Monday, February 11, 2013

Last doe tags of 2012-3.

  The Good Doctor and I wanted to make one last run to Clarksville to try and down a few more does.  The Managed Land Permits are good until the end of the month but my schedule is shot after this weekend.  Saturday morning we rolled north in 52 degree weather and cloudy skies in Sneeds Explorer.

1903A4 Springfield 30-06.

  I was packing my new, 100-year-old Swede Carbine in 6.5X55 and Justin Burns gorgeous 1903 scoped Springfield 1903A4 that he built for the Sniper Match at Camp Perry.  (Burns is in London making money for a few years so I'm entertaining his rifle.)  I haven't killed a deer with the gun though it has made the trip before.  Just got the Swede out of an estate after years of wanting one.

Big Oak near the tower with powerline crossing the background.  Tower to left and South, feeder to right and North up the powerline.

  When we got to the camp house at the ranch I turned on the water, the heat, the hot water and sat down to shoot a couple rounds out of each rifle.  They were both close enough to kill deer with so off we went as it began to sprinkle.  When I got to my tower the skies were darkening and beginning to rumble.  Tower is snug so I was willing to sit out a storm.  Carried the 1903 full of HXP Greek CMP FMJs from 1972.  If they are good enough to shoot commies off the acropolis they are good enough to zap a few doetags.  The rain began to beat a little tune on the aluminum roof as I watched the treeline and ate various snacky stuff out of my range bag.  Little dill pickles.  Apricots.  A pecan spinner.  Old fritos.  At 4:50 five does started crossing my back window that covers a powerline and after looking them over with binocs and picking out a likely victim I slid the plexiglass back and eased the Springfield out.  The old scope isn't that sharp but you can see the post clearly.  Nothing to the shot.  Had a pretty good relaxed sitting natural point of aim with my back against the wall and was resting the rifle on the window sill.  Justin has a nice trigger on this old rifle so I held the sight picture and got the trigger started.  All the noise would be outside the little window and when you are actually shooting at a live target there isn't any recoil.  I had to hold up just a few seconds while another doe crossed behind the one I had squared up for a shoulder shot.  As soon as she was clear the trigger broke, my deer spun and went in the woodline followed by another right behind her.  The last straggler followed a few seconds after and then the scene was empty except for rain and some wet woods.

  I looked at my iphone.  4:53 PM.

Justin Burn's rifle in the tower.  Tape on the triggerguard is from being weighed for trigger pull at Camp Perry.

  At 5:03 I opened the door and went down the ladder, leaving the rifle and everything else in the tower.  No point in having to dry out Justin's gun.  I'd noted where the doe was when the shot broke, and exactly where she went into the woods.  I headed for the shooting spot and found deep hoofprints.  I turned and followed them into the woods expecting any moment to pick up a nice bright blood trail or see a white belly shining.  Nothing.  I'm a very good tracker and blood trail guy, even in dim light.  The light was pretty good and the rain light, but after 45 minutes of searching I couldn't find a thing.  No blood.  No more prints after the first few.  No hair cut by a bullet.  No bullet gouge uprange.  No blown out tissue off what looked to be a standard 60-yard broadside shot.  I'd held low, (but not off the body), knowing that the bullet would be above the post a bit.

  I got BACK in the tower, looked things over and then got back down.  Never found one clue.  Was soaked through the jacket by the time I gave it up in the dusk and headed home.

Pretty impressionistic by the time I drove back to the ranch house.

The good doctor and I gave it one more look the next morning, really sweeping the place after the  The rain would have taken all the sign but we were looking for a body or buzzards or some combination thereof.  Not a thing.

  Home emptyhanded. No deer is ever wasted: Coyotes have to eat but that's the end of deerhunting for 2012-13 season.

Next year's rifles:  An Arisaka 7.7 and a Swede Carbine.  I've shot deer with an Arisaka T44 in 6.5X50 and with a Swede M38 but not with these two.  Plus, if Justin doesn't get transfered back, there's the 1903.


Anonymous said...

I thought hunting deer with FMJ was illegal or a bad idea. Don't they just go straight through the deer and injure them instead of killing them?

Robert Langham said...

Nope. They do a pretty dang good job. Legal in Texas.

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