Through the back door


Nov 8, 2001
I hunted whitetail in the conventional manner; stands, drives or just basic sneakness and luck. I was usually frustrated by the very limited amount of time between when the buck was spotted and the shot had to be taken and the demands of determining the trophy and my willingness to spend my tag. I was also able to see deer through the spotting scope that, because of their location, could not be approached. It was their playground, and they pretty much had it figured out! So, in order to take the trophy I wanted, I had to be able to shoot game at a greated distance. I got into longrange shooting through the back door, as it were, and it is an entirely different and much more satisfying approach to deer hunting.

With long range, I have all the time in the world to evaluate a trophy. If I am not sure about a particular buck it is not a panic situation. I can likely see him again the following day. I will get to know all the deer in the area through the course of a season, and will likely pass up several good bucks before the right one comes along. The 'right' one never did show up last fall,(maybe doesn't even exist) and that's OK. I dry fired on several of his lesser relatives!

When I arrive at the position from which I will do my spotting and shooting, I immediately set up my equiptment for the shot. Then I check distances to different objects (trees, stumps, rocks) to get a general idea as to what I am dealing with. Then I get out the optics and settle in for a long session. Sometimes I will see a deer in the open, or in it's bed later in the season. More often, I will spend half an hour convincing myself that there isn't a buck in the country. By first clue will be a small patch of white that wasn't there before(no snow yet). A patch of white is a deer for all pratical purposes. Then I wait untill it moves to a location where I can determine exactly what it is. If it looks like it might be the one I want, I get behind the crosshairs. Now comes the fun part! I know that it is going to take my bullet a while to get there, and in the meantime, that deer can move. If a buck is feeding, he is walking, and a buck in the rut is twitchy at best. He might take a step every ten seconds or so. I study his movement in order to predict when his next step will take place, and time my shot well before that; have been quite successful. If he raises his head, he is checking out the area, and likely will not move. That is the time to shoot. I watched a big 4x4 do this last fall as he came over a ridge into a new area close to sundown. He stood for a half hour, with just his head moving. I dry fired on him a couple of times and let him go, but recall another bigger one that died that way.

Anyway, a few observations from my most enjoyable times. Thanks for letting me revisit them.

Darryl Cassel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2001

VERY well said indeed.

Brings back memories for me too.

I feel the SAME way, I don't have to kill an animal to be a happy LR hunter. Just seeing them and knowing I could have killed one of them is satisfaction enough. A nice one is icing on the cake though.

I think it's great to be selective and let the little horned bucks or bulls grow up to be trophies in a year or two. Hopefully, I'll be back to get him.


[ 02-17-2002: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]

Trending threads

Recent Posts

Nightforce has great tracking capabilities, they are rugged, a bunch of elevation, holds zero forever, and reticles are designed for long range shooting. So if you are looking to shoot long distances constantly, then you need a scope that can take the abuse. -- gilmillan1

Culture Of Excellence At Nightforce Optics
By Len Backus

A high level of quality both in production and in service. Read More

Nightforce is such a solid combo of reticle, available elevation, glass that is good enough to shoot at the longest range you can dial. Nightforce has bullet proof construction that can handle the incidental horse rolling or some other rodeo action. -- bigngreen

Nightforce ATACR Scope Review
By Jeff Brozovich

The new NightForce ATACR is for sure a top choice for any long range shooter. Read More

The total package. Nightforce is the best I have used as far as turret feel and solid detents. I have never had one that didn't track right on and always return to zero. Nightforce NXS is the best value for everything I need. -- Broz

Nightforce Velocity 1000 Reticle Review
By Scott Shreve

I think Nightforce knocked it outta the park with this reticle! Read More