured out the problem, take the gun out to make sure she's zero'd, and I'll be damned if I dont pull the case head off a shell in the rifle. Go figure. I wanted to shoot something so bad with this cannon, and now I'm really screwed. I ended up packing a 308 for a few days, before the employeed issue took me back to work, and a gunsmith to fix my problem.
I get both those issues resolved, and head back up to camp to try and smack a large deer. The first night back up there, I was glassing an area I had seen "2 nice bucks, the 4X5 I shot, and a 4X4 I thought might go 28" wide. I hiked up to where I like to glass from about 5:00 p.m. I had been alot of glassing with my spotting scope, when a basin some ways a way, I catch a deer standing in, that wasnt there just a second ago. It was very open, not much for brush, and I just knew it was a buck. When I spotted him, he had his head down, never ever took a step. Stood in 1 spot. waht seemed like 10 minutes, he finally lifts his head for a second and puts it back down to feed. I think I see a good rack, I think I want to wait to see him pick his head back up for another look, but its late. Its a long hike to him, and I have about an hour and 30 minutes to get it done. I make the decision to pack up my gear, and head that way knowing I only got 1 quick look at him.
I hiked down to the truck, took off my sweatshirt, and did a not stop brisk walk all the way to him. Luckily for me, I could stay outta view in a draw beside the draw he was in. When I get up to the head of the draw, I take a moment to get my range finder out around my neck, get my pack off, and catch my breath. Its now about 640, and I got about 20 minutes of good shooting light left. I crept up the ridge that seperates the buck and I, and I get the feel, that its gonna be about a 250 yard shot, I set my turret for 250 yards, and crept on, carrying my backpack in my hands. As I got near the top where I could see, I set my pack down and took a few steps more. No deer to be seen.
I immediatley start glassing and it takes me about 15 seconds to spot a large deer bedded underneath a large sage brush. I range him. 198 yards. "Oh your dead I'm thinking". I wanted to do this right, So I walk back 10 feet to my backpack to use as a rest, thinking this buck will NEVER move even tho he was staring right at me when I spotted him in the binoculars. When I tured around after grabbing my pack, he was already up and running. He must of figured if he was gonna run, that was the time. Anyway, So, I got to make a running shot.......
Here's where I thank Savage for making that rifle capable of carrying more then one round, if it was a single shot, I may not have gotten that deer
Here is a picture of the Buck in velvet in mid August, running with a 3 point.
I swear, I thought it was just me that had everything fall apart while I am trying to hunt. Way to rise above it, Congratulations...................... P.S. Boot laces are cheep, I hope you threw them out.
Yea, what a season. I actually did not find my buck til the next day. The mule deer bounce in thick sage brush is a bear to track in especially in low light. I stuck with it, and found him. He didn't go far but the canyon he ran into was full of brush, and made it a nightmare to track. I'm glad I stuck with it.
Great story.... That sounds like an awesome hunt....now come on where were ya excactly.... Or more or less........that country looks kinda familiar.....Ne Idaho,Sw idaho...you can be vague... Congrats on one nice buck for a general hunt
Southern Idaho. Lots of people in the unit hunting it, but a majority glued to their quad or UTV. I have drug some nice bucks off the mountain in that unit, but I work at it. I'm generally camped out long before the suns up, and will stay out all day. The area has a variety of ground to hunt. I prefer scouting and hunting the more open areas. The deer can't lay down all day long. At some point they have to stand up. I just hope I'm looking in the right spot when they do!