.460 S&W Field Report and my Grail Animal

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 20,564 Senior Member
This has been an amazing day. I'm so wiped out and giddy.......I don't know where to start.

If you remember the other thread regarding the .460 S&W Encore and the range report from today after testing loads..............you'll remember the hassle of the broken forend and the repair I had to complete. You might also remember that.......at the end of the range report.........I had exactly one round left over.

Not wanting that perfectly good round to go to waste, I decided to go hunting this evening and try to take a deer with it. So, I packed up and headed out to the property I'd been hunting most this year. As a side thought............I decided to take my 7mm Remington Mag. I figured, I hadn't taken any game with this rifle yet and ya never know. So, I packed it as well. Once at the ranch, I gathered my gear and started my walk into my hunting area. I thought, this isn't so bad. I don't have that much to take with just my pack, my Encore in a shoulder holster, and the SPEC-Rest. Oh wait.......CRAP.......I almost forgot the 7mm Mag! Luckily, I hadn't gone far from the truck. Grabbed it and took off.

About 1/2 mile later, I reached my usual spot. The one where I'd taken the doe with the Casull and that I'd sat at many other time watching deer. The neighboring field was being harvested as I set up along the fence line.

DSCN0916_zpsca9f4dd3.jpg

Deer travel this long fence line from the river bottom to the wheat fields behind me. I thought it would be a good spot to catch the deer moving right towards me and hopefully in range of the .460 S&W. As the clocked ticked by.......there didn't appear to be an end to the harvesting on the neighbors field. I thought.......it's Friday evening! Don't they have other things to be doing? Guess not. It was getting late, there were no deer (as there should have been by then) and I needed a back up plan.

I quickly packed my gear and headed back towards my truck and the wheat field I'd crossed getting to where I was. I didn't thing there was much hope any deer would make it to the field from another direction before dark, but I was out of options this late in the game.

So, I tucked back into a patch of palm tree real tight and waited.

DSCN0936_zps5ca469f2.jpg

The sun began to set and I though I was out of luck. It was still a beautiful evening and I enjoyed being there, none the less. Hey, I got to watch the sun set behind me! Beats the Hell out of a couch, right?

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Right after I took that picture, I turned back around and continued glassing. DEER!!! Coming my way from the river bottom!! I look back at the sun, then look at the deer, and prayed they hurried up. They were over 300 yards away and it was getting late.

Apparently, they heard my willful pleading........or their tummies were grumbling. Because, they picked up the pace and trotted along towards the wheat field.......and me.

As they got to the wheat, they crossed the fence and spread out to feed. I picked out the biggest doe and followed her in the crosshairs. When she entered the field, she was 150 yards away. Moving along, she was directly facing me as she progressed. I didn't want to take a frontal shot particularly...........so I held fire until she turned. Finally, after meandering a bit.......she held still quartering to me at 123 yards with her right shoulder.

BOOM!!!!!

The impact was amazing! She instantly sat back on her haunches, flipped onto her back and rolled to her left side. I saw her legs kick once and that way it. It happened so quick.......the other deer didn't even run. They just looked at her on the ground........looked over in my direction........and looked at her again. They didn't know what just happened. Literally, they just stood there as if dumfounded. In fact, they showed no sign of leaving!!! So, I took out my camera and snapped a picture.

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The white strip to the left of my muzzle is the doe laying on her left side. Just to the left of her and before the next wire, are the other three deer just standing there. I waited a few minutes to see if they left as I didn't particularly want them to see me. I finally stood to slowly gather my things. Quite happy with the performance of the .460 and the 250gr XTP bullets. I was rather impressed. Standing there, I raise my binos to look at the other three deer. Hey.............that in the distance............those are ANTLERS!!!! BIG ANTLERS!!!! Holy Crap!!!! That's an Axis buck!

I instantly felt like Barney Fife with my one round expended. I had NO bullets left for the Encore. I quickly grabbed my 7 Mag and sat back down. The Axis was coming from the same place the deer had come. But, I could only see his antlers as his body was below the horizon. I watched in agony as he slowly made his way towards me and the view through my scope got dimmer and dimmer. Finally, i could see the white throat patch above the tall grass and eventually, his body loomed like a shadow into view. I could see him now..........but I couldn't see the fence barbed wire fence strands anymore!!! I could shoot him in the field he was in as it was part of the ranch I was hunting.......but I didn't want to risk what may be my only shot EVER at a big Axis buck and hit the fence!

