Sunday, January 29, 2012

Doe Tagging

Once more to Clarksville to shoot doetags at my very generous friends ranch. Wornderful country up there. Dark nights and quite a spread. This trip we had it all to ourselves, ourselves being Dr. Sneed, Katie and I. Packed the dog along for good measure. I took my Remington 700 in .308, an AR15 carbine with night vision capability and a .22 cal scoped Remington 40X for a little fun plinking. The first evening Katie and I got into one of the great, new and comfortable towers and had 15 deer, does and fawns swarming around about 30 minutes later. Our cellphones work so we were surfing the net and texting friends while we spotted. Lucie was along and went to the blind. She doesn't mind where she is as long as she has us. I sorted out the several largest does and headshot one as they edged around the field toward the feeder. I'm shooting Sierra 130 GameKings with 44 grains of Varget under them in LC Match Cases. That's the low and slow end of the loading chart. Just need a little 200 yard gun at the most. Headshooting to make the butchering simple. It worked. We loaded it up and headed in. Dr. Sneed was hunting a few shot fields over but got skunked. Nice 108 live weight doe. Lucie was very excited about seeing a big dead animal but not very tolerant of Dr. Sneed around it. Usually she naps with him, so go figure.

Venison Chili the hard way.

We had a 39 degree night so I let her hang after field-dressing.

The next morning we were out early. I had turkeys, five toms and then eight hens on the feeder. Got quite a turkeyfest going as the toms began strutting and fanning their feathers. I jumped deer going in, seven in all, but didn't see any after it got light. Sneed sat where we had been covered up the night before and didn't see one thing. Typical deerhunting. The five toms were on the feeder when Katie and Lucie hiked down to get us. After lunch we shot a bit with the .22 just to get a little trigger time. I had an unzeroed scope on a Remington 40X, (CMP rifle). Shot pretty well with some S&B .22 that I just bought for blasting and kid shooting. I've shot it with metallic sights in prone matches with Wolf Match target and it shoots even better. Put a cheap BSA Platinum 8-32 scope, (four stars in Midway reviews, 100 bucks.), and got it dialed in at 97 yards on some paper. Perfect weather.

Sneed had been slightly poisoned by the downtown italian place in Clarksville the night before so we had dinner at Cowboy and Captains, kind of a roadside/garage sale/antique/gourmet/retro/mud lunch/fish/BBQ/steak place. Two thumbs.

The Good Doctor Sneed with a death grip on my 40X.

Katie and Lucie in the stand.

Saturday evening we went out and Katie, Lucie and I got in the White Oak Stand, a little box sitting on the side of a ranch road. Five turkey toms came out and Katie got to watch them. Two dogs walked down the road behind us. The dogs never saw the toms but the toms saw the dogs and went into their head-up alert status, then beat it for cover. The feeder went off and we were just about to get disappointed when we heard Sneed shoot once. We loaded up to go assist as the light was dropping off. Sneed had a nice doe down.

Boxed doe.

Sneed and I dragged his deer up and Lucie bit him the whole way. For some reason, she thinks she owns all the dead deer. Lots of cutting and hacking ensued and then we went to dinner in Clarksville.

This morning we all sat out and watched a bit. 26 degrees and the fields were frosty. Everyone saw deer but we weren't shooting, though a real cull buck came through where we were: big heavy crab-claw antlers, four points only. Needed shooting. Katie and Lucie and I got to see a real crowd, about 17 deer milling through. The big does were sorting out their pecking order and everyone else was staying out of their way. All the little ones were keeping an eye on the bucks that came through. Fun to watch.

Folded up the baggage, swept the house and headed back to Tyler.

Impatient dog waiting on more deer.

New roadside shrine at Annona.

I did get to shoot my rifle a bit.


Anonymous said...

I have one of those CMP 40X rifles. Put a big Simmons variable on it.
Shot it in .22 benchrest matches for
a while.
Used to shoot Remington and Winchester .22s that were lighter but real similar in JROTC rifle team in high school

Very accurate and like Wolf Match Target.

Robert Langham said...

Gorgeous old rifles. Had a 52D I just sold and sold a H&R 12 as well. One more M12 to sell.

Old NFO said...

Good times!