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“Dead Man” with the 03 Springfield

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 26,509 Senior Member
edited November 2019 in Hunting #1
If you have been following the Game Camera Pics thread........you are familiar with “Dead Man”. 

A cull buck I’ve been getting numerous pics of since spring. We’ve just been bidding our time since the season opener first of October for it to cool off.

Well, we went after him on Saturday evening. Got a chance at him and my rancher friend rushed a head shot at just under 200 yards and hit him in the neck with a 55gr HP from a .223 Remington. 

I wasn’t happy with his decision to shoot. But, it’s not my place. Not my choice. 

Well, I spent the next 3 hours tracking him. Only to lose all blood and sign. With the original amount of blood I was following, I though sure he was dead. But, as the frothy puddles turned to scarce specs........I felt sure we were gonna lose him to die......unfound. 

Now, I’m a pretty darn good tracker. At least I think I am. It’s what I do. But, I couldn’t keep up with that deer and was feeling dejected that I’d failed my friend. 

I went hunting Sunday morning in the hopes of seeing him. Nothing. I went back Sunday evening. No Dead Man, so I took Skinny Gurl instead. 

Monday afternoon I pull several game camera pics to check at home. While riding around the ranch.......I think I see him running off through a flat. Nah. He can’t be alive. 

Then, at dusk.....as I’m driving out of the ranch........he runs across the road, jumps a fence, runs up a hill, turns and stares at me. Dead Man.......plane as day!!!  And I didn’t have a rifle!!!

Get home and check the game camera cards. There he is at a water trough......Monday morning. 



With a hole in his neck. 



Now, in my friends defense, he was baffled enough by the lack of a dead deer that we checked his rifle on Sunday and found it to be a couple inches low and three inches to the right. Seems bouncing around in the ATV gun rack had adverse effects on the scope. 

I’ll give him that. He is my best friend. Still don’t think he should have taken the shot. 

Now, the hunt was on. I needed to put an end to Dead Man. 

To be continued........
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,621 Senior Member
    While I hunt with my 223, I am acutely aware that I have to be more careful with shot placement than with, say my 6.5 Grendel
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #3
    Went out this morning in freezing rain and 24 degree temps. Took my CVA Scout Pistol in 6.5 CM and hoped for the best. 

    Saw a small spike on our cull list. At about 20 yards!!!  And he hung out within 150 yards for about an hour. 

    Maybe it was the fact it would have been too easy. Or......maybe it was because it was so muddy and frozen I couldn’t have gotten my truck to the stand and I’d have had to drag/cart him about a quarter mile to the truck. 

    I didn’t shoot him. 

    Then, as I’m watching a very nice Axis buck below my stand......

     

    I catch movement crossing a sendaro. Look up and catch the last view of a coyote entering the brush. 

    Orient the gun and wait for him to pop out in the next sendaro. 

    Suddenly he pops out and I quickly find it in the 10x scope. Trotting along, it turns towards me and stops for a split second. Reticle on the chest, BANG!!

    It does a back flip. Thrashes around on its side in a pinwheel motion. Does a few cartwheels. Then, stumbles off into the brush. 

    The Axis was not pleased. 

    Get down in the freezing rain and walk the 170 yards to the shot location. 

    Blood. Meat. Carnage. 

    Cold. Wet. Ice. 

    I look with halfheartedness in the brush as the wet ice covers me and I concede to slob hunting ethics. I ain’t looking for him. 

    It’s a Yote.  It’s either dead or wishing it was. 

    Not proud. Just honest. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,621 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    It’s a Yote.  It’s either dead or wishing it was. 
    Dead 'yote = GOOD 'yote
    Well done.

    Concerning not looking for it, from what you found @ the point of impact, my money's on dead.
    Buzzards, possums etc gotta eat too 
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #5
    The skies clear and the temps rise a bit. 

    Head back out this afternoon. I’m after either the spike or Dead Man. 

