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Ohio Muzzleloader Doe Down

Six-GunSix-Gun Senior MemberPosts: 8,155 Senior Member
It was opening day for muzzleloader season and a friend of mine had secured permission on a new property. He hunted archery there a few times when he first got permission, but I had never been there. We got our permission forms signed, then drove around for about two hours, quickly scouting the area in a side-by-side that the landowner lent us. We immediately started spotting deer, including a couple of nice bucks that I saw bedded in the thicket around one of the larger fields. The bucks trotted away once we rounded a bend to leave, but I made a mental note of where they were since that field behind their beds had favorable winds. Once we got a feel for the place, we took to our spots and settled in for a frigid, single-digit temperature hunt.

The spot I picked was a tri-intersection between three fields, separated by the thicket where we saw the bucks and a perpendicular treeline. Sitting in a folding chair, it gave me a nice view of one large, and two smaller, cut crop fields. It didn't take long. Within 30 minutes and very early in the evening (4:24PM, and with a full hour and a half of daylight left) I spotted a doe just barely poking out of the tree line separating the smaller fields about 200 yards away. Depending on where the deer moved, I would have to carefully leave the chair and stalk in at least 50 - 60 yard closer for a 150 yard shot, my self-imposed max distance limit for this platform.

I felt confident out to 150 yards with my inline muzzleloader and the 350 gr. Harvester Saber Tooth bullet pushed by 100 grains of Blackhorn 209. The catch: I had only ever paper tested out to 100 yards with this load, and had never tested it out to 150 yards. I ran the expected velocity for the charge and bullet weight/BC through a ballistics program and felt comfortable with the reasonable margin of error around the 6.5" expected drop at that range with a 100 yards zero.

I stalked on all fours, tight to the treeline where the deer came out, using the roll in the slope and some edge weeds for cover. But, as I got closer, I lost sight of the deer. When I got to about 150 yards, I had to side slip away from the treeline to find her again and when I did, suddenly three more does came out. The lead doe was feeding away and I was concerned that the others would do the same and take away a decent shot. As luck would have it, an even larger doe came out and stood broadside at 144 yards. I just had to wait for the last doe out of the woods to clear out from behind the new target doe to avoid a pass-through kill. It only took a few seconds for the trailing deer to clear out and the shot window opened. I sat down, braced the gun between my knees, and sent the shot. The doe dropped right where she stood, kicked a handful of times and stayed put for good.

Ohio%20Muzzleloader%20Doe%20-%20doe%20down_zpswyosr9es.jpg

The ballistics program was close, but I think the estimated velocity I extracted from the Blackhorn 209 website for a 350 gr. bullet was off a good bit. The shot was right behind the shoulder, but should've hit midway down the deer based on the top-of-back hold that I used. It didn't drop anywhere near that much, staying a solid 2.5" higher for more like a 4" drop. That said, it still made for a wicked double lung shot with complete pass-through.

Ohio%20Muzzleloader%20Doe%20-%20entrance%20wound_zpswuoxztmi.jpg

Ohio%20Muzzleloader%20Doe%20-%20lung%20wound_zpsqe52cylo.jpg

This was the second extremely easy muzzleloader hunt that I had this season (the other being the PA early muzzleloader season opener that was literally a 5 minute hunt), but it felt strange. It just dawned on me today that out of 8 deer killed in the three years I've been stationed in this state, this is the first one that I've killed with a firearm of any sort. All others were taken with archery gear (compound and crossbow). I've killed other deer with firearms in OTHER states over that timespan, but never near where I live in Ohio. Hey...I'll take it.
Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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Replies

  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Great shot!
    The big heavy bullet was expectedly most effective.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    Great shot!
    The big heavy bullet was expectedly most effective.

    Thanks!

