The Dominator Draws Blood

Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior MemberPosts: 6,876 Senior Member
The plan was to out on Thursday, but because of other priorities, everything was moved to the following day. This was my first time to hunt in this area. Because of a series of events, this rancher has become a friend. We met him at 7:30 that morning, visited, played with his dogs, then he hopped in with Chris and I and began to show us the place. After the nickel tour, he got out so he could go about his normal ranching duties. We headed out to find a nice buck we had noticed while driving around the ranch earlier. By the time we got there, he was closer to the draws and was on his way to bed down. We parked in a place out of sight, and then began to make our way. The wind was good, and light. All I had with me was the 6.5 Creed Dominator. I have had so much fun with it. It’s really handy and it shoots lights out. The long walk ended up being a dry run, but we did get a better idea of the draw. On the way there and on the way back there was a young antelope buck that was begging to be killed. If I had my new S&W 44 Magnum with me I may have given in. The 44 Mag and my 284 Win XP was in the truck in a hard case, but this day belonged to the Dominator.
It started out as a 308 Winchester (still have the original barrel). Chris Rhodes took a 1-8 twist chrome moly McGowen barrel. Can't remember if this is a Harrell brake or if Chris made it. Trigger job is awesome. 39.5 grains of H-4350, Hornady brass, Federal Match primer, and some old Hornady140 grain A-Max's. Using the Bog Gear tripod/PSR top. Scope is a Leupold VX-3 2.5-8 Extended Eye Relief (pistol scope) that has a target turret added for quick elevation adjustment. Using a new Low-Pro field bag underneath the pistol grip and Sig Sauer 2400 laser rangefinder. I taped a drop chart to the right grip panel for quick referencing. This set-up works great for field shooting and hunting.
We continued to move and glass different areas, noting that some of the animals we had spotted had already disappeared. We were in route to find what we called the twin of the big buck we had missed on our first stalk, when we glassed a different buck from a distance. Couldn’t tell for sure, but he seemed to be okay. By the time we got closer, he had gone down into the draw. Felt like this was the second verse of the same song. The ridge went basically from north to south and I was on the west side of it heading north, to the area where we thought the buck had gone in. I went on my own this time, and after a relatively short amount of time I bumped the buck at about 80 yards and got a glimpse of him. I am not sure who was more surprised. I saw him going down further into the draw (To my right) and I was heading north for open part of a finger of the ridge to see better. Making my way quickly, but not running. When I got there, I was thinking he might be in the bottom, but he was already on the other side working his way up. I was trying to look at his antlers and knew something was weird in that his rack wasn’t normal. I had to make a decision, so I ranged him quickly as he was slowing to give me, what I thought was that last turn around that mule deer sometimes do. Dialed 5.75 MOA, and made a steady, but quick shot from the double kneeling position. I have really become fond of this shooting position. He was not quite broadside and the shot entered right behind the shoulder and exited through the shoulder on the offside. The 140 grain A-Max whacked him hard and he dropped immediately. I reloaded as quickly as you can a Dominator, just in case. In the process of reloading I saw Chris almost to my location. When he saw me change how I was walking he knew something was up, hopped the fence, and headed toward me. The joy of a buck down with the Dom, was and is, precious.
Now the work of quartering him, and a short pack out took a little time. With my knee still being weak from surgery, it was great having help. Chris brought his truck, which keeps me in good graces with my bride, as it would have been difficult to put three critters in my Yukon without making a mess. Chris carried both hind quarters and the head out, and I did the rest plus my hunting gear-What a guy!. The knee did okay-Yipee!
Now that the buck was out of the way, I had two doe antelope tags and a buck antelope tag. I wasn’t planning on going after a buck, unless it was a big one, and the landowner was pretty sure there were none of those around.
Antelope can be really easy, really difficult, or anywhere between the two. As we were loading the quarters in the truck we noticed two small groups of antelope, one was to our right and the other was to our left. We decided to go after the group to our left and there was almost a shot opportunity. The grass was too high and the tripod I was using would not allow for a standing shot. Then we tried for the group on the right. They were further away and they were more in the open, and they spooked. As we began to head back to the truck, the first group had moved around and we made another attempt at them. We had nothing to lose. I was double kneeling and I could see a doe, just to the right of a buck and there was just enough of a clearing where I could make a shot but I could not get a range on her. I assumed if I stood to get a confirmed range she would spook, but you never know, so I tried. The distance was close to 200 yards and they moved before I could get a shot. We made the walk back to the truck and started to leave the ranch hoping to see something that we could make a stalk on. Every group of antelope we were seeing was running. Close to the edge of ranch there were some buildings, and we saw group of antelope and they seemed calm. We thought we would give it a try and we used the building to block their view of us getting closer. We went to the very corner of the building and then set up and I was able to take two doe antelope out of the same herd.
One was at 186 yards and the other was at 230 yards. Three hours of hunting and three critters…It was a great day!

"The Un-Tactical"


  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,379 Senior Member
    Very cool stories, great hunt and excellent yet interesting choice of firearms. I have an EP 100 in .308 that shoots lights out. After reading your's and Zee's pistol hunts I need to take it on a few pig hunts around the ranch!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,264 Senior Member
    Congratulations Ernie, Excellent hunt and write up.
    Thanks for sharing your experience
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    That's pretty amazing. Good looking heavy body animals too!

    Take care of those knees. Have to last a long time
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,132 Senior Member
    Well done.

    Thats is a cool looking buck.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,876 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    very cool stories, great hunt and excellent yet interesting choice of firearms. I have an xp 100 in .308 that shoots lights out. After reading your's and zee's pistol hunts i need to take it on a few pig hunts around the ranch!

    Do it! Do it! Do it!

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,797 Senior Member
    I've gotta think that the straight-to-rear, sliding trigger of a 1911 has to be a huge asset for precision work with a pistol, and we have it just because Uncle Sam asked John Browning for a grip safety.

    Nice pile 'o meat! :applause:

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • twatwa Senior Member Posts: 2,225 Senior Member
    beautiful buck, congrats!
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,286 Senior Member
    WOW, a full freezer in one day, glad the knee is on the mend and the Dominator is definitely producing.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,372 Senior Member
    Thanks for the great story and pics, ya did good.

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,529 Senior Member
    great hunt
    This message has been deleted
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.