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Thread: First Deer of the Season!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    First Deer of the Season!!

    Well, and Axis deer that is.

    My friend said I could come out a cull an Axis doe or spike on his ranch yesterday, but I had to use his .308 Win POF and test his 168gr Berger Classic Hunter Bullet handloads in the process. Twist.......my .......arm!

    Got there early yesterday afternoon with a cool front blowing in (60s in Texas is a cool front). Set up on a likely sendaro that we had seen them in many a time.



    Used a Tall Harris Bipod and some tripod thingy from Walmart that he had to make a stable platform over the makeshift log blinf=d.



    After an hour and nothing stirring......not even whitetail....we decided to move.

    Went to the hill overlooking his pasture and set up. Properly fortified with my son's "Cheese Balls" we waited to slay the beast!!





    But, the only beasts to slay were the myriad of "Army Worms'.



    And the occasional whitetail. Seems the windy front had all the game stove up and hiding.
    Eventually, a herd of axis came out of the brush, but they were farther away in the pasture and at a bad angle. Being late and getting too dark to autopsy, we decided to pass and try again later.

    Cue this afternoon!

    I get off work and head to the ranch. As I'm driving down the ranch lane to the barn to meet my friend, I see a herd of Axis off in the distant pasture with the cattle. I keep driving and get to the barn.

    "Well, this should be easy! There is already a herd of Axis in the lower pasture with the cows!" So, we grab his rifle and gear and head out in the "Mule". Planning our route, we decide to use the cattle as a shield and keep them between us as we approach the herd. The plan worked and allowed us to get within 100 yards before the Axis figured out the plan and the gig was up. At 60 yards, the herd spooked and started trotting for the brush. I quickly determined that there were no fawnless does in the herd and found the one buck that was shootable. A fat spike. As he quartered away, I leaned on the bipod and waited for him to clear a cow. Almost to the brush, I lead him a hair as he quartered away and at 70 yards, sent a 168gr Berger Classic Hunter bullet through the air and into hi rib cage.

    No hunch or jump, he took off running at the shot. I followed him in the scope and immediately saw blood pouring from his on side while his off side leg hung limp as he ran. He made a semi-circle up the hill and into the brush. Pouring blood as he went. My friend said to shoot him again before he made the thick stuff, but as I was about to say he was hit hard and dead man walking.......he stopped......spun.....and went down in a heap.

    Total run of 74 yards. Leaving an immediate blood trail from the start.







    I was pretty happy as this was my first deer with a .308 Win gas gun. I'd killed deer with a .223 gas gun and I'd killed pigs with a ..223 and .308 gas gun. But, never a deer until this point.





    We loaded him up and headed to the barn to start the work.

    Entrance Quartering Away





    Between the ribs on entrance:



    Entered the back of the lungs:



    Through the top of the heart:



    Exited top of the off side heart:





    Clipped a rib on the off side rib cage:



    (perfect half moon chunk out of the rib from the bullet)



    Began to open up:



    And holy crap on the off side shoulder!!!!







    Kinda happy with the shot on a moving target with a borrowed gun. Pleased with the Berger Bullet performance as is my friend. Being that I have had horror stories using Bergers in the past. These........seem to work well. Though, I will personally stick with my A-Max and ELD-Match bullets. They seem to open faster and penetrate just as well. Berger Bullets always seem to do most of their damage as they leave the animal on the off side. A-Max and ELD-Match seem to do it in the middle. Where I prefer.

    And all that was left of the buck after butchering...........

    Last edited by Zee; 10-12-2017 at 05:11 AM.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Always good to have a first!
    Excellent shooting!!!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie Bishop View Post
    Always good to have a first!
    Excellent shooting!!!
    Just happy to finally have a Berger "Success" story! Although, I still think their expansion is too delayed for medium game.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Beautiful shot. That offside shoulder is begging for mercy!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Thanks.. And yes, it smoked the off shoulder!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    74 yards with a hole through his heart. . .tough animal!

    I'd suggest you pick a different digital pattern to cover your mug with. That swirl looks WAY too much like the view of bullet trace through a spotting scope right before impact. Just a little disturbing. . .
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee

  7. #7
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    74 yards with a hole through his heart. . .tough animal!

    I'd suggest you pick a different digital pattern to cover your mug with. That swirl looks WAY too much like the view of bullet trace through a spotting scope right before impact. Just a little disturbing. . .
    I've been staring through a spotting scope too long.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    That bullet seemed to take it's sweet time opening up, didn't it?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jermanator View Post
    That bullet seemed to take it's sweet time opening up, didn't it?
    Seems like most Bergers do that I've used. Some longer than others.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  10. #10
    Senior Member Diver43's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    74 yards with a hole through his heart. . .tough animal
    That was my first thought. All that damage, gushing blood and still covered more real estate than you would think.

    Congrats on your first !
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5

  11. #11

    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    74 yards with a hole through his heart. . .tough animal!
    Axis are known to be tough and determined.

    Good shooting and hunt! You going to grab your LR-10 now?
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov

  12. #12
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bullsi1911 View Post
    You going to grab your LR-10 now?
    It kinda helped.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bullsi1911 View Post
    Axis are known to be tough and determined.

