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My first "real" deer season

Old 11-05-2013, 05:41 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default My first "real" deer season

Hey folks,

Been reading this wonderful forum for a while and just joined up. I've taken a couple of deer from the ground in my lifetime but due to a lack of decent hunting grounds, most of my hunting has been for upland birds and waterfowl. I'm 53 and it's high time I hang a rack on my wall!

A good friend just acquired a 100 acre parcel surrounded by big woods and we have been floored by all the deer sign. It was formerly a deer grounds as there's a small cabin and several rotting wooden tree stands here and there. In fact, we're just about finished scouting as we've captured five different bucks on my trail cam....along with several bears! It's fun to collect pics but at this point I'm thinking it will be best to stay out of there since nothing more from the cam will influence where we set up. We'll just have to see how things go down after we begin to sit on stand. We've caught two big eight pointers on cam but only at night still. Let's hope the ladies get them making a daytime mistake!

We've had several active scrapes being visited and have founds TONS of old rubbed trees. Just found the first active rub the other day but it was really small....perhaps made by the spike horn we photographed...expecting many more in the weeks leading up to our Dec 2nd opening day of gun season here in Massachusetts.

We put up my buddies' two man ladder stand and I bought a Summit Goliath climber so we can move around. We have a few different locations identified for that stand. He bought a scoped .50 CVA inline that we have shooting decent groups at 100+ yards so his ladder stand overlooks the more open area while poor 'ole me with my 1187 smoothbore will be in the thicker woods. I have a Bushnell red dot for it and am now seeking a cantilever barrel mount. Having a hard time finding just the right mount....e-mail sent to Gallard co. someone was kind enough to link here. Still waiting to hear back but since I'm a shop teacher with a machine shop, I may try to make my own. I understand that the receiver saddle type present problems with accuracy and interfering with the action.

So that's my introduction; very pleased to join the site and have enjoyed all the pics and excellent advice. I hope I'm able to post a pic of my first buck in about a month.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:03 AM
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Does you smoothbore barrel have rifle sights or just a bead front? The red dot is probably better than just a bead sight, and you should be able to shoot deer out to about 75 yds with rifled slugs.

I'm not sure which mount you are looking for, some google images show different variations of cantilever style set ups on 1187s.


I would recommend that you find a fully rifled barrel with the cantilever mount permanently affixed for the future. That will get you the best accuracy. With sabot slugs you can double your range.

You may be able to find a used or even a new muzzleloader for the money you'd spend on a shotgun barrel, depending upon their availability.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:44 AM
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I think in thick woods the bead on the barrel or open sights is far better than a red dot and out in the open a regular scope is better than a red dot.

I'd go shoot your gun the way it is. If you can hit with it all a red dot is going to do is make it harder to find the target.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:48 AM
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welcome and good luck!
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:51 AM
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Thanks for the feedback folks.

uncle, I'm THIS close to dropping the cash on a rifled barrel. Thing is, we'll have this year with these prime acres left untouched but I don't know what the future will bring and how much logging, tilling, building the owner will be doing in the upcoming seasons. That's why I'm hesitant to drop coin on a whole new set-up.

Even at 50yds, the barrel and bead blot out the vitals so it's my thinking that the red dot will increase precision...esp in fading light. I have no expectation that I'll gain rifle accuracy, just a clearer view at 50 - 60 yds. It's not wing shooting so I'm not clear how target acquisition would be a problem.

Some of the advertised cantilever mounts require that they be soldered to a smooth rib and mine's not smooth. The one advertised by Gallard Industries seems to clamp nicely but I cannot get a response from them so they may not even be in business still. I have a few weeks to figure it all out still so by opening day I'll have some solid plan.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by NEhomer
Hey folks,

Been reading this wonderful forum for a while and just joined up. I've taken a couple of deer from the ground in my lifetime but due to a lack of decent hunting grounds, most of my hunting has been for upland birds and waterfowl. I'm 53 and it's high time I hang a rack on my wall!

A good friend just acquired a 100 acre parcel surrounded by big woods and we have been floored by all the deer sign. It was formerly a deer grounds as there's a small cabin and several rotting wooden tree stands here and there. In fact, we're just about finished scouting as we've captured five different bucks on my trail cam....along with several bears! It's fun to collect pics but at this point I'm thinking it will be best to stay out of there since nothing more from the cam will influence where we set up. We'll just have to see how things go down after we begin to sit on stand. We've caught two big eight pointers on cam but only at night still. Let's hope the ladies get them making a daytime mistake!

