Tuesday, December 17, 2013

First of Many

I got the call about 11am...  my buddy Greg was already at the hunting camp.  Crap.  What rifle do I take?  What ammo do I take?  I had a bunch of crap to do...  I wasn't prepared for this.  I'd promised my son we'd start our Epic Hamburger Tour today...  so that had to come first.  And of course... it did.

When I got home DrWho was giving me that.. "you better go hunting" look... the Savage 99 was sitting there...  looking...  as reliable as ever.  Well... I figured I'd throw some 150 grain soft points through it.  If it was shooting... I'd go.

Sure enough... 3 shots made 1 hole at 100 yards.   Its an inch high.  God I love that rifle.

Its Bama so its not like I hade to gear up to much. I knew it would hit the mid thirties by the time I was out of the woods so I just grabbed a decent coat and threw on my boots.  The rest of the necessaries went in the bag.  DrWho met me at the door with some cokes, some jerky, and some habenero barbeque nuts.  She's a good wife.

The plan was to be in the woods and set up by 3.   There were two big food plots we wanted to sit on... and another buddy Webb had a climber and wanted to sit on a funnel between them.  My plot was the furthest so I drove the cart and dropped Webb off at a spot where he could walk the rest of the way in... and I drove on to my shooting house.

Its a sweet setup.  I drove into the woods quite a ways... then came to a fork.  To the left takes you to the food plot itself.  To the right takes you around a thick wooded area to a walking path that leads to the back of the shooting house that looks out over the food plot.  I parked the cart by the path.. silenced my phone.. loaded 2 rounds of 150 grain winchester soft points into the rotary magazine of the 99... and started walking.  I may have made it just a bit after 3... but not much.

This is what I was looking at.



It was 3pm... 64 degrees...  and really not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

So now is a good time to say that hunting in 2013 is very different than hunting was in 1993.  This was abundantly clear to me around 30 minutes later when I get a text from Greg over on the other food plot.  "Hey man.  Doe just walked out in the back of my plot.  They are moving early "

Ever the patient sort... I texted him back, "SHOOT HER!"

But..  he didn't.

For about the next 30 minutes I was really on my game.  I glassed... nothing.  After a while I relaxed.  It was probably gonna be a long day.  No reason to push.  I settled down in the seat... put on my electronic ears and played bejewelled on the blackberry for a while.  About 4 I got another text from Greg.  "keep your eyes open.  They'll start moving soon."

The shadows kept getting longer... reaching out across the food plot.  It was tarting to really cool off now. the temp's dropped almost 15 degrees.  I put the coat on.  At 4:30 another text comes in.  "They'll be easing into the food plot now.  watch the back left and the far right!"   yeah right.

This is the 4th time I've sat out here in the afternoon on this camp and apart from the deer Jeb shot... I ain't seen squat. I texted Greg back at 4:45 "Y'all are full of shit.  Ain't no damned deer on this camp." I was so frustrated I decided to get out of the box and take a piss.  God knows how much ruckus I made.  I didn't even try to be quiet.  I was irritated.

I got back in the house... settled back down and checked the lux meter on my phone.  Its still 90 lux out there.  Plenty of light to shoot.  But the sun was definitely going down.  I didn't have a lot of time.  Defeat was sinking in I checked the meter again and it had dropped to the 40s.  I don't keep a rockstar scope on the 99... its just a little simmons 3-9X32.   I texted Greg....  "I don't know how much longer I can shoot with this scope.  Its getting dark."

Greg's sitting over there with a 50mm Zeiss scope on his weatherby 7mm-08.  He replied, "I can shoot till about 6:30."

"Yeah... you can also go to jail."

I was a little bitter.

I looked up from my phone... and there were two big doe standing in the back corner of the plot.  About 200 yards.  I could see them clearly with the naked eye... but with the scope?  Magnification was set at 6.  Was it enough?

I rested the rifle on the window of the shooting house.  The big doe picked up the movement and looked my way but she didn't move.  She was giving me a perfect broadside.  I put the cross-hairs just above and behind her shoulder.

I took the rifle down.  I texted greg.

"Big doe."

"Shoot her!"

Once more I put the rifle up.  She was still there looking at me.  The retical found the kill zone just like before.

Maybe just a hair higher.

I put my finger on the trigger.  I relaxed.  I tried to touch my nose with my trigger finger.

.223s go "crack".   .308s go "boom".

