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Tasunkawitko’s 2006 Deer Hunting Diary

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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aka The Gipper

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Chinook Montana
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    Posted: 22 August 2007 at 03:52

following is a record of my 2006 hunt with two of my boys, mike and bill. it is significant in that they both bagged their first deer (including a very nice buck for mike) and i made what is probably my best shot so far, all within seconds of each other. most of you ahve alread ready this, but replies of course are welcome.

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the sunday of veterans day has always been pretty darn good to me when it comes to hunting. today was no exception!

ok, here it is, from beginning to end. as dakotasin says, this might take a few minutes, get a cup of coffee if you want.

we set the alarm for 6:30 this morning, but in the normal course of chaos in our house, we left exactly at 8am. the group consisted of myself, my 14-yr old mike, and my 12 yr-old billy. this was mike's 2nd year of hunting, but he got nothing last year due to a couple of missed opportunities. it was billy's first year. two weeks before he had taken a shot at a small doe, but buck fever resulted in a missed opportunity. normally, we had been taking my 16-yr old, josef, but his tag was destroyed in the laundry friday. we're going to see this week about replacing it. we'd also been taking my 4-yr old, roger, along for the ride and the experience, but decided to leave him sleeping this morning.

equipment - billy had a marlin m336 in .30/30 with simmons 44mag 2-7x44mm scope. on a personal note, this rifle was sold to me at a very nice price by rob1; the scope came from pocketnavy, also with a price tag that can only be called "extremely fair." ammunition was factory: 150-grain winchester with power-point bullets.

micheal had a savage m110 in .280 remington, rebarrelled with a (?) barrel and with a very beautiful stock done by rob1. once again, this rifle came to us from him and we can't thank him enough! the scope is a bushnell (?) 3-9x40mm scope. ammunition was factory: 140-grain remington with core-loct bullets.

i was carrying a cz m550 american in 7x57mm. this didn't come from a BSB member, but fiftydriver sighted it in for me 2 years ago when i was having some real problems with it, and as you will see below, it is still dead on! the scope is a (highly-recommended) sightron s1 3-9x40mm. ammunition was factory: 145-grain winchester ammunition with power point bullets.

we also had an assortment of knives: 2 schrade sharpfingers, a buck fixed blade that i got from chikee and TrainDriver a few years ago, a buck folding blade that i got from dakotasin last year, an m4 bayonet (laugh if you will, but it proved quite useful later) and a k-bar that i got from hardcorps a few years ago; survival and first aid kits, and all the other normal components of a hunting trip, stowed away in a bin in the back of a 1977 heavy-duty 2-wheel drive pickup (350CID, 4spd manual).

so as i said, we started out at 0800. three miles later we were driving past my parent's house, and a mile later we were driving down into the extremely large coulee that we hunt that is bisected by a gravel county road - about three mile east and another three west, between a quarter mile and three quarters of a mile wide across the top, depending where you are.

here's a google earth shot of where we were hunting:

on this day, the bulk of the hunting was done in the coulee running along the north of the shot, and also in the farmland/fields to the south.

having seen deer on the western side yesterday, we drove across the top of on an old farm trail about a mile and a half west and dropped mike off where another coulee came in from the south (chokecherry coulee). the plan was that he would walk about 400 yards to the mouth of chokecherry coulee where it joins the main coulee and head toward the middle (where the road is. bill and i planned to go back to the road where it crosses the middle and work our way down the main coulee, meeting mike somewhere in between.

to sum it up, we're working west down the main coulee, mike is working down the mouth of chokecherry coulee to the junction, then east up the main coulee. we figured there would be deer in between.

so billy and i were about a third of the way to the junction when we spotted a small herd of deer (i am sure there were six, billy says there were five) sitting on the side of the coulee, looking at us without a care in the world (very light hunting pressure - there had been no one there since we were there 2 weeks ago). no antlers, but at least one good doe, probably two. since i tend to get nervous this far into the season, i decided to take a doe.

since they were laying down, i told billy that i would attempt a shot and then, knowing that they tend to stand up and look around for a few seconds before running off. i told him to pick one out and then when i shot mine, he should be able to get a good, standing, broadside shot. since he had a .30/30, i told him to aim about the top of the back. as many of you know, i am not a proponent of head shots, but the way they were lying down, i saw no other choice. i took careful aim at the head of the doe and squeezed off a shot.