We've had several active scrapes being visited and have founds TONS of old rubbed trees. Just found the first active rub the other day but it was really small....perhaps made by the spike horn we photographed...expecting many more in the weeks leading up to our Dec 2nd opening day of gun season here in Massachusetts.

We put up my buddies' two man ladder stand and I bought a Summit Goliath climber so we can move around. We have a few different locations identified for that stand. He bought a scoped .50 CVA inline that we have shooting decent groups at 100+ yards so his ladder stand overlooks the more open area while poor 'ole me with my 1187 smoothbore will be in the thicker woods. I have a Bushnell red dot for it and am now seeking a cantilever barrel mount. Having a hard time finding just the right mount....e-mail sent to Gallard co. someone was kind enough to link here. Still waiting to hear back but since I'm a shop teacher with a machine shop, I may try to make my own. I understand that the receiver saddle type present problems with accuracy and interfering with the action.

So that's my introduction; very pleased to join the site and have enjoyed all the pics and excellent advice. I hope I'm able to post a pic of my first buck in about a month.
First things, First Welcome to the forum sir, I am in the same boat as You are. However i am not so lucky with my hunting grounds, I just got 5 acres now thank to my AWESOME BROTHER! Anyways I am very very new to hunting, I am in the middle of my first year to hunting.

So hopefully you will kill that Tirdy point BUCK, and good luck sir.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by NEhomer
Thanks for the feedback folks.

uncle, I'm THIS close to dropping the cash on a rifled barrel. Thing is, we'll have this year with these prime acres left untouched but I don't know what the future will bring and how much logging, tilling, building the owner will be doing in the upcoming seasons. That's why I'm hesitant to drop coin on a whole new set-up.

Even at 50yds, the barrel and bead blot out the vitals so it's my thinking that the red dot will increase precision...esp in fading light. I have no expectation that I'll gain rifle accuracy, just a clearer view at 50 - 60 yds. It's not wing shooting so I'm not clear how target acquisition would be a problem.

Some of the advertised cantilever mounts require that they be soldered to a smooth rib and mine's not smooth. The one advertised by Gallard Industries seems to clamp nicely but I cannot get a response from them so they may not even be in business still. I have a few weeks to figure it all out still so by opening day I'll have some solid plan.
A red dot has a very small field of view is how target acquisition could be a problem. Finding a moving animal in the woods won't be easy. I have had the problem your talking about with the bead being to big. The big white bead on some rem barrels is to big. The small steel bead Ive had great luck with out to 70 yards or so.


If you buy good stuff though it will hold its value very well. You should be able to get on ebay and buy a used rifled barrel and then later if you don't need it you should be able to easily get your money back out of it.

If you take care of it a rifled 1187 barrel is as good or better than cash as long as you can swing the investment.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:10 AM
  #8  
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Ebay has a new in the box 12 Ga 1187 rifled barrel with rifle sights. Current bid is under $50. Might be worth your time to follow it and make a bid before it closes (6 days left I think).
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:26 AM
  #9  
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I have an 11-87SP with a 21" smoothbore and rifled sights. It does have a rifled choke. Never really figured out what purpose this setup was originally manufactured for (Turkey?, Deer?, waterfowl?...). Anyways, when I was looking at a rifled barrel for the gun, I chose to go with the muzzleloader instead.

About the same cost depending on model, scope cost is a wash if you want one, accuracy is about the same with arguments for either side and in Michigan, having a muzzleloader drastically extended my season. Michigan also allows the use of muzzleloaders in the shotgun only zone and did I mention it extends the season until late December! It does take a bit of range time to find a load and get comfortable with the gun, loading, etc... However, you want to put something on the wall and an extended season would help.

Last edited by Kathwacckkk; 11-06-2013 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:23 AM
  #10  
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I have an 1187 with smoothbore barrel and a rifled choke tube. I shoot a sabat just fine out of it. I've got rifle sights on it and would use that than a scope. My uncle shot my setup and set his 1187 up the same way. Everyone has their own preference and setup. As for me, I'll stay with the rifled choke tube.
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