The 99 doesn't so much kick as push.  Its less like a snap and more like a shove.  I saw the deer drop though the scope.

I held the scope on the deer... but it was clear a follow up was not needed.  She was down.  Her back legs kicked once.  It was as clean a kill as you can hope for.  Custom says you wait 30 minutes before you leave the stand but it was pointless.  The 150 grain soft point had thrown her down like she'd been hit by a truck.

After approximately 90 seconds I went out to check her.  She was beautiful.  She'd been broadsiding me when I shot her.  Now she was on her side facing the back of the food plot.  There was a huge blood puddle under her... but no obvious entrance wound at all.  I felt around in her fur until I found it... right were I expected.  Just a touch high.

Greg and Webb helped get her back to the camp and we cleaned her right there in the purpose built cleaning shed.

Webb is a master... and Greg impressed me to.  Its the first time I've ever seen a Dewalt Reciprocating saw employed in butchery.  Never the less it was effective... and very tidy.

I don't know when I'm gonna get back out there.  I do have a big hunt planned in January.

Maybe I'll look into one of those fancy Zeiss rigs.   Or at least a Redfield...




66 comments:

Susan said...

Well told story Nate. Well told.

OT:
Now can you explain to me why on earth am I reading today about Southrons who are changing names of good southern named schools and parks?

It has to be the yankee invaders up to this. Jacksonville FL is changing the name of N. Bedford Forrest High School because he was a member of the KKK.

Memphis is dropping Confederate names from several public parks and such.

What is up with that Nate? Has the South no shame or sense of history any more at all?

Susan said...

When I say shame, I refer to some in the South who seem to be embarrassed about their heritage, and want to hide it. As in hanging your head in shame for being ashamed of being Southern. Does that make sense?

I love the South. It is one of the few places left in the Country where you can still feel good about living here.
If our life permitted it, my hubby and I would have moved down there long ago.

Nate said...

I can't speak for Jacksonville. I know they've been trying to get the park name changed in Memphis forever.

You have to remember that a huge percentage of the population in Memphis is actually from chicago.

And the city of memphis is something like 80% black.

and it has one of the worst public school systems in America.

Susan said...

Ah, Memphis is being overrun by Yankees fleeing Chicago. Explains a lot.

WaterBoy said...

Congrats, man. When you say "first of many", I assume that's the first in Alabama? Or a different first?

Raggededge said...

Sweet. I had mine processed into summer sausage. 1/3 regular, 1/3 Habanero and cheddar and the last 3rd with Jalapeno and Cheddar. Freaking awesome.

Nate said...

First of many in Alabama.

Nate said...

I can't believe no one is giving me shit about my $59 scope...

Raggededge said...

Let's see, you shot a deer from 200 yards in the dark and hit him where you were aiming...

I wish I could give you shit about that, but I just can't come up with anything...

Res Ipsa said...

Congrats!

Good story.

If you are thinking about spending Zeiss $$ check out the Schmidt and Bender with an A.R.T. reticle. They are nice.

Res Ipsa said...

I can't believe no one is giving me shit about my $59 scope...

It worked.

I used the same scope that came with the rifle that my dad gave me when I was 14 until the wire broke on a elk hunt in the Tetons several years ago. Then I moved up to a small Leopold. I'd love to buy better glass than my Mark IV but I can't justify the money just yet. Good glass is worth it because your eyes don't get younger and the sooner you can afford it the longer you enjoy it.

WaterBoy said...

Nate: "I can't believe no one is giving me shit about my $59 scope."

If it ain't broke....

Nate said...

You're all covetous jews...

as bad as I am...

cheddarman said...

Nate, what is this crap about rding a cart to your tree stand?

Up north, we still walk when we go places.

Aint that right, Toothy?

Next thing i know, you will say "I parked my hover round chair next to the deer blind, and took the electric elevator up to the blind, and sat in my EZ lift recliner chair sippin' on my big gulp, eating a bag of twizzlers, waiting for the deer to come into range."

sincerely

cheddarman

Russ said...

Nobody likes an optics snob. Good story.

Outlaw X said...

Excellent, 200 yard shot!

Warning do not buy a Redfield, they have gone to shit, they used to be fine scopes, but not anymore.

Zeiss or Leupold are good.

Outlaw X said...

Nate, you either have a great wife or she has a boyfriend. Heh?

Outlaw X said...

Sure enough... 3 shots made 1 hole at 100 yards. Its an inch high.