Let's pause for a second while I explain something. Living in Texas.........there have been several animals I've wanted to take. Over the many years I've been here, I checked them off one by one from my grail list. First, a Black Buck. Next came my Gemsbok. Then, another Gensbok and eventually two Aoudad. Big Aoudad!! I was ecstatic at that point. After that, I set out to try and find my remaining grail animal. An Axis buck. For the past 5 years, I've hunted a few places that had Axis on them but never saw any. I wanted a free range animal. Just like my previous Blackbuck, Gemsbok, and Aoudad. All free range low fence hunts. Buit, I couldn't find my ghost. My Axis buck.

Then, I was given permission to hunt these fields this year and eradicate the hogs that were destroying the wheat. In the process, the owner said I could take whatever deer I wanted and anything else that showed up. Literally, it's three big fields in a row with no cover save a grove of palms in the middle. But, the deer come from miles away to feed there at night........so did the hogs. Those.......I fixed. And, in the process, I lucked out and got a really nice Blackbuck last month there as well and later the doe with the Casull.

Fast forward to this evening...........I'm now staring at the sole remaining animal from my grail list and it's getting dark fast. Not risking hitting the wire, I waited painfully until he made it to the fence separating the wheat field from the alfalfa he was in. Standing quartering to me with his left shoulder up against the fence.......I could judge the gap from the barbed wire. It was now or never.

BOOM!!!!!!

POP! Coming out of recoil, I see him hunch up and lurch forward to his left. I knew I hit him, right? I mean......I heard the impact! He just took a 162gr A-Max through the chest.........right? Why is he running? He ran to his left about 40 yards and came to a stop right next to an irrigation pivot. I could barely see him now through the scope. But, that was him.......standing there quartering slightly away. I know i hit him! I think I hit him. Did I hit him?

BOOM!!!!

I fired again and he disappeared. It's now almost dark, so I grabbed my lights and hurried to the last known spot. Arriving.......I can't find where he was standing in the tall grass. I KNOW I HIT HIM!!! TWICE! Right? Almost in a panic that my final grail animal had once more eluded me..........I find him. Just 20 yards further back from where I'd hit him the second time. Yes, he soaked up two 162gr Hornady A-Max bullets from a 7mm Remington Mag going 3,195 fps at the muzzle. Both shots were in the chest. The entrance of one and the exit of the other were within inches of each other! That was one tough Axis!

Here is the action board.

DSCN0939-Copy_zps8b04633a.jpg

A - Where I shot the doe.
B - 1st Shot on Axis.
C- Where the does and Axis came from.
D - 2nd shot on Axis.

Having found the Axis, I walked over to the doe to check on her location. Then returned, gathered my gear, and headed the 1/4 mile to the truck. Dropped off my stuff and returned to the doe. Drug her the 1/4 mile to the truck and returned to the Axis buck. Drug..............pant.....pant.....drug......gasp..........drug.........oh God I'm gonna DIE..........drug that big.....heavy bastige to the freaking truck!!! I thought I was going to pass out. I had absolutely NO clue that Axis were so BIG!!!!
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    After I regained my lungs and put my spleen back inside my body.... I took pics.

    .460 S&W
    250gr Hornady XTP
    Muzzle Velocity - 2,388 fps

    Impact Velocity - 1,727 fps (est.)

    DSCN1024_zpse6a8acf4.jpg

    Bullet struck her on side shoulder. Shattered her scapula in about 5 pieces..........and STOPPED in the hide behind the opposite shoulder!!!! Yes......STOPPED! With a sliver of jacket protruding from the hide.

    7mm Remington Magnum
    162gr Hornady A-Max
    Muzzle Velocity - 3,195 fps
    Impact Velocity - 2,971 fps

    DSCN0951_zpsefadb2f2.jpg

    Excuse me while I post a few more pics of my sole remaining grail animal.

    DSCN0995_zps2790aa76.jpg

    DSCN0987_zpsd0ee7674.jpg

    And, just so you all don't thing I'm sitting WAY behind him to exaggerate his size.........

    DSCN1002-Copy_zps92f037b3.jpg

    ......that's a bent elbow with my hand resting on him. Sucker was a BEAST!!! I had absolutely no idea they got that big.

    To cap off this grand adventure.........I am blessed to have had such a wonderful season and taken so many animals this fall. I am blessed to have finally completed my list of grail animals. I am pleased with the performance of the .460 S&W Encore after the broken forend. I am pleased with the performance of the bullet. Both the XTP and the A-Max.

    I am blessed. Simple as that.

    I'm tired......I'm sore..........I might have lost my liver out there somewhere dragging that buck. But, I'm too tired to look for it right now. It's 3:00 in the morning..........I'll post the autopsy photos tomorrow evening. After I can move.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,248 Senior Member
    Wow, that axis is spectacular. Congrats and thanks for another fine write up. You really should be in a magazine!

