Friday, November 15, 2013

Rituals and Rights of Passage

Its a big day.   Today is the start of Alabama's youth hunting weekend... and my oldest son's first deer hunt.  We've got a fantastic spot.  Big food plot with so much deer sign it makes you wonder if we aren't feeding the deer population of half the county.  On wednesday we came to scout and when we drove up in the afternoon there were 7 deer and 14 turkeys in the plot.

I know there is debate over the viability of the .223 as a deer round... but I find those that disapprove have generally never used one for such... and the only stories they've heard came from their grand-dad in the 70s.

Bullets technology has changed.  Winchester Ballistic silvertips for example...  55 grains... 3200 fps.  An inch after impact they've expanded to half and inch in diameter.  So basicly you're blowing a .50 caliber hole through the heart and lungs.  The fact is... inside 150 yards.. a well placed .223 will drop a deer just fine.  And that's what Jeb will be shooting today.  Now... odds are we're gonna be on the does today... and the deer down here in lower Alabama aren't like the deer up in TN or KY...  they are little like West Virginia deer.  I mean the biggest deer down here that the old timers even know about being shot was 290 pounds.  Contrast this with Michigan deer that are known to be upwards of 400.  Plus we'll be shooting around 70 to 100 yards.


If Jeb gets one there are all kinds of rituals out there.  Prayer obviously...  and in the old days ya tasted the animal's blood.  Down here its tradition to use the blood like war paint on the shooter's face.

Ok kids...  let's hear your First Kill stories.


rained out.  It poured on us all day long... and of course...  20 minutes after we head back to camp it stops raining...  and the deer all come out.   I hate deer.   Man do I hate deer.   The wasn't totally lost...  Jeb did kill the hell out of an armadillo just for spite.  Good shot.  Blew it to hell and gone.

 Back at it tomorrow.


Vidad said...

I never went hunting, but I did cap a tied-up goat in the back of the head with my 9. Does that count?

Nate said...


city boy.

Susan said...

Very important rite of passage. I hope your boy gets himself a big one.

Are you going to go for one of those turkeys for the holiday dinner this month? To be fair, I have heard opinions on both sides of the argument: store/farm bought vs hunting/wild. Which do you favor domestic or wild?

Res Ipsa said...

Good luck Jeb!

My first deer was a button buck at about 65 yards, give or take. I shot it on my grandparents farm. I used my 30-06 150 grain Winchester bullets, probably bought at K-Mart. It was cold as heck, well below zero and I had it dressed out and hung up in the garage in less than an hour.

I have no idea how many critters I've killed since that first one. Mostly I've used the 06. I've done a few in with handguns and other rifles over the years. Most though I still take out the rifle my dad gave me when I was 15.

Shooting a .223 on large game is illegal in many states. Most places at least a 243 is required. I have no doubt that I could kill anything up to a griz with a 223. If I was I'd at least used a 72 to 77 grain bullet not a varmint load. That said its not my first choice. I like a bigger bullet at least 105 grains because sometimes you are shooting through a shoulder at a quartering angle, and a light bullet can be deflected into a non lethal spot.

Vidad said...

Show tonight?

cheddarman said...

No good kill stories, biggest thing i ever shot was a rabbit in the back yard in suburbia with a 22

God bless you on your hunt, and may he bless you this day or the next, Jeb!



Russ said...

I chopped a wild rabbit in twain with a tomahawk while it was trying to get away.

trk said...

Never hunted deer. Growing up on our farm we did a ton of dove and quail hunting. Sept 1st was like a holiday to me. Start of dove season. My fav memories are waiting under some oak trees around dusk and shooting doves as they flew from neighbors massive corn fields to roost w my single shot 20 gauge. That and chewing gold rush or red man tobacco as we waited. I was around 13. I preferred the gold rush.

Giraffe said...

I told my first rifle deer story here before.

My first bow deer. I was 13 or 14. I went hunting most of the time with my friend, but for some reason he wasn't going. We had been using a couple tree stands about a hundred yards apart. He had gotten a shot or two at deer but i hadn't.

I was hunting in a big crick bottom that was a couple hundred yards wide, but where my stand was it choked down to maybe 75 yards with steep sides.

I blew on my grunt call. I heard something, but I thought it was probably a squirrel. A minute later, I saw him sneaking in behind some trees. He came walking right down the trail towards me. I pulled the bow when he was behind a bush. He walked up and stopped about 5 yards away. I was already concentrating on his shoulder so when he stopped I released. He took off with my arrow sticking out. I watched him hit a tree with the arrow as he passed it.

I got down and started tracking. Pretty easy. When I got around the hill, I couldn't see him. He should have been there. He had fallen into an old dugout foundation a few feet deep that was ringed with rocks. A couple years later I shot another deer that ended up about five feet away on the edge of the same hole.

It was a small buck, three points on each side. Somehow I lost the horns. Would be nice to have them now.

Anonymous said...

I just gave up deer hunting here close to DeeCee, too many dang people out in the woods with their brand new Walmart 300 WinMag that they've never shot before. But now that I have a place out in the sticks... I shot a deer last week, in my front yard, with a .22 long rifle. Head shot from about 30 yards. I'm thinking that's the way to do it. I put out a bait pile of corn, sprinkled with a little deer cocaine, and I just sit on my porch and drink beer until one that I like shows up (or more properly, don't like), pop it in the head with the .22, and that's it. The only problem with that approach is that all those deer hanging around kinda scared my daughter when she took the trash out at night.