USA: Half-mile shot downs deer on Montana hunt
on 2011/1/24 13:48:50 (9 reads) ust before dusk across an open range at just under a half mile a 275-pound mule deer would be a speck on the horizon to the unaided eye. But through a Huskama scope Gary Patrick put the crosshairs on the deer’s shoulder and squeezed the trigger on the Remington Sandaro 7m ultramag rifle. Gary, and the rest of the party hunting on a Montana ranch, saw the deer fall, then heard the sound of the bullet impacting the deer.
It was a 20-minute uphill walk over rugged terrain to get to the deer.
It was the longest shot Gary, from Exeter, ever made in his hunting career. A veteran Pennsylvania Whitetail hunter, where typically deer are taken in wooded areas at 100 yards or less, the trip to Montana in November was his first experience with long-distance open-range hunting.
Gary was with a party of five other hunters. As it was for Gary, the trip was a first for Sherman Mead Sr., Exeter and Bill Parliman, Lehighton. They were invited by Jeremy Lumley, West Pittston; Sherman Mead Jr., Pittston; and Tim Sarnak, Exeter who had been hunting on the Montana ranch for years.
On the first day out a herd of deer were spotted with binoculars and scopes a long distance across the range. Without cover the hunters had to stalk to get as close possible without being seen or scented by the deer.
Gary described what happened. “Sherm Sr., Sherm Jr., and Bill went for the stalk. They managed to get within 300 yards and Sherm Sr. bagged himself a nice four-by-four using a 7m mag.”
Four-by-four or 4x4 describes a mule deer buck with an eight-point rack with four points on each antler. Gary’s deer was a 5x4.
On the second day there were a lot of mule deer buck spotted in the morning but the hunters could not get close enough. Or when they did bucks were too small or they were on the move chasing doe because of the rut. That second day they also saw a doe chasing a coyote while a bald eagle flew over head.
Later that afternoon around 4 o’clock Sherm Jr. and Bill walked up from the east to where Gary, Jeremy and Tim were using high power binoculars and spotting scopes to try and spot more deer.
Sherm and Bill said back the way they came from there was a big buck with two doe. They guessed it was too far away to shoot and figured there was not enough daylight to stalk any closer.
Jeremy had an idea. “I have the gun for long yardage, let’s go check it out.” Jeremy, Gary, Sherm and Bill went back to the spot, laid down, setup the spotting scopes and ranged the buck at 700 yards up hill. Jeremy gave his Remington Sandaro 7m ultramag with a Huskama scope to Gary. As Gary setup the gun and bipod Sherm and Bill were on the spotting scope keeping the buck in sight. Jeremy had a range finder and the wind detector and gave Gary readings so he could dial in the scope. When Jeremy gave the okay, Gary put the crosshairs on the buck’s shoulder and squeezed a round off with the hair trigger.
Then as Gary hiked to the deer, the group went back to the ranch for the quads. In the distance they could hear Gary scream when he finally got to where the buck was down.
Jeremy never shot a deer that far with his gun but he came close a couple days later when he bagged a 4x4 buck at 680 yards. The other three men were also successful. Sherm Jr. bagged a 4x3 at 350 yards with a Winchester SM, Tim bagged a 4x4 at 340 yards using A Remington 7m and Bill got 4x4 at 360 yards using a Winchester SM.
All the deer weighed between 250 to 270 lbs. each.