    My boy accompanies me. I take my 03 Springfield and .223 Rem Ruger American. Springfield for the deer. American for varmints. 

    Several deer in the distance down sendaros. A doe and a fawn up close. It was a brisk, beautiful evening to hang out with the boy. 


    Watching the doe, I practice aiming at her with the Springfield. 

    Not gonna be easy. But I can do it......I encourage myself. 

    Then, behind the feeder........Dead Man steps out. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    Zee said:
    It’s a Yote.  It’s either dead or wishing it was. 
    Dead 'yote = GOOD 'yote
    Well done.

    Concerning not looking for it, from what you found @ the point of impact, my money's on dead.
    Buzzards, possums etc gotta eat too 
    I ain’t proud I didn’t give it more effort. I was just damn wet and cold. 

    Honest truth. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #7
    I turn to my boy, “Dead Man!”

    I grab the binos to confirm. And as I’m watching him, I see a bobcat cross the sendaro behind. 

    Crap!!!

    Dead Man or Bobcat. 

    Springfield or American. 

    Screw the cat!!!

    I grab the Springfield and get ready. He’s behind the feeder and about 110 yards away. But, looking towards the doe eating corn I scattered around closer to the stand. 

    He walks her way and stops at about 90 yards. Facing away. Damn. 

    Turns quartering away and then facing towards suddenly. Not gonna take that shot. Walks closer a bit and quarters towards slightly. 

    I can do that. Can’t risk him walking away. 

    Aim the irons at the point of his shoulder. Tell the boy, “Ready.”

    BOOM!!!

    ”Wow!!  He dropped immediately!”, says my boy. 

    Yep. Down goes Dead Man. Not a twitch. 


    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    I was a happy camper. Fist bumps all round. We packed our gear and exited the stand. 

    Walked over to him and realized I’d just completed one of the most memorable whitetail hunts of my life. 

    A buck I REALLY wanted to take myself. 

    More than the trophy bucks I see on a daily basis. 

    Even more so after Bullsi suggested his skull be euro mounted by whoever took him. 

    Disappointed that he was wounded and might die unfound. 

    Elated he was alive and back on the hunt. 

    Taken with a 101 year old rifle while my boy sat next to me. 

    Darn good day in my book. 


    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Pretty hard for two legs to catch four. Good he didn't have to do winter injured. I guess a lot deer fell to surplus 03's......
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,655 Senior Member
    Deadman had more fire in the belly than his poor rack would lead one to believe, and, he had a bobcat running interference for him ;)
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,621 Senior Member
    Good job, and great story telling! 
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    The shot from Saturday passed through his neck from one side to the other. Not sure which direction. But, how it didn’t damage his carotid, esophagus, or windpipe.......is beyond me. 


    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    Entrance

    Exit

    Jacket/Core separation after striking the on side shoulder, shattering the spine, shredding the lungs, and striking the off side scapula. 

    Not bad in my book. 

    Recovered the expanded jacket under the hide. Pics tomorrow. Left it at the ranch by accident. 

    Entrance lungs. 


    Exit Lungs

    Impressive for a reduced load from a hundred year old rifle. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member



    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,621 Senior Member
    That was a 125gr SST???
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,299 Senior Member
    Excellent result. The hunt encapsulated  the lows and highs of hunting.
    Great that your boy was there to see the successful conclusion.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #17
    knitepoet said:
    That was a 125gr SST???
    Yep. 

    At 2,700 fps mv. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    orchidman said:
    Excellent result. The hunt encapsulated  the lows and highs of hunting.
    Great that your boy was there to see the successful conclusion.
    He was there Saturday when my friend shot him in the neck. Helped with the tracking as well. 