i thought i missed because i saw nothing after the recoil. they stood up and looked at us, so i told billy to go ahead and shoot, since i wanted to make sure he had a chance at a deer. billy touched off a shot and i saw a smaller deer hit the ground, get up, try to climb the side of the coulee, then flop over, no longer moving. our rifle shots echoed through the coulee.

when billy and i got up the side of the coulee (i'm not going to exaggerate or guess the exact distance, but it was somewhere between 200 and 225 yards), we were treated to a pleasant surprise. billy's deer, a small male born this spring (no spots, thankfully!) was dead as could be, and i had a doe (probably 2 or 3 years old), probably his mother or aunt, missing the top of her skull. i had hit her on one side of the head and emptied out the other side. this is where i had aimed but she had dropped so fast i hadn't seen her go down and assumed that i had missed and she was one of the deer i saw standing up and milling about. we dragged them down a bit to a flatter spot, where i proceeded to teach billy how to field-dress his deer. i normally don't slit throats of deer, but since my doe was not a chest shot, i opened her up and quite a bit of blood ran down the hill.

while we were doing this, mike came strolling up with a very large grin on his face, reporting that he had gotten a 4-point (that's an EIGHT point for you easterners!!). at first we thought he was joking, partially because we had only seen does and forkhorns for most of the season, but mostly because we hadn't heard a shot! as it turns out, he got his buck at the same time we killed ours, and he remembered hearing our shots a couple of seconds after he fired. what we had thought were echoes was micheal getting his first deer, and what a deer it was!

so when we got our deer loaded and went to get mike's buck, i was suitably impressed. a fine, mature buck with decent spread for this area (i'll measure later) and a very large body. i can't tell for sure, but the thing is bigger than both mike and billy and just guessing i would say that he's at least 200 lbs, maybe even getting close to 250. if i get the chance, i'll see if i can get a better guess or even an accurate dressed-out weight. looking at where he was when he shot and where the buck dropped, it was at least 250 yards, and could have been close to 275. certainly a good shot! the amazing thing is that he never even got out of chokecherry coulee. he shot his deer near the junction with the main coulee and said that at least 4 smaller bucks (forkhorns and 3-points) stood up and ran off.

it is worth noting that when mike first saw the buck, it was quartering toward him. many people would have attempted the shot and probably done just fine, but mike, as i had taught, watched and waited a few seconds (in spite of what must have been obvious excitement at seeing such a nice animal) and sure enough, the buck turned broadside. mike aimed at the heart/lung area, and the bullet actually hit a bit forward, dropping him with a shot to the base of the neck. i am not sure, but i think the bullet might still be in there. i'll find out and report.

so, three one-shot kills, all within seconds of each other, plus a first deer for two of my boys, including a deer that is not quite a pig, but certainly a big 'un!

pictures - pardon the "meat shots." quite a bit of time passed while i taught them about field dressing, and by the time we got back to my parents' place and the camera, rigor was starting to set in. by the way, that bayonet was great for splitting the sternum of that buck! i learned about 5 years ago not to split the pelvis, which for me caused more problems than it solved.

here's mike with his buck, the bucks up here aren't very wide, butv the good thing about this one is that they aren't pinced together like many up here tend to be. a good, mature buck. and pretty damn fat!



this boy has been eating grain and alfalfa all his life, and is going to taste wonderful, even though the rut is beginning up here, judging from the neck and way his legs were wet with musk.



here are my two middle boys with their first deer; mike on the left and billy on the right, with my doe in-between. she is about the same size as one i had gotten with rob1 2 years ago, which we judged to be probably 160 pounds. the buck is much, much bigger, hence my guess of 200 or a little over 200.



call me a very proud dad today!

as i wrote above, a lot of our equipment came from fellow BSBs. we can't thank you guys enough for everything, and these kills are dedicated to all of you for your assistance!



Edited by TasunkaWitko
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bambifever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 November 2008 at 16:31

I was there.



Edited by bambifever
Bill

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