    Good shooting and hunt! You going to grab your LR-10 now?
    I kind of assumed it was a given, even before he started the other thread.
    I have seen deer/antelope go 100 yards to close to 150 yards with both lungs blown out.
    That being said, it does not take a deer or antelope that long to cover that much territory.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

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    Senior Member JerryBobCo's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Congratulations!

    I hear that Axis deer make excellent table fare.

    BTW, I'm really beginning to dislike you.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Other than when they drop on the spot, I think deer/pigs (whatever animal) travel farther after the shot than many people are willing g to admit. In other words, I think it's a commonly under exaggerated distance.

    As mentioned, it don't take long for them to run 100 yards. Like.......mere seconds!!

    I've been testing terminal performance for awhile and even with an excessive amount of damage to the heart/lungs, animals can still beat feet.

    I do my best to pace off the distance traveled after the shot and not just "guess".
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  16. #16
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JerryBobCo View Post
    Congratulations!

    I hear that Axis deer make excellent table fare.

    BTW, I'm really beginning to dislike you.
    Axis meat is awesome!

    And you ain't that far away anymore.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Looking forward to eating some Axis meat.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  18. #18
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie Bishop View Post
    Looking forward to eating some Axis meat.
    Who says I'm gonna share?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zee View Post
    Who says I'm gonna share?
    Well, it never hurts to hope against hope...
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  20. #20
    Senior Member JerryBobCo's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zee View Post
    Axis meat is awesome!

    And you ain't that far away anymore.
    Does that mean my invitation's in the mail?
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JerryBobCo View Post
    Does that mean my invitation's in the mail?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  22. #22
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie Bishop View Post
    Looking forward to eating some Axis meat.
    Probably more PC than eating Allied meat.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee

  23. #23
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zee View Post
    Other than when they drop on the spot, I think deer/pigs (whatever animal) travel farther after the shot than many people are willing g to admit. In other words, I think it's a commonly under exaggerated distance.

    As mentioned, it don't take long for them to run 100 yards. Like.......mere seconds!!

    I've been testing terminal performance for awhile and even with an excessive amount of damage to the heart/lungs, animals can still beat feet.

    I do my best to pace off the distance traveled after the shot and not just "guess".
    I'm way more limited in experience, but what I have seen has me operating under what I call the "ten second rule", in that this seems to be how long it takes them to fall over with shredded heart / lungs but with all the major bones still intact. And yeah, they can cover a lot of ground in that time.

    But still. . .poke a whole in me like that, I'd wanna sit down on the spot and whimper. Don't think even a seven yard dash would be on the menu. Man-points to axis deer.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee

  24. #24
    Senior Member JerryBobCo's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zee View Post
    Other than when they drop on the spot, I think deer/pigs (whatever animal) travel farther after the shot than many people are willing g to admit. In other words, I think it's a commonly under exaggerated distance.

    As mentioned, it don't take long for them to run 100 yards. Like.......mere seconds!!

    I've been testing terminal performance for awhile and even with an excessive amount of damage to the heart/lungs, animals can still beat feet.

    I do my best to pace off the distance traveled after the shot and not just "guess".
    Your post reminds me of a small buck antelope I shot years ago. I overestimated the range, and shot over it 3 times in a row. After each of those shots, it ran a few yards and stopped. After the 3rd shot, I saw the bullet hit way beyond it and realized it was closer than I initially thought. So, I held the crosshairs right on the rib cage and made my last shot.

    On that shot, it took off at a dead run and disappeared behind a small rise. I waited for it to appear on the other side, but it never did, so I went to where I had last seen it to try to figure out where it was. I saw something that looked sort of like an antelope way off at the fence line, and walked to it. Sure enough, it was the little buck, deader than a hammer. Some of its guts were hanging out, right behind the rib cage. I can't say for sure how far it ran after the killing shot.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

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    Senior Member bobbyrlf3's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Do you have a theory as to the specific failures in the design of Berger bullets that has deterred your success with them? Just trying to wrap my head around that.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.

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    Senior Member orchidman's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Nice!

    Chital ( Axis) deer were released over here in 1867 and started to establish themselves fairly quickly....................but after they started grazing on settlers crops the whole lot were exterminated in the 1880's. Stupid bloody settlers.

    They are one of the prettiest deer and are very similar to Fallow in size and ( I believe) in taste. That looks like some good eats.

    Well done.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

  27. #27
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    After quartering and boning, I dropped off 70 pounds of meat to be packaged at the processor.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  28. #28
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyrlf3 View Post
    Do you have a theory as to the specific failures in the design of Berger bullets that has deterred your success with them? Just trying to wrap my head around that.
    Whether they need a higher velocity or what, I am not sure. But, all the ones that I have used seem to have a delayed expansion beyond their stated 3". This is one of the better performances that I have seen and even then, looking at the heart as compared to the off shoulder, there is still too much of a delay in my mind.

    Had I used an A-Max or ELD-Match, his heart would likely be gone or shredded.
    Last edited by Zee; 10-13-2017 at 01:42 PM.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

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    Senior Member BigDanS's Avatar
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    I noticed the scope level.

    A: Does it really help get the rifle square before a shot?
    B: How is it attached and how do make sure it is squared to the receiver / barrel?

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
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    Re: First Deer of the Season!!

    great pics

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