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I don't freakin' get it!?

Old 11-10-2011, 03:04 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
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Default I don't freakin' get it!?

I donít get it. Tonight got home late and only had about 45 minutes of shoot time left. Drizzly and cold, I slip into my closest stand overlooking a field and a creek bottom nice and quiet and before I even get all the way turned around in the tree stand I see deer about 250 yards across the field. 6 total, two good size does for our area and 4 little ones Ė no spots but small deer. I watch them in the scope a bit and although itís a clear shot in my opinion itís too far for the 100 grain load I use. Plus, sometimes they walk to the stand Iím in anyway so no big deal.

Called little bit and they donít care or canít hear it and walk off sideways out of site across the field. Well sure enough inside of 15 minutes the lead deer shows up to my left trotting in towards my area. Put the scope on it and watch it go by into the woods towards my stand closest distance about 75 Ė 100 yards away and figure the others are right behind it. Yep, here comes another one. One of the big does. Hammer back, got the gun on a tree hook for a rest and Iím ready but she does not slow down enough. Here come two more little ones and the other big one walking behind them. She stops in a perfect spot about 100 yards out crosshair about 2/3 of the way up the front shoulder slightly quartering towards me, everything solid, gentle squeeze POW!

Canít see through the smoke well but it looked like she spun and went down and deer are going everywhere. 3 going back across the field and one looks larger and none of them look hurt. I figure itís the other big doe.

Did a quick BBL clean and reload (took about 5 minutes) no hurry, I know I crushed that one. Pack up everything and climb down. Running out of light. Get over there and no deer! What? Looked all around. Groundís wet and itís raining, getting dark and nobody to help look. Did an hour all over that field looking for any signÖnothing.

Now here the deal, Iíve checked this gun and itís dead on at 50 yards. I figure it should be pretty close at 100, at least within a couple inches, certainly close enough. Iíve killed a small turkey hen at 90 steps with the same load aiming dead on and killed several deer at this range before with this load no problem. The only two things that I can figure is 1. I possibly could have hit a limb close to me, I was aiming through a few branches but though about it and had a good look before the shot. It all looked plenty clear to me and I keep the scope on 4X to help me see stuff like that. The only other thing is I had put on one of those ďRaingearĒ things that look like a cross between a small condom and a balloon. It of course was gone totally after the shot and Iím wondering if that could have nicked the sabot throwing off my shot?

I donít know, I donít get it. This gun and load CRUSHES deer at these ranges and some of you know how you just ďknowĒ when the shot is good and this one was good. JustÖnothing to hang up on the skinning post.

What say ye breathern?
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:20 PM
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Location: Seagrove N.C. USA
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Some times looking through the scope it looks clear, but a limb that close will not show up in the scope.
So its possible that your scope looked clear, but the bullet hit a limb.
Go back to your stand and look at the same spot you shot at, and see if there is a limb that was hit.
I bet you will find one.
It has happened to me before.
It happens.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:56 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Indiana
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A couple of things come to mind for me, first off what kind of bullet are you using? I have an encore and used to shoot Hornady XTP's. They always shot good and I killed a lot of deer with them but I would never get a blood trail. I shot a deer in six inches of snow one morning from about 30 yards. Good shot and we trailed her for over 100 yards before we found a drop of blood. She jumped a small creek and when she landed it looked like a bucket of blood had been spilled. I think she was filling up with blood. Last year I hit a doe and her front legs split and she fell on her chest for a second, got up hobbled into the woods and we never found her. I did some research on this site and other black powder sites and found some of the bullets similar to the XTP's are like a pistol bullet. They don't preform real well at the speed they are shot from a muzzle loader and can just explode on impact with bone and not do the damage that they should. Mid season I switched to a Barnes bullet and killed two deer with good blood trails.
The other thing I was thinking is that with a modern muzzle loader I sight mine in further then 50 yards. I have mine shooting about an inch high and 100 yards and have killed deer well over 150 yards and feel more then confident shooting at that distance. If I were keeping mine for 100 yards in or so I would just stick with a shotgun.
I know what you are saying about the smoke. In heavier cover I have shot deer and had know idea what way they went.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:36 PM
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flyinglowe ditto on the bullet and if he was using PowerBelts? Good luck. I also switched to barnes get complete pass through even on big hogs.

Or he missed. Hey we all miss............ right?
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:49 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Virginia
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Years back I hit a buck that was quartering toward me at 40 yards with a .30-06 and it left no sign that he was hit. No hair, no blood, nothing. We looked briefly and assumed I missed him. We found him a couple days later not too far away. I learned a valuable lesson that year; always look long and hard for the deer.

I think the angle of the hit can make it so that the bullet doesn't necessarily exit. The other thing I learned that year was my bullets suck. That wasn't the first deer that the bullet didn't exit on. So I switched to Nosler Partitions and have had pass throughs ever since.

My guess is, if you think you hit that deer then you probably did.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:33 AM
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I use the TC Shockwave 250gr balistic tip (yellow). I have never had it not pass through even on a close to 100 yard shot on a 200# buck. Either I hit a twig close to me or that rain thing through off the shot.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:14 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Mar 2004
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You know your gun better than I do, but I would be aiming 1/3 to 1/2 up, not 2/3 up as you say you did. The gun hits dead on at 90 paces after all.

I suspect a high hit above the spine, especially if shooting from a firm/hard rest. This kind of hit drops them, but they get up within a few seconds and run off, usually never to be found. Most survive.

I would certainly give it a look though.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:51 PM
Nontypical Buck
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+1 on the XTP failure. I used them in the beginning and shot an old doe in the neck at bout 50yds to have the round totally frag. She dropped, but need a coup de grace. I then have went to the SST's and never looked back!!!!!! Both driven with 100grn of T7 loose.
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