Perfect, most people don't know to sight their rifle in high at 100 yds. I prefer 1-1/4" high. makes the gun within an inch like a 308 or any fast bullet within an 1-1/2" for 300 yds in trajectory. It is a good lesson you taught.

Res Ipsa said...

cheddarman

Now that's for first rate ragg'n. Way to go!

Vidad said...

Awesome.

I've got a DeWalt reciprocating saw. I've heard of them being used for pork and beef. Makes sense it would do a deer good too.

Nice work. I love venison.

Nate said...

Outlaw.. thanks man.

As for the redfields... I dunno... I looked through a new one the other day and it was just beautiful. Stacked up well with the nikon and leupold next to it... for several hundred less.

But then again... I've been looking through a 59 dollar simmons...

Nate said...

"Up north, we still walk when we go places.

Aint that right, Toothy?"

Oh look... another fucking yankee telling us how they do it up north.

how original.

Outlaw X said...

Stacked up well with the nikon and leupold next to it... for several hundred less.


Redfield went cheap on their optics coating and you get alotof wave heat and distortion. As well you get optical illusions because of atmospheric anomalies, you don't get those with the other two. I rather have a 100 dollar Tasco than a Redfield at any price. That's saying something!

Res Ipsa said...

Nate,

If you are stuck on Redfield look at Vortex, Supersniper or Muller. I think you'll be happier.

Outlaw X said...

One other thing don't use weaver scope mounts use Leupold no matter the scope.

Outlaw X said...

If you are stuck on Redfield look at Vortex, Supersniper or Muller. I think you'll be happier.

Yes I have one they are an excellent scope, res with excellent optics and stay where you sighted them in. They are one of the brightest light scopes I have seen, but not the brightest.

Good catch Res, they are a lot cheaper and damn good.

Outlaw X said...

My Vortex scope I mean.

Nate said...

yeah. I've got my eye on a vortex.

Another thing I'm embarassed to admit.. I through a sightmark reflex sight on one of my ARs.

I'll be damned if that thing isn't rock solid... and for about 1/8th the price of a EOTech.

Nate said...

also.. pro tip:

Vortex uses zeiss glass.

Outlaw X said...

Nate

When I say use Leupold mounts as I am sure you know you just can't by the mounts only you have to buy the rail that screws into the top of your rifle.. If there is not two screw holes you just wasted you money because they don't have them. You have to buy two things, The mounts and the rail.

Outlaw X said...

Ain't no damned deer on this camp." I was so frustrated I decided to get out of the box and take a piss. God knows how much ruckus I made. I didn't even try to be quiet. I was irritated.

That is funny here s another ne. I was driving a 4WD Chevy Luv and we had a case of beer in the cooler and were throwing empty cans them in the back of the truck.

Then a norther came through and started blowing around qbout six cans of empty beer around the back of my truck.

I said we need to get them rattling bastards out. He being ten years older tan me me said deer are courios and will coe looking for te noise. I thought he was crazy but he was right. About 10 minutes later a big buck showed up and he shot high and the fur flew off his back, he got up and ran away. He thought he had him I told him to shoot again. He was right about one thing I was right about the other.

someone else killed the beer can called deer three days later, and Blue was pissed when he was told it was ripped down the back.

Res Ipsa said...

Outlaw,

I've got a super sniper and a Muller I've shot the Vortex out to about 1,400 but I don't own one. They work very good for the money. For deer hunting they will do most anything a guy wants and then some.

I gotta say though I helped with a scope eval for a magazine a couple of years back and we had all the expensive glass to use. It was great stuff and if I had the extra $3,800 to $5,000 I'd get me a real nice scope.

Outlaw X said...

Res you ever shot a Russian scope? The are the exact opposite of an American scope. I an American scope if your bullet is shooting let 1" you turn the scope a minute to the right, or 4 clicks on most. same for up and down.

But with a Russian scope if your bullet is shooting left you turn you scope to the left. An American scope compensates for the bullet, a Russian scope compensates for the scope.

I now this because I owned two night vision scopes that were Russian after the fall you could buy them cheap like 1100 dollars a the time.

Me and my brother would go out on full moon nights and kill hogs that were destroying his peanut crop. I had mine on a 243 my dad sold me for a dollar, I hated that gun though.

would have already told this on Nate's ATF show but it is not Coast to Coast with George Norry.

One night we had our radio's, CB's that my dad modified to flip a switch and talk on FM instead of AM. We were at least 600 yards apart flaking at 90 degrees along fence lines.