    Yeah, that bullet is exceptionally accurate. It's way overkill weight-wise for whitetails, but it was the most accurate of the three weight offerings (270, 300 and 350 grain) for this bullet in my gun. It shoots extremely well with 100 gr. of Blackhorn 209, but it was insanely accurate with 120 gr. of that powder. The problem is that it is just so brutal to shoot it with a charge that hot. I decided to back it off and accept an ever so slightly less accurate load that wouldn't detach my retina!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,944 Senior Member
    A well executed stalk. Nicely done.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    I didn't use a ballistic program but I had similar results (Sighting in, I didn't kill a deer yet). I used a load for my bullet, a Hornady 250 grain Sabot and 100 grains of 777 and a No. 11 Magnum Cap, for an advertised MV of about 1800+ FPS. It was about 1 1/2 inch low at 50 yards, about 9 inches high at 100, and about 5 inches high at 200. This is verified by actual shooting. I didn't make any adjustment because I'll have different hold overs and unders so I left it as it was.

    Anyway, I have a good handle on hold over and feel confident I can hit a deer out to 200 should I need to. Only problem is I don't have a range finder yet. But, I do know how far certain land marks are down my sendero. It's about 65 yards from where I have my portable blind set up now to a little creek bed that crosses the Sendero and goes into the thick brush. The creek bed is a good crossing for the deer and hogs and you don't see them until they have to get up out of it where leads to the culvert that goes under the road that goes down the sendero. and I figure about 3 inches low hold should put a deer down there dead on from my blind. From my blind to a big game trail just up hill of there it's right at 90 yards. Sometimes you catch a nice buck coming out of the brush there are going in. Anyway, I'll be sitting in my tent blind in the morning. One problem though, does aren't legal now so I have to find a buck. And that buck needs to be a spike OR one with a minimum of 13 inches inside width between the main beams.

    Anyway, good shooting on your part, I've heard Ohio has some nice size deer and that doe looks like one of them.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,383 Senior Member
    Congrats, good shooten
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    A well executed stalk. Nicely done.
    Diver43 wrote: »
    Congrats, good shooten

    Thanks, fellas. I sit treestands for archery, but nothing beats a spot-and-stalk opportunity fulfilled.
    snake284 wrote: »
    I didn't use a ballistic program but I had similar results (Sighting in, I didn't kill a deer yet). I used a load for my bullet, a Hornady 250 grain Sabot and 100 grains of 777 and a No. 11 Magnum Cap, for an advertised MV of about 1800+ FPS. It was about 1 1/2 inch low at 50 yards, about 9 inches high at 100, and about 5 inches high at 200. This is verified by actual shooting. I didn't make any adjustment because I'll have different hold overs and unders so I left it as it was.

    Anyway, I have a good handle on hold over and feel confident I can hit a deer out to 200 should I need to. Only problem is I don't have a range finder yet. But, I do know how far certain land marks are down my sendero. It's about 65 yards from where I have my portable blind set up now to a little creek bed that crosses the Sendero and goes into the thick brush. The creek bed is a good crossing for the deer and hogs and you don't see them until they have to get up out of it where leads to the culvert that goes under the road that goes down the sendero. and I figure about 3 inches low hold should put a deer down there dead on from my blind. From my blind to a big game trail just up hill of there it's right at 90 yards. Sometimes you catch a nice buck coming out of the brush there are going in. Anyway, I'll be sitting in my tent blind in the morning. One problem though, does aren't legal now so I have to find a buck. And that buck needs to be a spike OR one with a minimum of 13 inches inside width between the main beams.

    Anyway, good shooting on your part, I've heard Ohio has some nice size deer and that doe looks like one of them.
    Don't even think of taking a shot out to 200 yards with a smokepole until you get a rangefinder. Thinking something is "about 65 yards" is a WHOLE different situation than when you think something else is "about 200 yards." Ballistically, things get ugly real fast with these bullets, and a 10 yard miscalculation at that range could result in a miss or a wounded animal easily. In my case, you're talking nearly 20" of drop by 200 yards. If an animal shows up an intermediate distance, you're going to need a precise distance to figure out a proper holdover.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,866 Senior Member
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,658 Senior Member
    Nicely done and well written up Luis :up:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 2,035 Senior Member
    Those backstraps are begging to be wrapped with thick sliced, smoked bacon and some time on the grill Luis. Good shooting.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,594 Senior Member
    Nice! Sounds like a great hunt.
    Those bullets do the trick!
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,269 Senior Member
    Isn't a doe down where you dance in a circle with all your Kissin cuzzins in the barn?? :group:

    :jester:
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    Nice! Sounds like a great hunt.
    Those bullets do the trick!
    Definitely fun.

