I have been thoroughly enjoying slotting foxes with the BRNO Fox Mod2 in .222rem for the last 6 months but had yet to use it in anger on Roe.
After a very kind donation of some unwanted 60gr Hornady Soft Points I succeeded in working up a load that despite warnings of "they won't group from a 1:14 twist, you need a custom barrel"! they grouped very well and the POI was just an inch higher than the 50gr Vmax load I use normally on the gingers.
I chose not to rezero and just keep that in mind when aiming.
Not used to using a .22cf on deer I was a little nervous, having heard horror stories of runners, pencilling rounds and general lack of "oomph" when it comes to .222/.223
It was a day full of firsts and product testing as I was breaking in a new pair of stalking trousers (some Fjallraven jobs), a new pair of binos (a cheap and cheerful 8x42 pair of Vanguards I snaffled on eBay the week earlier), a new Roe carrying strap (Bewsher Laboratories finest seatbelt and cordura ties!) and it was my first stroll around a new piece of ground.
A recipe for disaster you would think!
Rising at 4.50am slightly worse for wear after an unplanned evening soiree I shot down to the borders to meet my partner for the day.
Lovely day, chill to the wind but bright and the warmth of the sun as it rose was a welcome relief.
Spotted a doe and yearling within 50yds of leaving the car, always good to see.
After a brief discussion as to plan of attack we headed off to walk up a long gully that runs up the length of the ground.
a couple of hundred yards in we spotted a roe feeding on the wrong side of the march. After watching it for a while it moved up the gully in the same direction as us and slightly towards the boundary fence, as it did the light caught his freshly develveted antlers and the full extent of his body shape. A nice buck!
We stood for 15 minutes or so watching him fray the bejaysus out of the lower branches and briefly get caught up in the branches to the point he looked permanently stuck.
Thankfully he freed himself.
He moved into trees and we moved on hoping he might come out further up on our side...he didn't! but not before poking his head out, spotting us and skipping off with a few barks.
Position noted for next time.
All the way to the top to walk the boundary and have a good spy from the corner of a long rectangular wood.
We bumped a young doe who zipped into the wood with a bounce and then we decided to backtrack down a ride that splits the wood with the intention of walking back up the opposite side of the wood with the wind in our faces.
40 mins later we reached the opposite corner of the wood at the top, as I slowly rounded the corner and looked up towards where we had just been I spotted a buck in a young plantation on the skyline and looking straight down towards us.
I froze and then slowly backed around the corner looking at him through the cover of some branches.
A nice cull buck with spikes in velvet still.
He obviously didnt see me as he dropped his head and carried on munching and moving right to left back to the wood.
I thought if we could close the gap he might appear in the ride between the plantation he was in and the wood he seemed to be aiming for.
Every time he dropped his head to eat we sneaked another 5-10yds up the side of the wood.
Suddenly out to our right we spotted a doe at a trot heading straight for the buck, She hadnt seen us somehow despite being totally in view to her.
Assuming she would pick him up and they would be in the ride heading for the wood I got the rifle up on the sticks ready.
They stopped 20 yds from the ride but both still skylined.
A standoff ensued as she was looking around and directly at the wood where we had been a hour earlier but not in our direction.
Clearly alarmed she finally decided to pull him away from his munching and she ran straight down the line of saplings and past us at about 20-30yds heading for a small wood behind and too our right.
Short of training for running boar shots there was no way I could shoot. I thought of a bark or shout but as they were at pace I was worried that might be enough to speed them up.
Thankfully the wood was surrounded by a fence which they stopped at about 5-10yds out
At about 130ish yds he presented his arse to me and fidgeted around but would not turn. His mother was looking back up the hill past us but still oblivious to me with a rifle up on sticks, 2 seconds later she turned and skipped towards and over the fence into the wood.
I couldnt get my feet comfortable for a steady rest on the twin sticks so swapped to my friend's quad sticks (A nice set of Limulus made sticks by coincidence, another product test!)
Watching him through the scope for what seemed like an age, time running out as he was 5yds from cover and escape.
He slowly walked away from us towards the fence, I was about to bark when suddenly he turned side on presenting a perfect shot.
I aimed bang on the centre of his heart, remembering the POI from target tests and squeezed the front trigger.
The crack echoed back from the wood and muffled the bullet strike.
He hunched and turned round with a jump showing a large bloody exit wound of bright red, pinky blood. He managed to take a step and slumped at the foot of the fence.
His head up resting against the fence we watched for a couple of seconds as it dropped to the floor, all of one or two yards travel from where he had been standing he now lay stone dead.
After a couple of minutes we approached
A clearly visible blood trail spanned the couple of yards from where he was standing to where he now lay.
A tap on the eye to confirm expectations and I set about the gralloch (and forensic evaluation of my new "Roe Load"!).
He couldn't have been standing any more perfectly. The entry and exit wounds were just behind his forelegs, the bullet had missed both.
The little 60gr had performed admirably a neat entry wound, massive damage internally removing both Aorta and Vena Cava from the top of his heart, a fairly large wound tract through the lungs and an exit wound which when examined back in the "larder" had punched an inch and half hole taking three ribs out.
no runners or lack of oomph here!
However in my excitement in the morning I had left the prototype "Bewsher Laboratories Roe carrier" in the car.
No drama, my much better prepared partner in crime had his roe sack.
A fine result on a fine morning with good company and good weather.
What more can you ask for!?