My daughter and I took off a week ago for a grand adventure in Wyoming. We were officially on our Goat Hunt. The last time we'd been antelope hunting was when she was 6 months old in Montana. Back then, I carried her around in a Papoose Backpack. This time, she'd be standing on her own two feet. So, we hit the road and didn't look back. Making the entire 21 hour drive in one grinding leg. Arriving at my friend's door just before midnight, we unloaded and crashed into bed.
First order of business on Saturday was to get the guns up and running. I'd brought my .25-06 "Goat Gun" with me and had another waiting for me when I got there.
I recently conned an MOA Maximum Specialty Pistol out of my friend but hadn't actually handled it. He'd been getting some work done to it by The Man, The Myth, The Legend........Rich Mertz, the founder of MOA Corporation. Since he is weak and easily swayed.......I was able to talk my friend out of the gun. Boy, I am glad he caved in. I'm in love with this gun!!!!!
.308 Winchester - 14" Douglas Premium SS barrel w/ 1-10" twist
Vais Brake (makes barrel approximately 15")
.338-06 A-Square - 18" Lilja SS barrel w/ 1-10" twist
MOA Brake (makes barrel just shy of 20")
6.5-284 Winchester - 15" Krieger (I think) SS barrel w/ 1-8" twist
(Not shown as it currently is threaded for, but without brake.)
As the 6.5 barrel wasn't complete and I didn't have loads developed for the .338-06, the .308 Winchester barrel was gonna get the nod for this hunt.
So, I needed to get the .25-06 zeroed for the location change and zero the MOA as well as check my dope for both guns.
Due to time constraints, I didn't spend a lot of time shooting groups with the MOA. Just mounted my Leupold VX-III 3.5-10x40 and got to shooting. After a couple sub minute groups in the bull at 100 yards with the pistol, we pushed out to distance. I didn't even walk down and measure the groups. But, the paster was 1" and the bullets were clustered WELL within the paster...........good enough for factory loaded Hornady 168gr A-Max and a goat hunt. I'll get you a better range report at a later date.
We had a quirk with the scope base on the MOA, but my friends buddy who owned the range we were shooting at and just happened to be the owner of Mac's Gunworks with shop on sight.........fixed the problem with a vertical mil and some elbow grease. I LOVE that man! He saved the hunt!!!!!
Side note: A .308 Winchester in a 14" Specialty Pistol has some dramatic recoil when fired with a loose grip. Enough to rip a scope base loose.
Side Note to a Side Note: Vais brakes work fine on a rifle to control recoil. They do NOT (however), control muzzle rise on a Specialty Pistol and the resulting torque. If you want to brake a SP........use a different brake.
Anyway, got her fixed and got the dope for all the guns. We were set.
Keep in mind, this hunt was all about my daughter. I wasn't after any monster horns. I have them already. I was looking for stalks my daughter could make with me and enjoy the experience. I wanted her to be a part of every aspect of the hunt. I didn't care if the goat was the new world record. If my daughter couldn't be a part of the stalk.........I would pass.
Day one, we passed on several smaller bucks first thing in the morning until we saw one we figured we could close in on. Unloaded and took off. Using the ridges and draws, we stalked the buck in question with the MOA Pistol until we were as close as we could get. Using a BOG POD and a pretty trick little rear rest called a Sgt Sniper Rest, I got in a sitting position. My friend gave me a range of 344 yards. My daughter right behind me, I waited for the buck to clear some brush on the far ridge. When he did, I shot him in the shoulder and down he went.
The View (Arrow Showing Location of the Buck)
Needless to say, Ernie was pretty proud of me, a long gunner, and my first Specialty Pistol Goat. I was impressed with the pistol!
We drove to the base of the hill and climbed up to the goat.
My daughter was so excited! Of course, so was I that she could be there with me.
We drug the buck down the hill, butchered it in the field, and loaded it into the cooler. As always, my daughter wanted to play with the eyes.
Now, I'm not ashamed to admit that Ernie has been a bad influence on me and driven me to a love of Specialty Pistols. But, I am proud to say that I have been an equal influence on him. As we continued to hunt, we found an old goat who was limping and battle worn resting in a wide open expanse. Egging Ernie on, he pulled out his rifle..............YES.........I said RIFLE (which I had a hand in him having built).......and began the stalk.
Crawling up the fence line, we closed to 309 yards (could have sworn my rangefinder said 308 but Ernie's Eliminator said 309) and Ernie took him laying down with the 6.5x47 Lapua and 130gr Berger Hunting Bullets. After a short, staggering, half circle run, he fell over for good with a fist sized exit hole just past the ribs. The entrance was in front of the near side shoulder. Who says Berger Bullets blow up on impact? A nice old buck with battered horns. I was proud of Ernie. The corruption has begun.
Again, we butchered in the field. My daughter was adamant about learning and helping to skin and quarter. Both Ernie and I helped her through the process. I was beaming ear to ear over her involvement.