I was looking around and looked back at my brother aiming way over his head and saw a Basket ball sized light over the cab of his pickup. I called him on the radio and asked f he had an infrared light on and he said no.

So I looked with my eyes and there was nothing there, but when I looked through he scope there it was. I thought it a lense flare until he got out with his night vision binoculars to look and as soon as he opened the door it disappeared.

Never talked about this before, don't know what it was.

Outlaw X said...

One night after 13 hours of combining peanuts I was walking to the house und was in the same place, and heard something banging on the wheel roll irrigation pipes, and I stopped and said I am not afraid of you.

The banging immediately stopped and I walked the rest of the way to my brothers house where she (sister in law)had fixed sandwiches for us. And had cold beer in the fridge.

Nate said...

I love the Ghost Stories man... always have.

and anyone that's spend enough time outside has them.

cheddarman said...

"Oh look... another fucking yankee telling us how they do it up north.

how original." Nate

Nate, you being a son of the South and all, i thought your reply would be a little more eloquent, or even poetic. Robert E. Lee would not be impressed. Neither would Stonewall Jackson, or Nathan Bedford Forrest.

I know you can do better than that.

Sincerely,

Cheddarman

Vidad said...

"Nate, you being a son of the South and all, i thought your reply would be a little more eloquent, or even poetic. Robert E. Lee would not be impressed. Neither would Stonewall Jackson, or Nathan Bedford Forrest.

I know you can do better than that."

How about:

"You faux nacho-cheese scented Lincoln-loving cultural imperialist, with your mouse piss vials and your grandiose delusions. The most walking you ever did was on the day they gave away free Starfleet insignias at the theater next door to the Taco Bell you panhandle in front of... and even then, you were puffing so hard it took a king-size diet Pepsi and four seven-layer burritos to give you energy enough to trudge back home to your mother's basement."

Giraffe said...

I can't believe no one is giving me shit about my $59 scope...

How the hell did you find a simmmons that cost $59. You must have paid double.

Outlaw X, Redfield is now owned by Leopold. It is their entry in the cheap scope market.

I shot my only deer this year with a bow. Spine shot. You don't have to track them that way.

Giraffe said...

I can't believe no one is giving me shit about my $59 scope...

How the hell did you find a simmmons that cost $59. You must have paid double.

Outlaw X, Redfield is now owned by Leopold. It is their entry in the cheap scope market.

I shot my only deer this year with a bow. Spine shot. You don't have to track them that way.

cheddarman said...

That was good Vidad.

Although, for the record, i am a copperhead.

sincerely

cheddarman

WaterBoy said...

Congrats, Giraffe!

Now, did anybody have any success this year with a blowgun? Spear? Atlatl?

Can you even get a license for hunting with primitive weapons, or do they fall under the same category as a bow?

Nate said...

My buddy killed a hog with a spear.

does that count?

Giraffe said...

Not here.

Our "primitive" seasons consist of archery, (crossbows excluded), and a season for muzzle loaders.

WaterBoy said...

Found this, and am posting a few selected states:

State Hunting laws concerning the atlatl and dart

Alabama: The use of an atlatl to throw a spear is permitted. The regulation only requires the spear to be hand thrown.

Colorado: Thank you for taking the time to research the legal use of atlatls in Colorado prior to venturing into the field on a hunting trip here. The atlatl is not a legal method of take for nearly every species of game or fish in Colorado. Our hunting and fishing regulations state that only those methods of take specifically authorized by regulation or statute are allowed in Colorado. The atlatl is not specifically listed and is, therefore, not legal as a hunting weapon in Colorado.
[Figures that Colorado would get so wordy about it]

Florida: The only legal methods of taking game in Florida are rifles, shotguns, pistols, longbows, compound bows, recurve bows, crossbows and birds of prey. I checked with my Law Enforcement officers and they are familiar with the atlatl, but it cannot be used legally in the state.
[You can hunt with a falcon, but not a spear? WTF?]

Ohio: No, it is not legal to fish with an atlatl in Ohio. There are no plans to change this rule. Thank you.
[Nothing about hunting, though]

*Wyoming: unavailable

Nate said...

Alabama is clearly more badass than other states.

Giraffe said...

My buddy killed a hog with a spear.

does that count?


Counts in my book.

There is a youtube of Jared Allen, of MN Vikings fame, killing an elk with a spear. I have never watched the video. I'm pretty certain this happed on a game farm.