    Sako
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,583 Senior Member
    Very nice buck! I have always wanted to take a nice one like that, I have a great place on the wall for a mount; I'm starting to hate you a little right now. Excellent job!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Very awesome Zee. Dragging critters sucks, good luck with that missing liver.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    Amazing!

    For your .460 brass..... in stock.

    https://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=100001961

    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
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,664 Senior Member
    Nice hunt, and great Axis!! Congrats

    I have noticed with the Axis that they can soak up some hits without realizing they are dead. I've had several take fatal hits and still keep going.

    That is going to be a LOT of good meat. Dont know if you have had axis before but it is a fine grained deep red meat. Very 'deep' flavor. the backstraps and tenderloins are frigging awesome on the grill.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Nice hunt, and great Axis!! Congrats

    I have noticed with the Axis that they can soak up some hits without realizing they are dead. I've had several take fatal hits and still keep going.

    That is going to be a LOT of good meat. Dont know if you have had axis before but it is a fine grained deep red meat. Very 'deep' flavor. the backstraps and tenderloins are frigging awesome on the grill.

    I am officially impressed with their resilience now.

    I've heard they are amazing table fare. I can't wait to try it.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Awesome hunt brother. How much do you estimate the axis weighed?
    Oh, and about your liver, quit being a wuss.

    I honestly can't guess at his weight. I know I've shot bigger hogs in the 300 pound realm. I don't have any aspirations that he was NEAR that big. What I do know, is that his weight, combine with his length to make him stupidly awkward to drag.

    Hogs can be heavy. But, they are compact. Easy to drag and load because of that. All their weight in in one spot.

    This buggar.........kicked my butt!!! I tried dragging forward. I tried dragging backwards. I even squatted down, draped his antlers over my shoulders like backpack straps, and CARRIED that Bastige!!! All of about 10 yards. He was so long, his butt almost touched the ground. As I stepped, his body swayed back and forth throwing me off balance and hitting my legs. That endeavor came to a crashing halt.........literally. As I tripped and tumbled backwards to the ground. Landing on the Axis, of course.

    Imagine a large, furry Whoopee Cushion. When I landed on him, the bullet holes let out a long and rather loud gastrous fart sound. Only, instead of a gag gift simply making noise.............this one had the smell to go along with it.

    I went back to dragging. I'm a Nancy.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    Amazing!

    For your .460 brass..... in stock.

    https://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=100001961

    D

    Thanks, I have 200 cases already. But, I appreciate you looking out for me.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Very awesome Zee. Dragging critters sucks, good luck with that missing liver.

    I am strongly considering one of those game carts after last night.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    timc wrote: »
    Very nice buck! I have always wanted to take a nice one like that, I have a great place on the wall for a mount; I'm starting to hate you a little right now. Excellent job!

    I ALMOST decided to mount this sucker. But, I can't justify the cost or wall space. So, a European skill mount it will be.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,226 Senior Member
    Having never seen an axis in person, I am now officially impressed with how big they can get. Awesome score! I wish you had more wallspace because that would be a sick mount. Regardles, post pics of the Euro mount when it's done!

    As for the doe, I definitely want to hear about how that XTP did. Was the meat damage excessive like my buddy experienced with the other hollowpoint he used? I have never hunted with the XTP, so I have no clue what to expect in that department, especially in a big bore.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    sakodude wrote: »
    Wow, that axis is spectacular. Congrats and thanks for another fine write up. You really should be in a magazine!

    Sako

    Awwwwww, :sniff: thanks.

    I love you, Man.

    :sniff:

    :-)
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Having bever seen an axis in person, I am now officially impressed with how big they can get. Awesome score! I wish you had more wallspace because that would be a sick mount. Tegardles, post pics of the Euro mount when it's done!

    As for the doe, I definitely want to hear about how that XTP did. Was the meat damage excessive like my buddy experienced with the other hollowpoint he used? I have never hunted with the XTP, so I have no clue what to expect in that department, especially in a big bore.

    I made a deal with my wife years ago that I wouldn't get anymore heads mounted. I don't have anymore space. Besides, at today's prices............ain't no way!!!!!

    So, for the past 15 years, my skull collection has been rapidly growing. She's tired of skills now. But, they are easier to locate around the house.

    As as to the bullet performance, it was no more excessive than I would expect from a big bore expander. More than a cast bullet, no doubt. But, not as much as a high velocity rifle round with soft jacket.

