Your long range hunting story

Len Backus

Staff member
May 2, 2001
Your long range hunting story
Start a draft now of the story about your own favorite personal long range hunting experience. We want you to post them here for the rest of us to enjoy.
On our website we're going to develop a place to post our stories, with pictures if you have them. I am especially hoping for help from Kirk, Dave King and Ian to get us started. Consider this an important homework assignment. One-half of your semester grade depends on this assignment.

Kirk, how about the story of your daughter's trophy Coues deer. Dave, polish up your 900 yard elk tale and Ian, you don't need any suggestions from me. (Hope you're not cussing at me for putting you on the spot).

Fergus, there must be some strange Australian critter hunt you can tell us about. Warren, could you handle a nostalgic story about Doc?

Now, the rest of you. Just because you're sitting in the back row and I didn't mention your name doesn't mean you are excused from the assignment!

I'm going to re-polish the tale of my first serious long range attempt --- my 459 buck --- that started my interest in Long Range forums a few years ago and finally lead us all to this very site.

posted April 19, 2001 10:42 PM


From: Canada
Registered: April 13, 2001
Posts: 11
343 yards - a real long shot...
I will tell a "long" story. Fact is this shot was so long that I actually recovered from the recoil, got my sight picture back, and then saw the bullet impact on the critter.
Now the facts.
I had mounted a Burris scope with Mil-dots and turrets on a Knight in-line and sighted it in at 300 yards. There is a neat trick to that - I put about 8 vertical feet of cardboard on a target backstop with an aiming mark right up at the top. I zeroed at 100 yards with a then proto-type Swift A-Frame .45 caliber saboted bullet (325 gr) pushed by two Pyrodex pellets (the rifle would handle three but it did not shoot 3 accurately).
I then shot at the 300 yard target, got three shots into a nice 6 to 8 inch group 57 inches below my aiming mark. I marked the center of the group with a big X with a felt marking pen, then returned to the bench. I placed the crosshairs back on the original 300 yard aiming mark, then turned the scope power down until one of the Mil-dots matched the X that indicated my 300 yard group (and drop).

This gave me a nice 300 yard zero using the second mildot, checked at 200 and was hitting a couple of inches high with the first Mil-dot. I now had good zeros for 1,2 and 3 as long as I did not change the power setting on the scope.

I was invited on a Nilgai hunt in south Texas, as in a few miles from the Mexican border and we hunted a ranch that was swarming with Nilgai. It was not hunted much and the population was excellent - outfitter's name was Bobby Brown. Nilgai and muzzleloaders don't go well together, particularly when you only have a couple of days to hunt. They are spooky by nature and run like freaking race horses.

All the while I was learning that everything that grows out of the ground stabs, cuts or buries itself into you. Every wretched Texas plant has razor edges or needle spines, plus there were so many insects (seemed to be about two-hundred different types of chiggers, ticks, fleas - plus scorpions and tarantulas the size of golfballs) that we showered each night with dog flea-shampoo. Worked great but my partner started to lift his leg when he had to "P". My wife got Texas chiggers once (had to go to the hospital), but that is another story - let's just say I will never get her back to a hunting ranch in Texas. On second thought, maybe it was because she didn't use flea-shampoo. Sorry, back to the story.

Anyhow, after a couple of days in the sun (I had come down from snow-covered Sask. to 85+ degrees) we were burned to a crisp (no way we were going to use sunscreen, that was for normal people) and I finally got my chance. Two very good bulls came out of a washout and stopped for an instant, looking at us. I yelled out "How far?", the guide said 350, my partner said 375 and my gut instinct was a little over 300, maybe 325. I put the second Mil-dot just over his back and fired. As I mentioned, the smoke cleared and I actually saw the bullet cause him to collapse, obviously spine shot. We lasered him down at 343 yards. Three witnesses but no video camera, it would have made a dandy video clip.

I was confident in a chest hit as the standard ninety mile per hour winds weren't blowing that afternoon. If they had been I would not have shot. The day before I saw a bullet drift two nilgais but my partner only held off one nilgai, and it wasn't nearly as far away.

Len, hope you can handle a smokepole story on your long range site. I am hooked on muzzleloaders and long range centerfires.

We regularly shoot at a fullsized steel buffalo at 1100 yards with our centerfires, guess that would be more appropriate but the Nilgai was a neat experience. My wife has a standard procedure when I come back from Texas trips - all my clothes are put into garbage bags immediately, just inside the front door when I get home from the airport. Then she takes everything downstairs to the washing machine and she keeps asking me if I showered with flea shampoo...

posted April 20, 2001 12:26 AM

Len Backus

From: Oshkosh, WI
Registered: April 10, 2001
Posts: 18
Great story! Dave King is into long range smokepole stuff, too. Do you know anything about some of the new, cleaner blackpowder substitutes?
posted April 20, 2001 07:44 AM


From: Canada
Registered: April 13, 2001
Posts: 11
I know enough to tell you that there is a new one just around the corner, very hush-hush but it will come in containers with H on it. I will be one of the first guys shooting it, will keep you informed. Also there is a new 50 grain .44 caliber pellet so we don't have to put five 30's down the .45 Super to get the 150 grain load.
I like the new Clear Shot from Goex, it looks like a fine ball powder, measures real nice, burns pretty clean, good velocities. Have not had as good luck with CleanShot or the QuickShot pellets, perhaps I got a poor batch but the velocities were way down.

posted April 20, 2001 08:56 AM

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