    These bullets are impressive. You saw first-hand how flat they shoot despite how stumpy they look.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Congratulations Luis, well done and well written. Keep yer powder dry.........robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    You're one letter off. While the state your thinking of does start with O, it's not Ohio. It's Oklahoma.

    I married up, my wife wasn't family and not from around here. She also doesn't lay down if somebody yells "ho down".

    Where is your wife from?
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    That was a great hunt Louis.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Touché.
    Except, same state as you. So, stalemate?

    Yeah kind of a Mexican standoff.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Sounds like you're both describing a drive-by shooting on the south side of Chicago!
    Jerry
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Judging from the exit hole, could you tell if the bullet expanded ? Granted it's already a half inch hole, so even with no expansion.....

    Yes, it expanded for sure. The picture you see up top is actually the entrance hole. The exit hole one the opposite side is assuredly bigger. I have the carcass hanging in the garage and can snap some comparison pics when I get home.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    Congratulations Luis, well done and well written. Keep yer powder dry.........robin
    That was a great hunt Louis.

    Thanks! My pleasure to share the story with you guys.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    Isn't a doe down where you dance in a circle with all your Kissin cuzzins in the barn?? :group:

    :jester:
    No Bro dat be a ho down. But that's her favorite pose.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Judging from the exit hole, could you tell if the bullet expanded ? Granted it's already a half inch hole, so even with no expansion.....

    Here are the internal would pics. The entrance wound was predictably bullet-sized...
    Ohio%20Muzzleloader%20Doe%20-%20%20internal%20entrance%20resize_zpsp1zengqq.jpg

    The exit wound was about the size of a half dollar...
    Ohio%20Muzzleloader%20Doe%20-%20%20internal%20exit%20resize_zpszksktttl.jpg
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Not enough deer there to catch and hold 350 grains :tooth:
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    Not enough deer there to catch and hold 350 grains :tooth:

    Yep. Not even close. I honestly wonder if even on a longitudinal shot, an average-sized whitetail could've contained that much lead for a bullet recovery. I was seriously careful to ensure that a second deer wouldn't catch that bullet exiting upon pass-through. I would've had some explaining to do to the county game warden.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Im shooting 320 grains at around 1300fps mv. Goes through elk like light through glass. I think you could pack that load to Africa and be hard pressed to recover a bullet.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Sounds about right. These bullets are designed to open, which should slow them down at higher velocities, but man it's a lot of mass and it's moving at over 1,700 fps out of this gun.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,658 Senior Member
    Luis, you're shooting a similarly designed (plated HP) bullet of similar weight (350 v 335) at similar velocity to what I'm getting from the 'wulf (1812fps for mine) You'd be surprised at how little deer it takes to stop one.
    41 yards (lased after the fact) center punched left shoulder going in. bullet under the hide at the base of the neck on a mildly quartering away shot.

    Bullet under the hide
    bullet1.jpg

    Recovered bullet next to a quarter
    bullet2.jpg
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Well, looks like I need to find a bigger animal to shoot into to find out for sure! :jester:
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,658 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Well, looks like I need to find a bigger animal to shoot into to find for sure! :jester:
    :up::up:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,720 Senior Member
    Luis, I imagine that it is a trick of the ambient light, but your doe, nicely done BTW, looks like it is still wearing summer fur with a reddish cast. Keep yer powder dry..........robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    Luis, I imagine that it is a trick of the ambient light, but your doe, nicely done BTW, looks like it is still wearing summer fur with a reddish cast. Keep yer powder dry..........robin

    Robin -

    Yeah, it's definitely the lighting. That coat is a nice, heavy grey/brown hide. So nice, in fact, that I'm sending it off to be hair-on tanned for use as a field blanket. Right now, I have a mulie buck hide that I use for that purpose, but I'd like another to put inside of my layout blind to keep me warm when I'm laying on frozen ground.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
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