    So, he understood the need to finish the job. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,326 Senior Member
    Wait WHAT!! You did that with a 101 year old rifle with open sights and down loaded to .270 performance levels!! Is this the Twilight Zone, fake news!!  B) 
    NO! This is REAL hunting with a REAL rifle! Great story with a great outcome!!
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Excellent hunt and great storytelling.  Your son learned a very valuable lesson!  Good for you.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,040 Senior Member
    Big Al,
    Your post put a smile on my face.

    Zee,
    Excellent story!!!  I think this is one of the most enjoyable ones from you in a while.
    I have shot several coyotes, that after a cursory look, I would give up.
    Most of the time, coyotes are targets of opportunity, when I am doing other things (typically, hunting deer or antelope), so I go about my primary business. 
    They are either dead or soon will be, and that makes the rancher happy.
    I do the same with pd's, I don't get to worried about finding them all.
    Pig shooting for eradication purposes would be in the same boat for me.
    I said all of that to say this, I have never considered what I do with pd's or yotes slob hunting.  Considering how you follow through/document everything, I can see where you are coming from
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,890 Senior Member
    "Skinny Girl". . ."Dead Man". . .I see they haven't sent you to sensitivity training yet. :D

    Super cool that your environment allows you to watch a herd for that kind of time span and pick your quarry.  I'm on my third consecutive year of tag soup. Apparently, when our local mule deer bucks grow a second point on each side (legal status), the antlers form some kind of generator for an invisibility field.

    The ability to say "I want to kill a deer with _____ firearm" and follow up on it is something to be cherished.  The California no-lead requirement is an annoyance that we're PRRRROOOOOBABLY able to work around even with cast bullets now, but when we consider the WORK that goes into finding the ghosty little bastards, it's always the "A" list  modern rifles, ammo, and optics that come out to play.  More like check-listing a Mars launch than a hunting trip.

    Trail cameras. . .I've resisted them, and probably will continue to do so, but the temptation is rising. . .
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,848 Senior Member
    Amazing how Dead Man kept about his everyday business with a hole through his neck. Talk about not letting things bother you in life.
    The coyote?  Just think of the fawn or fawns you may have saved. A buck that may grow up to be a trophy or doe that will produce a trophy for your rancher friend.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member

    I said all of that to say this, I have never considered what I do with pd's or yotes slob hunting.  Considering how you follow through/document everything, I can see where you are coming from
    Yeah, I just hate the unknown and unfinished. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    Big Al1 said:
    Wait WHAT!! You did that with a 101 year old rifle with open sights and down loaded to .270 performance levels!! 
    And still better. 😎
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Excellent hunt and great storytelling.  Your son learned a very valuable lesson!  Good for you.
    Thanks. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    orchidman said:
    Excellent result. The hunt encapsulated  the lows and highs of hunting.
    Great that your boy was there to see the successful conclusion.
    Very pleased I got to finish the job. 

    I’m not ashamed to say there was a bit of jealousy when my buddy got a shot on Saturday. 

    Unfortunate that it wasn’t final while at the same time letting me back in the game. If that makes sense. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Deadman had more fire in the belly than his poor rack would lead one to believe, and, he had a bobcat running interference for him ;)
    Cat better watch out. I’m on to him. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    Good job, and great story telling! 
    Thanks. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    Pretty hard for two legs to catch four. Good he didn't have to do winter injured. I guess a lot deer fell to surplus 03's......
    It was easy at first. Turning to a crawling on hands and knees endeavor at the end. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 26,509 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    "Skinny Girl". . ."Dead Man". . .I see they haven't sent you to sensitivity training yet. :D

    I call in sick. 

    Super cool that your environment allows you to watch a herd for that kind of time span and pick your quarry. 

    Target rich environment. 

    The ability to say "I want to kill a deer with _____ firearm" and follow up on it is something to be cherished.  

    The Mauser and the Springfield were my priorities this season. Now, the slate is clean and anything goes. 

    Trail cameras. . .I've resisted them, and probably will continue to do so, but the temptation is rising. . .

    Why resist?  They are pretty handy tools. 
    ............
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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