Deer Hunt

This wasn't just the first deer with my 500, or even the first with a handgun; it was my first deer ever. Using a load I worked up with a cast bullet of my own design made it even more special. The load consisted of a 500 gr. LFN over 18 grains of Blue Dot in a Starline case capped with a WLR primer. Velocity is 1000 fps. The hunt didn't play out exactly as I would have hoped, but given all of the above I hope a little 'buck fever' can be forgiven.

I left the house early on opening morning and headed for a big patch of woods on the back side of the farm. I didn't have a stand up, so I found a good spot where I could lean up against a big oak tree and watch in several directions.

Before the sun even came up, a doe hopped the fence about 75 yards in front of me, angled off to my left and paused. While I was deciding whether or not to shoot, I heard a grunt. A few minutes later, this buck jumped the fence at the same spot and stopped, looking back and forth from the doe to me. I shot and missed him cleanly. The shot didn't spook him, and he started following the doe. When he was about 50 yards from me, standing between two large trees, he stopped, again looking back and forth. When he looked away I maneuvered myself so there was a tree between me and his head, put the front site on his shoulder, and squeezed.

At the shot, he went down hard, disappearing behind one of the trees. I heard very little commotion and assumed he was well-hit. I decided to wait 5 or 10 minutes before following up.

When I went to follow up, he had moved more than I thought -- my shot hadn't been as good as I first believed. He had worked his way to the fencerow, but couldn't stand to jump over. Coming up from behind, I could see lots of blood under his back end and thought I had gut-shot him. The brush was thick, and I ended up pushing him a ways up the fencerow before I was presented with a shot. A shot to the neck just missed the spine, but seemed to stun him. I worked a little closer, and one more shot at the base of the skull finished him. On further inspection, the first shot had broken the left leg just below the hip, shot off his genitals (the source of the copious amount of blood,) and gone in and out of the right thigh (entrance and exit wounds only an inch apart.)

No bullets were recovered, though I didn't find an exit wound from the last shot.


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