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never assume you missed once you shoot

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never assume you missed once you shoot

Old 11-11-2019, 07:43 AM
  #1  
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Default never assume you missed once you shoot

I was on a recent hunt with a younger guy , Allen (about 19-20) that had never yet hunted using a muzzle loading rifle ,
Im 71 so Ive spent a few decades in the field with my 62 caliber hawken replica ,
he had purchased a TC 54 caliber hawken replica, after playing with my rifle for several weeks at the range
he had spent most of the summer getting proficient in its usage and sighting it in, he had settled on use of a 230 grain speer lead round ball,
over 80 grains of 2f black powder with a cotton ball wad over a charge of powder separating the well lubed patch from the powder.
3" 3 shot groups were rather common off the bench rest at 100 yards.
https://myfwc.com/hunting/no-quota-permit-hunting/
we had located a dense stand of florida oak and were seated with our backs to a large oak each of us watching about a 130 degree angle of the surrounding brush,
visual limits were less than 80 yards max, in most directions,
but several game trails crossed near our location, I was far more interested in seeing him score than in getting anything personally.
we had reached our location and settled in to watch at about 6 am, in the dark, by about 7:00 am it was rather obvious,
that there were other hunters as we could hear people occasionally talking in several directions. I was not thrilled, with the human traffic increase as the sun came up,
but I assumed there was nothing I could do but sit and watch.
at about 8:12 am a couple does nervously trotted by seeming unconcerned with the distant conversations, at about 8:20 I nudged Allen as an average 4 point buck showed
the range was about 75 yards and there were several trees in between us and the deer making the shot rather difficult as only intermittent shots were available,
Allen slowly spotted the buck and adjusted his position to use his rifle, after what to me seemed several minutes , but was probably 40 seconds,he fired,
he stood and quickly reloaded, then asked me which way the buck he just missed ran?
I was a bit confused....the buck had dropped instantly....I told him he had dropped the deer.....
.he insisted he had seen, and watched its bouncing white tail exiting the area.
I got him up and we walked over to a reasonably nice deer, Allen was totally amazed as he was sure he had missed.
he swore he missed, he assured me he would never have considered he scored as he had seen the deer run, off as if unharmed.
I assured him the deer he had seen exiting the area must have been one of the does.
his patched round ball had passed high behind the shoulder and impacted the lower spine and was found looking like a 50 cent piece under the hide on the far side.
Allen had his first deer and I showed him how to field dress it before we carried it to the check out station at the wma.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 11-11-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:48 AM
  #2  
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Good story, and good for Allen

Interestingly, that's what I always think after I shoot (and see the deer take off) - "damn it, I missed!" ha ha.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:54 AM
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I can't think of any I have shot with either bow or rifle/ shotgun or BP that I didn't know I hit it. Good story HC and congrats to Allen on a nice deer.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:31 PM
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Round balls shot from front stuffers do not expand in a torso unless it hits bone. And when it does hit a bone (minus the ribs), it'll cause the round ball to lack in penetration because of it's "pie plate expansion."
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:49 PM
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I never hunted with a patched round ball but have done a lot of target shooting with my 54 stuffed that way. Real cheap way to target shoot especially using loose powder. That smack when it hits the target is pretty easy to hear. Big chunk of lead going into an animal though and I know lots of trad guys use that set up for elk.

Last edited by Champlain Islander; 11-11-2019 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:11 PM
  #6  
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I have taken deer with 50 caliber round balls from a flintlock and once again Erno doesn't know what he is talking about.
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Old 11-11-2019, 05:40 PM
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Whenever I take a shot I never just assume that I had missed. I always go to where it was and start checking for hair or blood. I will follow it for a ways just to make sure if it was a hit or miss. At times they can go a little ways before they start leaking any blood.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:53 AM
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Yup, you always got to look. Even if you're sure you missed, you just never know.

I was hunting one time and had two does walk in. Lined up with the 30-06 and bang. Of course I can't see after the recoil and then I see two does run up the hill and stand there watching for 3 to 4 minutes. I was like, WTH, how could I miss at 50 yards. Forget the wait time and walk right over and look for sign. There is a dead doe right where I shot. Apparently, mine fell right over before I could recover and see it and another unseen doe was bedded in the tall grass already that I didn't know about. If I wouldn't have looked I would have wasted her, or feed a lot of wood critters.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:17 AM
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Any ethical hunter would always check to see if their round has connected with their target. I have spent several hours walking in circles around an area where I fired at game. Agree tgat often animals will travel distance before dropping blood on the ground.
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Old 11-17-2019, 03:57 PM
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It was my own "Thought I missed" moment in 2017 that made me switch to .338 Federal from .308 Winchester for bears.

Shot a bear around 30-40 yards. It ran off, no death moan. When the guide came in, we found no blood at all. Turns out the bear only went about 20-30 yards. The shot took the top of the heart off - plenty of blood in the animal, none on the ground. But if we couldn't see the bear itself, we would have never found it as there was no blood trail. I decided I wanted bigger holes.
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