    It was effective, but not overly destructive. I plan to keep using them.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,726 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I made a deal with my wife years ago that I wouldn't get anymore heads mounted. I don't have anymore space. Besides, at today's prices............ain't no way!!!!!

    So, for the past 15 years, my skull collection has been rapidly growing. She's tired of skills now. But, they are easier to locate around the house.

    As as to the bullet performance, it was no more excessive than I would expect from a big bore expander. More than a cast bullet, no doubt. But, not as much as a high velocity rifle round with soft jacket.

    It was effective, but not overly destructive. I plan to keep using them.

    Who are you? Buffco? I would put that Axis head mount above my head board in the bedroom, then compromise with the wife as to its new location in the house, no European mount for that one:hand:. Did you gut the deer before you hauled it to the truck? I did not know those would get that big, all of the big axis deer I have seen in MN in Farms and zoos have been more like a medium size whitetail in our neck of the woods. You are having a most excellent hunting season this year, thanks for sharing:beer:
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,500 Senior Member
    AWESOME! That buck is spectacular. Never been around one, but now I want to hunt them.
    As for the XTP, that pretty much mimics what Jerm and I saw here, almost the same impact velocity, same weight bullet.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Who are you? Buffco? I would put that Axis head mount above my head board in the bedroom, then compromise with the wife as to its new location in the house, no European mount for that one:hand:. Did you gut the deer before you hauled it to the truck? I did not know those would get that big, all of the big axis deer I have seen in MN in Farms and zoos have been more like a medium size whitetail in our neck of the woods. You are having a most excellent hunting season this year, thanks for sharing:beer:

    The way I see it..........it means more guns. And skulls last forever. Mounts decay.

    and no, I didn't gut it until I got home. You low. For science.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I am strongly considering one of those game carts after last night.

    Game carts make a world of difference. With a little bit of careful packing you can use them to carry a bunch of stuff to your blind too.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    It looks like you will have similar results with the XTP as we did. I can't wait to see that bullet. Congratulations on the axis!
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Agree on the skull mount. A deer head On the wall equates to a new gun in the safe.

    Not knowing shineola from the other stuff about Axis, is that a big rack?

    He's the biggest free range I've ever seen. Not record book, but not high fence, game farm, hand raised, 5k either.

    He's bigger than I ever imagined I'd take.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,702 Senior Member
    Congratulations on attaining your 'Grail'. The hunting gods were certainly looking favourably in your direction.

    The hide on that Axis is beautiful. Are you going to get it tanned? Even a small piece which includes the black strip down its backbone might be useful as a backdrop for the skull mount.
    You could even get some leather from the hide to be used as pads on your bench rest etc...........

    BTW, You suck!!
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    I ditched the hide. One side got pretty scuffed up and lost some hair while I was dragging it. I was afraid that would happen. But, there was no getting around it. Being by myself and all.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,431 Senior Member
    Absolutely wow!

    That right there is the hunt of a lifetime in my book.

    Congrats!

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,726 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I ditched the hide. One side got pretty scuffed up and lost some hair while I was dragging it. I was afraid that would happen. But, there was no getting around it. Being by myself and all.

    Work smarter, not harder, this would have saved the hide also. This DOES NOT work well moving elk parts down steep terrain, should be good on a flat field, I have hauled a lot of white tails this way.
    http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Otter-Wild-Sport-Series-Small-Sled&i=426041&r=view&cvsfa=2586&cvsfe=2&cvsfhu=343236303431&kpid=426041&gclid=Cj0KEQiA5K-kBRDZ9r71gOvlxOMBEiQAwkK52DPdgxEkgVs6NmGMnvnC3DnX_cFI-tWL63FgWJdQ4UgaAvkh8P8HAQ
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Dude!!!! It's still dragging!!! I'm getting too old and decrepit for that.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    Absolutely wow!

    That right there is the hunt of a lifetime in my book.

    Congrats!

    Mike

    Thanks. It was a culmination of sorts. And end of an era. I need a new goal now.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,431 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I need a new goal now.

    Jackalope. That should keep you busy for a while.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,528 Senior Member
    Most Excellent hunt and write up. Thanks for Sharing your experience.

    I have only seen an Axis once and it was much smaller than yours. I was hunting for a Oryx on a ranch but nexer saw one until the ride home and there it stood next to the road.

    Beautiful animal Zee
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,835 Senior Member
    Well Done!.....Beautiful buck and a really nice doe for the freezer as well... Good shooting!
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I am strongly considering one of those game carts after last night.

    This is why my wife insists on bringing the wheel barrow. It helps. Congrats on an awesome afternoon.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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