We can only legally spear fish in SD.

Nate said...

I've told the story a bunch of times... but up in TN on the plateau there was an old redneck preacher that hunted wild hogs with a knife.

Crazy son of a bitch would literally walk up behind them while they were winding... jump on their backs and slit their throats.

He said he knew he'd die that way... but figured it was to fun to stop.

He was in his 70s at the time.

WaterBoy said...

Nate: "My buddy killed a hog with a spear. does that count?"

Yes. I know that many people hunt with primitive weapons, I'm just trying to get an idea of a percentage from a small sample, here, and where it's legal to do so.

Looking at the responses to the atlatl question on that website seems to indicate there are only a handful of places where you can get a license for it. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't still go ahead and do it, just that there are consequences if you get caught.

Nate said...

if you're hung up on spear hunting sure.

Axe or Knife?

hell you're not hunting. You're just enjoying the woods.

A game warden sees you kill a boar with a knife... he's not gonna call it hunting.

He's gonna call it self defense... or attempted suicide.

Nate said...

I just think its weird that anyone is looking for permission to do something like that.

if you want to do.

Do it.

fuck 'em.

WaterBoy said...

Now, this is interesting:

Oregon: The atlatl can not be used to harvest game fish in the State of Oregon. It is also not a legal weapon to harvest game animals. However, it could be used to hunt “predatory” animals in the State of Oregon such as coyote, rabbit, feral pig and exotic sheep.

What the heck is an "exotic sheep"? Does that have, like, rainbow-hued wool, or something?

And exactly how is it "predatory"? Now I'm picturing a cross between Dolly and the Predator that fought Arnie.

Giraffe said...

I agree Nate.

I have never had the desire to hunt with a spear. Not since I was about ten anyway, and made one with a stick and a piece of deer bone. Some smartass at my dad's work even sharpened up the bone on the bench grinder. (maybe even was my dad, I don't remember).

WaterBoy said...

Nate: "I just think its weird that anyone is looking for permission to do something like that."

Knowing what the laws are and actually following them are two different things.

Nate said...

"Knowing what the laws are and actually following them are two different things."

Granted.

It just never occurred to me that any of that would be illegal.

And I would likely mock the shit out of any game warden that tried to enforce such laws.

Giraffe said...

What kind of scope do you put on a atlatl?

Simmons?

WaterBoy said...

Nate: "It just never occurred to me that any of that would be illegal."

Agreed. I would love to hear the rationale behind abolishing such weapons. It might be tied to the risk of non-lethal hits leading to wounded animals running around the countryside, but the same problem exists with firearms and bows, too.

WaterBoy said...

Giraffe: "What kind of scope do you put on a atlatl?"

Bausch & Lomb, on the user.

Giraffe said...

It might be tied to the risk of non-lethal hits leading to wounded animals running around the countryside, but the same problem exists with firearms and bows, too.

It is definitely tied to that. Rifles allow quick follow up shots. Bows can and do wound game when used carelessly, but I've lost more deer with a rifle.

The deer I got this year was standing broadside. Whether he heard the bowstring slap my jacket or whether he just took off because I stood up I don't know. But he spun over 90 degrees from the time I released till the arrow got there. The arrow hit him in the neck and he went down like a sack of bricks. It was luck that I didn't wound it and have it run off.

That is with an arrow moving about 250 feet per second.

You can see you'd have to be very close and the animal completely unaware you are there, or bayed by dogs or something.

Res Ipsa said...

What the heck is an "exotic sheep"?

Any imported non native species i.e. not a bighorn. Normally they are on game farms but if they get off anyone can kill them because they are not a domestic or native animal.

Outlaw,

I've not spent a lot of time with the Russian or night vision stuff. Good ghost story.

WaterBoy said...

Res Ipsa: "Any imported non native species i.e. not a bighorn. "

Damn, forgot the "bah-dum tish" again. :)

Res Ipsa said...

WB,

Here are some examples for you.

Outlaw X said...

Nate you have some of the most intelligent readers.

Nate said...

straight up smart ass though Outlaw... ever damned one.

Vidad said...

@cheddarman

Yep. I knew you were alright.

BTW, put two "fire" sauces on your seven-layer burritos. They always need it.

cheddarman said...

straight up smart ass though Outlaw... ever damned one - especially the damn yankees

cheddarman said...

but all of these smart asses, damn yankees included, would have your back, Nate

sincerely

cheddarman