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Happy ending to a bad day

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Happy ending to a bad day

Old 11-15-2008, 03:39 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default Happy ending to a bad day

This was a lousy opener for Indiana gun season. It was fairly cold, windy, and raining...constantly. I decided walking in that I would not be filling any doe tags, as the ordeal to get any deer out of that soupy muddy field would stink and it would need to be a buck to be worth it.

A doe winded me very early, then I could have wasted another doe awhile later. Then I saw a forkhorn get up out of the ditch 300 yds away, right where I had shot my 8-pt last year bedded down and where the property owner say 3 bucks including a 12-pt last weekend. I let him go to grow. I saw other doe heads pop up now and then, so I knew there were more bedded down in there and sat back to wait...and shiver harder and harder.

About 90min after light, four does and a BIG buck trotted out into the open field from the creek I was sitting on. They were out around 350-400 yards, too far with any wind. They crossed the field and chased each other around in the other ditch maybe 80 yards upwind from the other deer.

I was figuring how I could get around to get a shot at them...the closest I could get on my ditch was about 320 yards and there was too much crosswind to shoot that far. After about 30min it was a non-issue as the first group of does got up and ran by the buck, and he (and another slightly smaller buck I had not noticed) chased the does away and off the property.

By now I was shaking uncontrollably and figured that I was not going to see any more nice bucks like that so I figured I'd walk the perimeter of the field to get on that other ditch downwind, and slowly hunt up it then go back to my truck. I did this, and as I neared where the first group of deer had been a buck (maybe a tall 6-pt) walked out and spotted me. I dropped and got the Omega up on the bipod, but my rangefinder was out of reach in my backpack. It was frontal, so I figured it would be a good hit or miss so I estimated 200 yards or a bit more and held high. The hammer dropped, and the bullet sizzled downrange without the expected "WHUP!". My heart sank, and sure enough he took off down the ditch with all the does and was gone. I got the rangefinder out...275 yds. I'd planted the bullet between his feet. My first shot over 100 yds without a rangefinder since 2002, and my first missed shot at game since 2002 (about 40 consecutive 1st-round kills).

Bummed, I gathered my gear and headed up the ditch to the truck. Then I noticed a head with big ivory horns headed my way across the field. The "smaller" buck that had chased the does off earlier was coming back!! I was going to do things right this time! I ranged the ditch he had to cross to get in my firing field as 224 yds. I clicked the scope up, got solid behind the bipod, and waited. He hung up at the ditch for a couple minutes, then crossed. His nose was to the ground and his mind on some hot doe in need of his attention. I bleated to stop him, then bleated again. Still he ran. He was either going to keep coming straight and run me over, or cross the ditch where I could not shoot him. I could not take that chance so I bleated again, almost yelling now. Finally I snapped him mind out of the hot doe fog, and he paused. I sent the 200gr Shockwave sizzling downrange, and this time was satisfied with the expected "WHUP!". The big buck melted to the ground in his tracks, the Shockwave passing through at about 200 yards with dramatic effects.

Pics will be coming (I forgot my digital, had to borrow a 35mm). He is not a monster, but a very solid and respectable 9-pt, maybe my 3rd biggest buck. There must be good genetics in the area, he only was 2.5 years old.

I had a few opportunities to drop some does, but all were 300 yards or further and I do not shoot that far in the wind.
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:48 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: Happy ending to a bad day

WOW! Now that's some long-range shooting. Congrats!!!!

What gun, powder and load were you shooting?
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Old 11-15-2008, 03:50 PM
Dominant Buck
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Default RE: Happy ending to a bad day

Congratulations on the buck.. that is some good shooting for those distances and conditions.. And those shockwaves sound like just the right medicine for them deer.
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:59 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Happy ending to a bad day

Thumbhole Omega (old school, back when they welded the recoil lugs to the barrel), 200gr Shockwave, 100gr FFg 777 and 25ACP conversion throwing 2100fps.

Drop at 200yds is only 12in. Well within my capabilities (when I KNOW the range) as I have previously made 302 and 338 yd shots -- with much less wind. I was limiting to 225-250 today due to the wind. The drop around 200 and drift is not bad but closer to 300 it is exponential and not a good thing to mess with if there is any wind over 5mph.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:55 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Happy ending to a bad day

Congrats! I was in Indiana today and the weather was pretty bitter. Cold, rain, and wind most of the day. Kudo's for you for getting out there and making it work for you.
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:11 AM
Boone & Crockett
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Default RE: Happy ending to a bad day

Congrats on a nice buck and a good story. Too bad the sun wasn't shining. It was the same way here yesterday (Saturday),rainy but was quite warm - in the 60s. I just stayed in and did some projects that needed getting done before I head up the cabin Thanksgiving week for bear.
Again - congrats.
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:37 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Happy ending to a bad day

Congrats on the deer. Nice shooting. It does seem to make a poor day a little better when you can at least see some deer, and obviously a lot better when you can put your tag on something. Looking forward to seeing some pics.

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Old 11-16-2008, 01:24 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Happy ending to a bad day

On a side note:

To give you an idea how wet it was and testify to the hygoscopic nature of 777, I had loaded the shot I used on the missed shot in the house before I left. I reloaded the shot used on the buck in the pouring rain, getting the new bullet out first so that after dumping the powder from a sealed speedloader while covering the muzzle with a hand to protect from water I could cap it with the bullet immediately. It fired fine, obviously. Then I had field-loaded that was a second time.

When I got home, I went to fire off the load to clean the gun and it did not fire. I tried another primer and still no bang.

I pulled the breech plug, and the powder pushed out as a couple clumps. It seemed fine when I poured it in, but either it picked up moisture in the speedloader or some water went down the barrel and passed through the rifling grooves and around the sabot. I think it was #2 because when I swabbed the gun even after 2 shots there was little fouling, like it had already washed down the barrel or something.

Next time I hunt in the rain I need to figure out what to use as a shoot-thru muzzle cap to protect from water.

The Omega X7 I was also carrying the whole time that was loaded all day fired fine.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:31 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: Happy ending to a bad day

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Old 11-16-2008, 01:57 PM
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Default RE: Happy ending to a bad day

yeah-you just can't get a better bullet
and I will second it as well....Good story!
And darn good shooting-you gotta have
a good laser with you for shots like that..
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